Disney's LITTLE EINSTEINS, an innovative new TV series for toddlers, emanating from the popular videos and CDs from The Baby Einstein Co., will premiere in October 2005 during the daily Playhouse Disney programming block on Disney Channel. The series and a Disney DVD/video release in August will build on the cachet of the infant/preschool brand Baby Einstein.
Geographical Region: North America
The Honig Co. Inc., a leading boutique public relations agency, announced it is representing USA Index Corp., the U.S. subsidiary of Index Corp., a $20 billion diversified technology and media company based in Japan.
The Honig Co. will initially be undertaking a campaign aimed at raising awareness of Sega Animanium, a software product for the animation industry, and working to increase sales within North America.
Pixar earned its second animated feature Oscar for THE INCREDIBLES at the 77th Annual Academy Awards, Feb. 27, 2005, while Skywalker Sound won the Best Sound Editing Award. Animated feature was the award up for the night, collected by a jubilant Brad Bird. He thanked the holy trinity at Pixar referring to Ed Catmull, Steve Jobs and John Lasseter for creating the greatest studio on the face of the Earth, Bird said.
Fort Myers Beach Film Festival Fort Myers Beach, Florida, USAApril 21 - 24, 2005Deadline: March 15, 2005
On Feb. 23, 2005, negotiations broke down in the ongoing dispute between the Spanish-language voices of THE SIMPSONS union and a Mexico City-based dubbing studio, spurring the cast to go on an official strike, reports HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.
The cast alleges that its employer, formerly known as Grabaciones y Doblajes, breached its contract with their union, the National Actors' Assn. Union, by hiring union-member actors. The company claims that the contract was made void when its administration and company name changed to Grabaciones y Doblajes Internacionales (GDI).
2005 ASIFA East Animated Film FestivalNew York, New York, USAMay 1, 2005Deadline: March 1, 2005
2005 ASIFA East Animated Film Festival screens the best in independent, commercial and student animation. All films are judged by a panel of ASIFA-EAST members and prizes are given in each category for first through third place. For more information, visit www.asifaeast.com.
2nd Annual Billyburg Short Film FestivalWilliamsburg, Virginia, USAMay 20-21, 2005Deadline: March 1, 2005
Billyburg Short Film Festival highlights the best in various media including narrative, documentary, animation, experimental, commercials and music videos.
Warner Bros. Consumer Products kicked off the world's largest toy trade show, the 2005 American International Toy Fair -- in New York City from Feb. 20-23, 2005 -- with a new lineup of licensed toys and products inspired by one of the world's most popular superhero franchises: BATMAN.
With the highly anticipated release of Hayao Miyazakis HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE in June, Disney has smartly introduced three more of the legendary directors films to DVD on Feb. 22, 2005 (Buena Vista Home Ent., $29.99): NAUSICAÄ OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND (1984), PORCO ROSSO (1992) and THE CAT RETURNS (1992). All three two-disc sets contain original Japanese versions as well as newly produced English versions with prestigious voice casts, along with notable bonus features.
NAUSICAÄ OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND
While exhibiting at the American International Toy Fair in New York City, Nelvana Ltd. announced it has completed a pan-European direct-to-retail agreement with C&A to carry a carry a range of BABAR-themed infantwear.
Under terms of the direct deal a first for Nelvana in the international market C&A stores in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Hungary, Russia and the Czech Republic will carry the BABAR baby line, which is expected to debut in June 2005.
Breakthrough Animation enters the 2005 New York International TOYFAIR with an extensive lineup of international licensing deals in place for the companys animated series, ATOMIC BETTY.
Award-winning editorial, visual effects and design company Version2 has promoted editor Tina Mintus to partner. Mintus, who has been with owner/editor Vito DeSario for eight years, will head the company with DeSario and be responsible for new recruitment.
Toon Boom Animation has released Toon Boom Studio v2.5 for Windows and Mac in French. The company, based in Montreal, a bilingual territory in Canada, said it was only natural to add the French capability to Toon Boom Studio's advanced feature set.
Toon Boom Studio integrates many outstanding features including:* 3D Sceneplanning to Layout your Animation* Dynamic Multiplane Camera Moves and Effects* Drawing Mode to Draw and Organize Your Assets* Optimized Library for Reuse of Templates* Automated Lip Sync Mapping
Planit, the Baltimore-based integrated brand communications agency, has been tapped by two high-profile organizations to design and produce 3D animation for a range of projects. The work is being produced by Planit's in-house broadcast design and animation studio.
Nickelodeons new Asian-inspired Nicktoons series, AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER, premieres with a one-hour special on Feb. 21, 2005 at 7:00 pm, featuring Aang (Zachery Tyler), a fun-loving 12-year-old who must forgo a normal life as the Avatar in order to master his latent powers over the four elements to restore world order. Following the special broadcast, the Avatar series will air in its regular time period, Fridays at 8:00 pm.
Nickelodeon is hosting the free, traveling exhibit "La Casa de Dora," a 10-city mall tour allowing kids to experience first-hand the interactive, bilingual home of DORA THE EXPLORER. "La Casa de Dora" kicks off Feb. 19, 2005, in Denver and will travel to 10 markets around the country, including Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Phoenix, Albuquerque and San Francisco.
4Kids Ent. Inc. and Subway Restaurants have joined forces to launch a national promotion featuring the TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES. The seven-week promotion began Feb. 7, 2005 and continues through March 27, 2005, at participating Subway locations in the U.S. and Canada, while supplies last.
BOXX Technologies has introduced the BOXX 7300 series of workstations featuring dual AMD Opteron processors and NVIDIA nForce Professional Media and Communications Processors (MCPs). BOXX 7300 workstations support the upcoming release of Microsoft Windows XP x64, which will provide the ability to run 32- and 64-bit applications simultaneously, taking digital creativity to new levels.
Microsoft Corp. announced today (Feb.17, 2005) that it will voluntarily replace the power cords on 14.1 million Xbox consoles worldwide as a precautionary measure and out of concern for consumer safety.
Sony Pictures will release XXX, HELLBOY, RESIDENT EVIL 2 and ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO for the PSP on April 19, 2005, reports VARIETY. SPIDER-MAN 2 will be bundled with the first million PSP units. Pricing on the PSP flicks will be announced later next week. Sony Pictures Home Ent. plans to release four to five catalog films each week for the PSP. Since the launched of PSP in Japan in December, more than one million universal media disc (UMD) movies have been sold.
Daniel Taylor has been appointed president of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., following completion of the sale of MGM to the consortium now acquiring the film/TV studio and its library. The investor group consists of Providence Equity Partners, Texas Pacific Group, DLJ Merchant Banking, Sony Corp. of America and Comcast Corp.