With the acquisition of the company by former Nelvana execs Michael Hirsh and Toper Taylor complete, Cinar's name has been officially changed to Cookie Jar Ent. The once publicly traded company will now be a private entity. The principals include Hirsh and Taylor along with Steve and Patty Carson, TD Capital Canadian Private Equity Partners and Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS). The overall Cookie Jar Group also includes leading education companies Carson-Dellosa and HighReach Learning.
Geographical Region: North America
Alliance Atlantis has announced is has secured broadcast deals with Channel Five and BSKYB in the U.K. and an Australian broadcast deal with ABC TV Australia for its new CGI animated childrens property, DRAGON BOOSTER. U.K. digital TV platform BSKYB secured Pay-TV rights to the series, which will air on Sky One, the U.K.'s leading non-terrestrial entertainment channel, staring in January 2005. Channel Five, who secured Free-TV rights, will air the series in their branded "Shake" block on Saturdays in 2005.
MicroTainment is offering THE FROST FAMILY, a half-hour animated series for primetime at MIP-TV. The combination 2D/3D series will be available for fall 2005. Micortainment will be located in the Canadian Pavilion, #0.01, on the main floor of the Palais.
DECODE Entertainment will have two animated series available at MIP-TV -- pre-school hit FRANNY'S FEET and 2D adventure show KING. Other product includes THE SAVE-UMS! and THE BLOBHEADS. During the market, DECODE will be based on the Don Juan boat, Jette Albert-Edouard, phone +33.04.9.298.7124.
Icon Animation will be bringing a full slate of animated projects to MIP-TV. The company hopes to secure distribution and co-production deals for its various series.
VITAMINIX (31x2) is Icon's first co-production with Digital y Cual. The series seeks to introduce the world of food and their vitamin and mineral content to adults and children. The Flash production is finished and available worldwide.
VGI Entertainment Inc. will be presenting three pre-school series in its booth R28.13 at MIP-TV. The series include SERGEANT STRIPES, EBB AND FLO and BLANCHE.
Produced by Ealing Animation and A Works TV Production in association with CBBC, SERGEANT STRIPE (26x10) features Stripes, a police station cat, who dreams he is a police sergeant with his very own police force. VGI launched the new 2D series at MIPCOM 2003 and the show receives a 33% audience share across all channels kids4-6 year olds for the BBC.
Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI) is bringing its big animated series, ASTRO BOY, to MIP-TV at stand M5.01. ASTRO BOY is amongst a diverse slate from SPTI, which includes Stephen Kings KINGDOM HOSPITAL, JOAN OF ARCADIA, MISSING, THE RESIDENTS, BEWITCHED IN TOKYO, SEA OF SOULS and POOR ANASTASIA.
Kaydara Inc. has announced its first middleware solution for game developers, HumanIK | Middleware, a character animation and rigging technology. With HumanIK | Middleware, game developers will now be able to easily embed the character animation technology found in MOTIONBUILDER directly into their game engine. The new product will be available in the second quarter 2004.
U.K. production company Corsham Entertainment has agreed in principle to co-produce with Japanese anime production company Madhouse the 26x30 plus comedy/anime series for teens, NATURAL BORN KITTENS.
Corsham was founded by Oscar-winning STAR WARS producer Gary Kurtz and BIONICLE co-creator Alastair Swinnerton, while Madhouse is one of the top studios in Japan, with credits ranging from feature films NINJA SCROLL, METROPOLIS, VAMPIRE HUNTER D, ANIMATRIX, MILLENNIUM ACTRESS and TOKYO GODFATHERS to TV series CARDCAPTORS and BEYBLADE.
"Into the Pixel" Digital Game Art ExhibitLos Angeles, California, USAMay 12-14, 2004Deadline: April 5, 2004
New York's Northern Lights Post recently completed a series of image spots for Rainbow DBS' recently launched VOOM network, the inaugural provider of exclusively HD programming for the home entertainment market. In addition, the spots were so well received, that Northern Lights also recently completed editing four one-hour episodes of MOTOPIG, a mud-streaked, adrenaline-filled gameshow based in the world of motocross.
Shuffle Inc., an international television commercial production company with offices in Venice, California, and Tokyo, Japan, has launched Shuffle USA as a new operating unit.
Peak Entertainment Holdings Inc. has announced a licensing agreement with Radica Games Ltd. for Peak's MONSTER IN MY POCKET characters for Radica's Skannerz handheld products. Launched in 2001, Skannerz handheld device scans the UPC code of consumer products, allowing users to download monsters, magic potions and weapons to use in battle.
Sony Pictures Mobile has announced its roster of mobile entertainment products inspired by this summer's SPIDER-MAN 2. The premium mobile entertainment products will be available in the United States exclusively to Sprint PCS Vision customers for a limited time beginning in May.
Square Enix Co. Ltd. has acquired UIEvolution, Inc., a leading wireless software company, through its subsidiary, Square Enix U.S.A. Inc. This move is in hopes to capitalize on the growing mobile market in the U.S. Square Enix invested approximately $4 million in UIEvolution in December 2003. UIEvolution will function as the research and development center for core technologies that will help Square Enix produce a new type of network-based entertainment.
It's been a hectic last couple of days, what with the server being down, but we're finally up and running smoothly again, so now you can get caught up on our latest news and features. Lots of tech news with the Game Developers Conference coming up next week in San Jose.
ADV Toys, the new division of A.D. Vision Inc. that creates exclusive toys and collectible merchandise based upon the companys film, manga and original content holdings, has signed its first toy deal, an exclusive Jonathan the Seal plush animal from the anticipated KALEIDO STAR anime series from ADV Films.
Playhut Entertainment has announced a new LITTLE SIGNZ licensing deal with New Jersey-based Karmin International for the jig-saw puzzles category. Karmin will manufacture and market an array of LITTLE SIGNZ jig-saw puzzles housed within boxes and decorative tins.
Malaysian animation studio INSPIDEA (combining inspiring and ideas) will participate in MIP-TV at stand 13.24 and is bringing JOHAN, THE YOUNG SCIENTIST, a new 26x12 animated series about a child whose inquisitive nature leads him to a great deal of scientific adventures and discoveries.
JOHAN, THE YOUNG SCIENTIST is designed to boost a childs awareness about simple scientific ideas in our everyday life, said Andrew KH, head of production & distribution at INSPIDEA.
Alliance Atlantis rolls into MIP-TV 2004 with three animated series. The company will be located at Stand G3.14 and can be contacted by calling 33-4-92-99-8348.
POKO (32x30) is a stop-motion animation series. The light-hearted, pre-school series follows a fun-loving three-year-old, who is just beginning to discover the world around him with his dog, Minus, and his stuffed toy, Mr. Murphy.
CINAR, a regular big player at MIPCOM and MIP-TV, will arrive with a large slate of productions, including two new series. CINAR was recently purchased by investor group comprised of Michael Hirsh, Toper Taylor and TD Capital Canadian Private Equity Partners through 4113683 Canada Inc. (Newco).