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Geographical Region: North America

Headline News 3D Computer-Animated Popeye Primed for FOX and Artisan

To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the "Popeye the Sailor Man" franchise in 2004, King Features Syndicate has christened production of a brand-new 3D computer-animated POPEYE TV and home entertainment special. Mainframe Entertainment will not only animate but, according to DAILY VARIETY, has secured international distribution rights in several markets, including TV rights in Canada and TV/DVD/VHS rights in the U.K. and Australia.

Headline News Xfrog Organic Software Leaps Beyond Plants

Greenworks Xfrog organic modeling system has been rewritten from scratch for the release of Xfrog 4. With the new version, all parameters in Xfrog 4 can be animated and combined with the objects in MAXON's CINEMA 4D, allowing artists to create trees or other plants, which grow and follow the sun as well as leaves and branches, which move in the wind. Additionally CINEMA 4D XPresso diagrams can be combined with Xfrog to create photoreal parameter-driven organic effects.

Headline News Mars Attacks! Meets Godzilla in Il Postino Spot

Method recently collaborated with Fredrik Bond/MJZ, renowned character designer company Stan Winston Prods. and Goodby Silverstein San Francisco to create the visual effects in a new spot for HP and the United States Postal Service, IL POSTINO.

Headline News Toy Play Gains Mr. Bean Toy License

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 4, 2003 at 12:00am

Toy Play LLC has signed a deal making it the master toy licensee for MR. BEAN. Created by comedian Rowan Atkinson, MR. BEAN, THE ANIMATED SERIES follows the day-to-day mishaps of the quiet and clumsy Mr. Bean. The toy line is set to hit the U.S. and Canada, beginning fall 2004. This announcement comes on the heals of The Sharpe Company being granted the merchandising rights for the MR. BEAN character throughout North America.

Headline News Big Idea Bought by Classic Media, Files Bankruptcy

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 4, 2003 at 12:00am

Big Idea Prods has announced an agreement with Classic Media LLC to purchase the companys assets. As required by the deal, Big Idea has filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Headline News rhinofx Lights Dentyne's Fire

A jazz musician blows a note, the horn extends and his body language projects the coolness of the moment. A man and woman sit listening. He pulls out a package of Dentyne Fire and pops a piece into his mouth. Suddenly the club, the music and the mood transition from Cool Blue Jazz to Red Hot Salsa. The transformation is subtle. The crowd is not shocked or surprised. In fact, perhaps this happens every time they chew Dentyne Fire.

Headline News Codename: Kids Next Door Moves on to Cartoon Network Latin America

CODENAME: KIDS NEXT DOOR, an original Cartoon Network animated action-comedy series will premiere on Cartoon Network Latin America on Sept. 5, 2003 at 7:00 pm CODENAME: KIDS NEXT DOOR follows the escapades of five eager, yet bumbling, 10-year-olds as they fight against the forces of tyrannical adults.

Headline News Disney Int’l Gets Mainframe Spooktakular

Walt Disney Television Int'l (WDTV-I) has acquired broadcast rights to Mainframe Entertainment Inc.'s animated Halloween special SCARY GODMOTHER HALLOWEEN SPOOKTAKULAR for its channels in Asia, Latin America, Italy and Germany.

Headline News Discreet Inks Large Sale to Art Institutes

Discreet has announced one of its largest desktop software sales to date with long-time partner The Art Institutes. The schools will distribute more than 4,000 licenses of 3ds max, character studio, combustion 3D and cleaner software to its 29 locations in the United States and Canada. Last autumn the Arts Institute purchased more than 2,000 licenses.

Headline News Square Enix U.S.A. Announces Final Fantasy X-2

Square Enix U.S.A. Inc. has announced that FINAL FANTASY X-2 will ship in early December 2003. The company also announced that FINAL FANTASY X has been added to Sony Computer Entertainment America's "Greatest Hits" series.

"We are very pleased with success that FINAL FANTASY X has achieved, both in sales and industry recognition, and excited to continue the journey in FINAL FANTASY X-2," said Jun Iwasaki, ceo and president of Square Enix USA. "While FINAL FANTASY X-2 is a sequel, it is in many ways a new game and the first in the series led by an all-female cast."

Headline News Mar Vista Entertainment Launched

Whamo Ents partners Joseph Szew, Fernando Szew and Mar Gaya, along with PorchLight Ents Michael Jacobs and Anchor Bay Ents George Port, have formed Mar Vista Entertainment, reported DAILY VARIETY. The new company will produce and distribute family and children's productions. Joseph Szew will serve as president/ceo and his brother will be managing director. Based in Barcelona, Gaya will be the director of European operations. Jacobs, former svp of worldwide sales for PorchLight, will serve as president of production and distribution.

Headline News DECODE Signs U.K. Video Deal for Save-Ums!

DECODE Entertainment is building its licensing and merchandising designs by signing a deal with Universal to acquire U.K. home entertainment rights to its preschool property, THE SAVE-UMS!

The Save-Ums! follows 3D action heroes who aim to help prepare preschoolers for their role in the 21st century. The pintsize Save-ums utilize whimsical helicopters, space ships and other gadgets to solve problems and nurture an interest in technology as well as critical thinking.

Headline News Wonderful Days Tanks at Korean Box Office

The most expensive animated feature produced in Korea, WONDERFUL DAYS, has tanked at the box office in its native country. The film cost $11 million to produce, but has disappeared from theaters after only two weeks in release, garnering a paltry $1.9 million. The film even debuted behind DreamWorks SINBAD: LEGEND OF THE SEVEN SEAS, which was a disappointment in the U.S.

Headline News Send your Films to the Land of the Northern Lights

Anchorage International Film FestivalAnchorage, Alaska, USADecember 12 - 21, 2003Deadline: October 1, 2003

The Anchorage Film Festivals focus is to highlight independent cinema. This year's event will conclude with screenings at the prestigious Edward Albee Theater Conference in Valdez, Alaska. At least 600 national and international stars, playwrights, directors, actors and other talented people attend. For more information visit www.anchoragefilmfestival.com.

Headline News Anime Network Teams with Waldenbooks

The Anime Network has announced a nationwide in-store signage promotion with Waldenbooks, America's largest mall based book retailer. Starting August 1, 2003, Waldenbooks will promote the Anime Network with signs placed in the manga section of its stores. The deal is an extension of the partnership between Waldenbooks and the networks parent company A. D. Vision, Inc., which brings home-entertainment anime products in Waldenbooks locations.

Headline News A.D. Vision Announces Launch of ADV Toys

A.D. Vision Inc. has officially announced the founding of ADV Toys, the firm's new merchandise division. Word of the new arm was first hinted at Anime Expo 2003. The new division will create toys and collectible merchandise based upon the company's film, manga and original content properties.

Headline News SAFO Announces Films

The Student Animation Festival Ottawa (SAFO) has announced the films in and out of competition for its 2003 event. California Institute of the Arts led the pack with seven film selected, followed by Royal College of Art with three films getting spots. The categories in the official competition are High School/Secondary Student Film (11 films), Post-Secondary Student Films (11 films), Post-Secondary Graduate Films (24 films), First Film (9 films), Childrens Animation (15 films) and Best School Showreel (6 schools).

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