Geographical Region: North America
Nelvana Limited has announced the introduction of Nelvana New Media, a new division that will focus on developing new applications, products and delivery channels for Nelvana's valuable character library. The new branch will create a children's Web entertainment site and interactive games based upon their characters for both CD-Rom and Internet distribution. "Nelvana New Media is an initiative that solidifies the future success of the Company," added Michael Hirsh, Nelvana Limited's co-chief executive officer.
On March 24, 2000, Joe Cartoon Co., the producers of popular Web toons FROG IN A BLENDER and LEMMINGS, was awarded a preliminary injunction against John Zuccarini for cybersquatting. The court order bars Zuccarini from using or endorsing the use of the domain names joescartoon.com, joecarton.com, joescartons.com, joescartoons.com, cartoonjoe.com and any other derivative of Joe Cartoon Co.'s joecartoon.com URL.
At the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Oscar Awards on Sunday, March 26, 2000, THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA by Alexander Petrov won for best animated short film. "Having been nominated twice before, now I can look at this award without irony," Petrov said. "I'm very happy to have received the Oscar as it has given THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA and my earlier films recognition. And like any artist I wanted to be first. I'm happy that the Academy has the category of animated short film, because it gives a chance to independent artists to show their work.
On Tuesday, March 21, 2000, CINAR Corp. announced that co-founder, Ron Weinberg, and former controller, Mario Ricci, signed documents approving the company's non-board-approved investments. CINAR's spokeswoman, Suzan Ayscough, said, "The documents in question were signed either by Ron Weinberg alone, or by Mr. Weinberg and Mr. Panju or by Mr. Ricci." Previously, CINAR reported that their now fired senior executive VP Panju acted alone in investing the money.
New Orleans, Louisiana-based Imprimatur, Inc., a production, multi-media marketing firm and event planning company is looking for a 2D ANIMATOR for contract work on a children's television program. . . San Francisco, California-based Mondo Media, a new media company that creates and syndicates digital animation for the Web, television and film, is looking for 2D TRADITIONAL CHARACTER ANIMATORS and CHARACTER DESIGNERS to work on original on-line animations and shows. . .
After allegations of fraud, misallocated funds, shareholder lawsuits, executive shuffling, plummeting stock prices and subsidy suspension, CINAR Corp. said Monday, March 20, 2000 that it had filed a law suit against several companies believed to be connected with the US$122 million in unauthorized investments.
With live-action film ERIN BROCKOVICH "busting" into first, Buena Vista's MISSION TO MARS toppled to #2 at the U.S. box office. The space mish mesh, with primary special effects by ILM and Dream Quest Images, garnered another US$11.39 million blasting its total gross to $40.6 million. The new teen horror flick, FINAL DESTINATION, crash landed at #3. The New Line fright fest grossed $10.02 million in its first week in theatres.
Questions have been floating around for months on how the Academy will handle the curse-word laced best song nominee "Blame Canada" at the Oscar ceremony. Producers have added more interest to the issue by naming king of improv, Robin Williams, as the singer of the song from the censor-mocking, Canada-bashing comedy, SOUTH PARK: BIGGER, LONGER AND UNCUT. Whether "Blame Canada" song lyrics featuring the words "fuck," "fart" and "that bitch Anne Murray," will be bleeped or edited by network censors is still yet unknown.
The 4th edition of Cartoons On The Bay, the International Festival of
Television Animation, will be held in Positano (Amalfi Coast), Italy,
April 14-18, 2000. Cartoons on the Bay is the only festival in the
world solely dedicated to television animation. Promoted by Rai
Radiotelevisione Italiana and conceived and organized by Rai Trade,
the festival is an international event with awards, workshops,
lectures and events centering on the ever-changing world of
Be a part of Playboy's rich heritage of cartoon humor. Participate in
Playboy's Comix and Animation Contest. All multimedia formats
welcome: Shockwave, Flash, videotape, pen and ink and more! The grand
prize winner receives $25,000. Five honorable mentions will also be
selected. Judges include Scott Adams, Award winning creator of
"Dilbert," and Kevin Smith, writer/director of hit films "Chasing
Amy" and "Dogma." The deadline for submission is April 1, 2000. As
In response to PBS directing its animated work to Canada, MPSC Local 839 Cartoonists Union is set to picket Los Angeles' PBS affiliate KCET. PBS, the United States' public broadcasting network, is funded by U.S. tax dollars and recently struck a US$40 million deal with Canada's Nelvana [AF 1/5/00]. Upset with the ever increasing practice of studios sending work outside the States, the Union will picket in front of the KCET building on Thursday, April 13, 2000 between 11:30 am and 1:30 pm. Local 839 members earn credit toward dues for picketing or sign-drawing.
With bad reviews a side Buena Vista's MISSION TO MARS finished #1 at the U.S. box office. Serving as the closest thing to an event flick currently in U.S. theatres, MISSION TO MARS became the third highest March debut in U.S. history. The space spectacle, with primary special effects by ILM and Dream Quest Images, grossed US$22.9 million in its first weekend. Finishing in second place in its opening weekend was THE NINTH GATE, with primary special effects by Sony Imageworks and Mikros Image. Teaming Roman Polanski and the Devil once again, the film released by Artisan grossed $6.6 million.
In its first weekend on the market in Japan, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.'s PlayStation 2 has reached 980,000 units sold. This initial sales milestone blows away the original PlayStation's three-day mark in 1994 by nearly 10 times. A total of 26,400 retailers in Japan, including 18,500 convenience stores, approximately 7,900 retail stores, current PlayStation retailers, as well as PlayStation.com (Japan) Inc., began selling the PlayStation 2 units on March 4.
Wolfmill Entertainment has signed a worldwide licensing deal with Living Toyz for a line of action figures based on Wolfmill's upcoming CGI animated feature film ELFQUEST. The fantasy-action film follows the journey of Cutter, a young elven chief, and his tribe across a hostile world to find a safe refuge. Before the theatrical release of ELFQUEST, Los Angeles-based Living Toyz will produce several sets of action figures based on the original ELFQUEST comic book designs by Warp Graphics.
The Ottawa 2000 Independent Film Competition will be selected by
festival organizers. The Commissioned Films Competition will be
selected by Curtis Crawford (Canada), Chris Landreth (US), Pjotr
Sapegin (Russia) and Andrei Svislotski (Russia). The Ottawa 00
International Jury will be comprised of Suzanne Gervais (Canada),
Wendy Jackson Hall (US), John Hays (US), Priit Parn (Estonia) and Jin
Guo Ping (China). Jury member bios are now available on the festival
Dream Theater is seeking an ART DIRECTOR to work on the creation of
concepts, presentation materials and the refinement of design
directions in production. . . Hammerhead Productions is looking for
SENIOR ANIMATORS 2D/3D/TD for feature film visual effects. . . San
Francisco, California-based Attik is looking for a SENIOR ANIMATOR. .
. Monterrey, N.L. Mexico post-production house PubliK is looking for
a creative 3D SGI ANIMATOR. . . The Chimney Pot (Sweden) is seeking a
* Friday, April 14 - Sunday, April 16 and Friday, April 28 - Sunday, April 30, 2000. Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
In the continuing crisis at CINAR Corp., husband and wife co-founders, Micheline Charest and Ronald Weinberg, have stepped down after senior VP and CFO Hasanain Panju was fired when US$122 million was found to have disappeared into investments without board approval. With tax fraud allegations floating in the skies, Charest will leave her chairman and co-CEO seat, while Weinberg will give up his president and co-CEO position. The couple will remain as leaders and directors of the company.
With strictly live-action fare reigning the U.S. box office, SNOW DAY slipped to sixth place, while PITCH BLACK remained steady in fifth place. Paramount's kid-pic, with special effects by Curious Pictures, fell from #2, grossing US$4.8 million this past weekend and bringing its total gross to $49 million. USA Films' PITCH BLACK, with primary visual effects by Double Negative Ltd. and The Chandler Group, clocked in at #5 for the second straight weekend, grossing $5.07 million raising its total gross to $29.7 million.
BBC video brings to homes 13 tales from the TV series WILLIAM'S WISH
WELLINGTONS. The 5 minute stories feature a small boy and his pair of magic
boots. The show airs weekly on Cartoon Network and TVO. The tape will be
distributed in the U.S. and Canada by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.
Volume 1 will be available on March 7, 2000 and be priced at US$14.95.
Bill Plympton has updated his
In the next months, his
films will be appearing in various festivals and other events around the
world. Bill will be attending the Newport Film Festival, Newport, RI, USA;
Annecy Animation Festival, Annecy, France; Florida Film Festival, Maitland,
FL, USA; and Zagreb World Festival of Animated Films, Zagreb, Croatia.