On Monday in the USA, toymaker Hasbro introduced a series of actionfigures, play sets, vehicles, and other toys based on STAR WARS: EPISODE I- THE PHANTOM MENACE, the prequel to the STAR WARS trilogy. Most Toys R Usstores and some FAO Schwarz and K-B Toys stores opened at 12:01 a.m. on May3, and within hours their stock was sold out. "It was unbelievable.Insane," says AWN's Heather Kenyon, who visited four stores in the LosAngeles area. "People were leaving with shopping carts filled up. It was
Geographical Region: North America
Michel Ocelot's new feature film, KIRIKOU AND THE SORCERESS, will bescreened as part of the DGA (Directors Guild of America) film festival,City of Lights: A Week of French Films. The screening will take placeSaturday, May 1 at 1 pm in Los Angeles, California. For ticket information,call (310) 289 2000. There are currently no plans to release the film inthe USA, so this may be your only chance to see what appears to be, basedon the pressbook images, a very beautiful film. The story is based on
Released last week in the USA, Pixar's A BUG'S LIFE was the week's bestselling video and DVD title, selling enough copies to already put it at No.4 on the list of the year's best selling videos, and No. 10 on the list ofthe year's best selling DVD's. (There are no plans to release the Pixarfilm on laser disc.) It is already ahead of ANTZ and just behind THERUGRATS MOVIE, but farther behind MULAN. Other best selling VHS titles forthe week include THE RUGRATS MOVIE, which finished third; SCOOBY-DOO'S
TOPIX/Mad Dog has completed the animation for "Stick People," a :30 spot,with a :15 lift. The colorful, playful spot, which promotes Crayola ColorWipeoffs, removable water-based magic markers, for TBWA/Chiat Day (Toronto,ON) and Binney & Smith Canada (Markham, ON), rolled out throughout CanadaMarch 15th and will continue to air through the end of the year. In it, aboy's stick figure drawings come to life. "With Photoshop I drew thefigures, frame by frame, so that it's a bit like cel animation, but not
* Through April 24. Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
A selection of personal paintings and production pieces from the collection of UPA artist and experimental animator Jules Engel will be exhibited at the Tobey Moss Gallery (7321 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036) through April 24. Also included in the exhibit are his sculptures and paintings from Disney's FANTASIA. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For additional information, call (323) 933-5523.
The California Sun Festival, which took place at California StateUniversity Northridge on April 10 - 11, handed out the following awards:
The Golden Sun (Best of the Festival) went to Hannes Rall, Germany, for"Der Rabe" (The Raven), an 8-minute film freely adapted from the poem "TheRaven" by Edgar Allen Poe.
The Silver Stars (Best in each Category) wentto:
Traditional Animation: Andrea Guaraldo, Italy, for "Soffioni"
Computer Animation: Heiko Lueg, Germany, for "Sandland"
Nickelodeon will preview SP0NGEBOB SQUAREPANTS, a new animated series, onMay 1 at 9:30 ET/PT in the USA. The cartoon features the adventures ofSpongeBob, a hopelessly optimistic and earnest sea sponge. Creator andexecutive producer Steve Hillenburg (ROCKO'S MODERN LIFE, THE GREEN BERET,WORMHOLES), studied art and marine biology before earning a degree from CalArts in Experimental Animation. Soon you will be able to visit Nick.com formore information about the series.
Tom Sito will host an evening with Phil Mendez on Wednesday, April 28 at7:30 pm. Phil is one of the pioneering African American artists in Americananimation, a designer, author, director and storyteller. He was Marc Davis'assistant at Disney during the development of some of the his famousattractions at Disneyland. He has done work for Disney Feature Animation,Hanna-Barbera, Jack Zander, and Phil Kimmelman, and he was with RalphBakshi at the beginning of FRITZ THE CAT and HEAVY TRAFFIC. Don't miss this
Will Vinton Studios is one of the world's leading stop-motion studios and specializes in developing original characters and bringing them to life with engaging personalities. Currently producing two prime-time television series, plus commercials and special projects, this studio is looking for an experienced STOP-MOTION ANIMATOR with the ability to demonstrate skills. The candidate will animate stop-motion puppets on miniature sets for any number of exciting projects from TV series to television commercials. This job is based in Portland, Oregon, USA.
* Tuesday, April 27, 7:30 pm. San Francisco, California, USA.
ASIFA-San Franciso presents "Basic Principles of Traditional CharacterAnimation" with Mark West at the Exploratorium's McBean. Admission is free.This evening's event is the first in a proposed educational series byASIFA-SF, designed for people with a limited knowledge of animationtechniques. Mark West will present an illustrated lecture demonstration,using film clips to illustrate his points. West has been working as an
* Tuesday, April 27, 7:45 pm. San Francisco, California, USA.
SF ACM/SIGGRAPH sponsors a presentation on animating paintings in WHATDREAMS MAY COME. Scheduled speakers include Nicholas Brooks, Visual EffectsDirector; Ed Davis, Lunarfish; Mike Schmitt, Giant Killer Robots; LauraKelly, LA-based effects team member; Pierre Jamin and Peter Litwinowicz ofRE:Vision FX. The presentation will be preceded by a social 'hour' from6:30 pm to 7:45 pm. Where: Fort Mason Center Landmark Bldg. A, Marina Blvd.
* Friday, May 7th, 7:30 pm. Los Angeles, California, USA.
The Film Department of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art will present "ATaste of Tashlin: Early Hollywood Cartoons," cartoons by Frank Tashlinwhich he made before turning to live-action and going on to direct severalof Jerry Lewis' best films. The program includes PORKY'S POULTRY PLANT,PORKY IN THE NORTH WOODS, PORKY'S ROMANCE, THE MAJOR LIED TIL DAWN, THE FOXAND THE GRAPES, SCRAP HAPPY DAFFY, PORKY PIG'S FEAT, A CORNY CONCERTO,
* Tuesday, May 18th, 7 pm. Rochester, New York, USA.
The RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology) Computer Animation Spring 99MFA screenings will take place in the Carlson Auditorium. For moreinformation contact Marla Schweppe at email@example.com
* Sunday, May 23rd, 2 pm. Rochester, New York, USA.
The RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology) Film/Video/Animation HonorsShow will take place at the Cinema Theatre. For more information contactMarla Schweppe at firstname.lastname@example.org
The families of Jessica James, Kayce Steger and Nicole Hadley, who were killed during a morningprayer meeting at Heath High School in West Paducah, Kentucky, USA during ashooting on Dec. 1, 1997 by Michael Carneal, a 14-year-old boy, filed a$130 million damage suit against several entertainment companies on Monday,saying they influenced his behavior. The suit claims that the boy was anavid user of the computer, playing computer games such as "Doom," "Quake,"and "Mortal Kombat," which it said are known for their graphic violence.
MIP TV, the international television programme market, where sellers and buyers from all over the world exchange product, takes place April 12th to 17th in Cannes, France. This years MIP is expected to reflect a rebounding international TV market. More than 100 TV series from around the world we be offered at MIP, such as DARIA, FAMILY GUY, FUTURAMA, and NORMAN NORMAL. The calendar of events include the following animation related programmes:
MONDAY APRIL 12TH
Evelyn Lambart, filmmaker and close associate of Norman McLaren, died Saturday, April 3 at the age of 84.
Lambart studied commercial art at the Ontario College of Art.
The Cinema Guild has released the animation cult classic, VAMPIRES IN HAVANA! Juan Padron, best known in the US for his QUINOSCOPO shorts, directed the 1985 Cuban film which was released theatrically in the USA in 1987. VAMPIRES IN HAVANA! is a spoof of horror and gangster movies, presented in a style reminiscent of FRITZ THE CAT. It features Professor von Dracula, a vampire scientist who leaves Transylvania for Cuba where he invents "Vampisol," a potion that allows vampires to live in sunlight.
* Tuesday, April 27. Sherman Oaks, California, U.S.A.
Roberto Kritzia will give a free slide-lecture to promote the Glenn Vilppusketching tour of Italy which will take place in June and July. (See theGlenn Vilppu tours news item for more information about the tours.) The lecturetakes place at 7:30 pm at Travel Stop, 14011 Ventura Bl., West Bldg., Suite221, Sherman Oaks, California. Seating is limited. RSVP (818) 994-2402.
* Tuesday, June 8 - Thursday, June 10. New York, New York, USA.
The global deal marketplace for the $132 billion business of licensingtakes center stage in New York City, June 8-10, 1999, with LICENSING '99INTERNATIONAL, the largest worldwide licensing event and the single mostconsolidated presentation of properties in one place. Licensing '98International drew a record 15,000 attendees from more than 60 countries.The show featured nearly 400 exhibitors representing more than 3,700
BOO WONG has been promoted to head the CGI Department atCurious Pictures, the bi-coastal, live-action, graphics, special effectsand animation studio, it was announced today by Executive Producer/Head ofProduction Richard Winkler. Wong, 33, succeeds Tammy Walters, who recentlyleft the company to pursue a career as a producer. In her new post, Wongwill be responsible for the overall operation of the CGI departmentincluding scheduling, media flow, resource management, evaluation and
The president of Buena Vista Pictures Distribution, Chuck Viane, haspromoted Manuel "Rod" Rodriguez to the post of senior vice president andgeneral sales manager for Buena Vista Pictures Distribution. In his newrole, Rodriguez will be responsible for handling sales and distributionoperations throughout the United States and Canada for all motion picturesreleased under the Walt Disney, Touchstone and Hollywood Pictures banners.Rodriguez, an industry veteran who has been based at Buena Vista's Atlanta
The deadline for The New York Festivals is June 1, 1999. The New York Festivals is a competition devolted to the recognition of excellence in Interactive Multimedia.
* Sunday, April 11. Richmond, Viriginia, USA.
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ANIMATED TV COMMERCIAL will feature over 50commercials from 1948-1993. Janet Scagnelli will introduce the program,which starts at 3pm at the James River Festival. TEL: (804) 355-1383 orvisit www.vcu.edu/artweb/jamesriverfest.
Daffy Duck will finally get the respect he longs for on April 16 at 10am atthe Mann's Chinese Theater in Hollywood when a U.S. postage stamp isdedicated in his honor and "Daffy Duck Day" is declared in Hollywood tocommemorate the event. Johnny Grant, Ceremonial Mayor of Hollywood andChairman of the HollywoodWalk of Fame, will declare the day as "Daffy DuckDay" when he joins Tirso del Junco, M.D., member of the Postal Service'sBoard of Governors, and Dan Romanelli, President, Warner Bros. Consumer