The Emmy Award-winning STAR WARS: CLONE WARS Volume 1 comes to DVD on March 22, 2005, from Lucasfilm Ltd. and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. The Cartoon Network 2D series produced & directed by Genndy Tartakovsky (SAMURAI JACK, DEXTERS LABORATORY) follows the exploits of heroic Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Mace Windu and a legion of Jedi Knights as they fight against the forces of the Dark Side during the calamitous Clone Wars of Star Wars legend.
Geographical Region: North America
On March 21, 2005, HIT Entertainment Plc. agreed, to take a £489.4 million ($934 million) cash takeover offer from U.K. venture capitalists Apax Partners.
HIT, the kids entertainment company behind such characters at BOB THE BUILDER, THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE and BARNEY THEPURPLE DINOSAUR, made the announcement as it revealed disappointing financial results for the six months ending Jan. 31.
Oscar-nominee THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE won the Best Film prize at the 25th Genie Awards, Canada's top film award, which was held on March 21, 2005, in Toronto.
Seamless visual effects drama HEAD IN THE CLOUDS, starring Charlize Theron, Penelope Cruz and Stuart Townsend, directed by John Duigan, took home the most awards for the categories of editing, costume, score and cinematography.
In the animation front, Chris Landreths Oscar winner RYAN won for animated short.
DICs Growing Worldwide Consumer Products Division has promoted 10-year DIC veteran Ryan Gagerman to vp, International Consumer Products for DIC Entertainment. It also named Lorne Bloch, director of Licensing and Stephanie Mente, manager of International Consumer Products.
Game Trust, the leading platform developer to manage premium casual games, announced development alliances with two of the hottest independent game development studios in the world Fuel Industries and Alter Ego Studios. These announcements follow the deals being inked at GDC.
Bauhaus Software Inc. announced the immediate availability of Mirage 1.5, a new version of its powerful 2D animation, paint and vfx system. A true paperless digital animation system, Mirage dramatically broadens the capabilities of traditional 2D animators, allowing users to create any classical or digital style 2D animation, from cel animation and anime, to rotoscoping, stop motion and more, in a fully-digital pipeline. Mirage is proven to drastically reduce costs and decrease animation production time by up to 50 percent when compared with traditional 2D pipelines.
Nickelodeon has announced the nominees for the 18th Annual Kids Choice Awards, which will take place April 2 (8-9:30 p.m. ET/PT) and will be hosted by Ben Stiller.
Were thrilled to welcome Ben Stiller as a first-time host of Nickelodeons Kids Choice this year, said Marjorie Cohn, evp, Nickelodeon development and original programming. Hes hilarious, beloved by kids and a movie veteran of the kind of irreverent mayhem that is the hallmark of our slime-meets-stars Awards.
On its way to posting $36M in its opening weekend last week, Fox/Blue Skys 3D-animated ROBOTS: THE IMAX EXPERIENCE took in a strong $1.4M in only 58 North American IMAX theaters. ROBOTS, marks the first spring day-and-date DMR (Digital Remastering) release for IMAX after the hugely successful 3D IMAX presentation of POLAR EXPRESS, which pulled in more than $45M domestically.
The Grand Prix at Tampere 35th International Short Film Festival has been awarded to the Norwegian Pjotr Sapegin for his film GJENNOM MINE TYKKE BRILLER (THROUGH MY THINK GLASSES) (2004). The jury characterized the clay animation as skillful and imaginative, a work of art and humanity and remarked that it portrays the human nature in a poetic and loving way.
Square Enix and Verizon Wireless announced the availability of two new Square Enix titles for Verizon Wireless' new V CAST service -- FINAL FANTASY VII SNOWBOARDING and MUSASHI MOBILE SAMURAI. MUSASHI MOBILE SAMURAI will be available beginning March 15, 2005. V CAST from Verizon Wireless is the nation's first third-generation (3G) wireless broadband multimedia service for consumers allowing them to view high-quality 3D games and video clips because it runs on the Verizon Wireless broadband EV-DO (Evolution-Data Optimized) 3G network.
From Garry Trudeau, the creator of the DOONESBURY comic strip, comes this collection of more than 30 computer animated shorts, featuring Duke, the maverick Reform Party candidate for the presidency of the United States. The DUKE 2000 WHATEVER IT TAKES DVD captures more than 90 minutes of the 3D animation that put the outspoken candidate live on LARRY KING, TODAY and dozens of other shows. It sells for $19.95.
Sundance Channel has acquired the pay television rights to the recent Oscar-winning short film, RYAN, directed by Chris Landreth and will broadcast it in fall 2005.
HALF-LIFE 2 and Eugene Jarvis took top honors in the 5th annual Game Developers Choice Awards given by the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) at a ceremony the evening of March 9, during the 2005 Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco.
The big guns at the show were 3: HALO 2 (from Bungie/Microsoft), HALF-LIFE 2 (Valve/Vivendi) and WORLD OF WARCRAFT (Blizzard) all of them huge budget productions with great visuals and sound, but a surprising audience favorite was KATAMARI DAMACY (Namco), which was simple, but very creative.
Seth McFarlanes Emmy Award-winning animated comedy series FAMILY GUY celebrates its historic return to primetime network television with the U.S. premiere of the unprecedented live stage event, FAMILY GUY LIVE!, starring the cast of the series. The show features a live reading of a classic episode, a live performance from the eagerly anticipated FAMILY GUY LIVE IN VEGAS comedy album, a sneak peek at the new FAMILY GUY episode and a Q & A with the cast/creators of the series.
Canadas TELETOON has launched an on-air and online promotion to support the new Mattel toy SMAX! The online initiative includes a TELETOON-designed SMAX! Squeeze Web game, which highlights the new toy and uses color combinations to collect points. The campaign will run until March 27, 2005.
SMAX! are new collectible action figures whose heads pop off to reveal a colored "brain" inside. Each color, (purple, green, orange) indicates the winner in each battle, while all the characters have special personalities and names.
BioWare Corp. announced its plans to continue the expansion of its development teams for its future videogame projects. The Edmonton-based company is actively recruiting for a variety of positions across numerous disciplines and will be taking those recruitment efforts across North America in the upcoming months.
British high humor and high school hijinks are in store for viewers tuning into BROMWELL HIGH, an animated comedy following the adventures of three exceptionally naughty schoolgirls, one maverick headmaster and a bunch of desperate, underpaid teachers, as it premieres on Canadas TELETOON March 7, 2005 at 10:30 pm.
Los Angeles ACM SIGGRAPH March MeetingWestchester, California, USAMarch 8, 2005
For the March meeting, Los Angeles ACM SIGGRAPH will host a program on 3D Web and wireless. The event will look at the latest Website developments for PDA software applications, 3D and virtual worlds.
Gameloft, a leading developer and publisher of videogames for mobile phones, has signed an exclusive agreement with Viacom Consumer Products Inc. to develop, publish and distribute the wireless game version of Steven Spielberg's WAR OF THE WORLDS starring Tom Cruise.
Sin Fronteras Film FestivalAlbuquerque, New MexicoApril 15-16, 2005Deadline: March 15, 2005
The Department of Latin American Studies at the University of New Mexico and SOLAS Student Association for Latin American Studies are co-sponsoring Sin Fronteras Film Festival, which will take place at the Guild Theatre. Sin Fronteras is a media festival created to showcase the works of socially conscious independent filmmakers from across the Americas.
Ad agency JWT/Denver recently commissioned digital studio !mpossible Pictures to create a visually compelling spot for Ford. BIG PICTURE, which airs in the Midwest, takes viewers on an exhilarating topographical adventure and introduces the Ford Big Picture Event at Midwest Ford dealers.
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.
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.