Aardman Animations, the Bristol-based Academy Award-winning animation studio has restructured its Marketing, Licensing and International TV Distribution departments, merging them all into a newly formed division called Aardman Rights. The new division is set up to market and sell Aardman content across all media and it will seek to expand its IP portfolio by representing third-party properties.
Special Event: MIPCOM
Ze Frank, Internet legend and pioneer, comedian, presenter and lecturer, and Gary Carter, President, Creative Networks and Chief Creative Officer, FMX of FremantleMedia, will deliver a joint keynote on creativity at MIPCOM 2008, on Tuesday, October 14 in cooperation with the Entertainment Master Class, The Format Academy for Entertainment Television.
KIDSCREEN Magazine reports that 80 full-time employees of the newly merged DIC Ent./Cookie Jar Group have been let go. Plans to restructure the company came earlier in August, following the July acquisition.
Most positions were eliminated effectively immediately, according to Cookie Jar CEO Michael Hirsh. Some departures will occur as far away as six months from now to finish up current projects. The company now employs between 230 and 240 people, including staff at CPLG the European licensing agency that was part of the DIC acquisition.
4Kids Ent. has set MIPCOM 2008 for the premiere of 26 all-new half-hour episodes of DINOSAUR KING.
The global broadcast line-up for DINOSAUR KING series includes Mediaset (Italy), RTL2 (Germany), France 3 (France), Canal J (France), TV2 (Denmark), TV4 (Sweden), MTV 3 (Finland), TVI (Portugal), LNK (Lithuania), Neljas (Estonia), Jetix (UK, Scandinavia, Spain and Latin America), MNET (South Africa) and YTV (Canada) among many others. New markets expected to close at MIPCOM include the U.K., Ireland, Australia and a number of central European countries.
Cyma Zarghami, President of Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group, will present the MIPCOM Junior 2008 Keynote on Sunday October 12. The 16th edition of MIPCOM Junior, the specialist international screening marketplace and conference for children's programming and merchandising will be held on the October 11-12 at the Carlton Hotel in Cannes, France.
During her address, Zarghami will share her vision of how the localization of global hit creative properties can result in a stronger worldwide brand presence.
Swedish animated film GNOMES AND TROLLS: THE SECRET CHAMBER has sold to 69 countries so far, per VARIETY. The English-language children's film first screened this weekend at the Norwegian Film Festival in Haugesund.
GNOMES was directed by Robert Rhodin, who produced along with Carl Johan Merner for White Shark. It has yet to be sold in the U.S., U.K., France, Italy or Germany, but will screen at the AFM in Santa Monica, California in November and a TV version will be shown at MIPCOM in Cannes, France in October. An unfinished version showed at Cannes Film Market.
MGM Domestic Television Distribution has acquired an option to develop digital graphic novel THE MANY WORLDS OF JONAS MOORE, a Factory Publishing property, as a possible television series.
Playhouse Disney U.K. has acquired a new U.K. preschool animation series, CLAUDE, scheduled to air later this year. The series is being produced by U.K. production companies Dot To Dot and Red and Blue Productions.
4Kids Ent., has licensed the new animated TV series, ROLLBOTS from Amberwood Ent., for broadcast in the United States in The CW 4Kids Saturday morning block on The CW Network.
David Zaslav, President and CEO, Discovery Communications, will present the MIPCOM 2008 Green TV Keynote on Monday, October 13. MIPCOM, the world's audiovisual content market, will be held in Cannes, France from October 13-17, 2008.
MIPCOM 2008Cannes, FranceOctober 13-17, 2008
Chad Hurley, co-founder and CEO of YouTube, will open MIPCOM's first Broadband Video Summit with a keynote speech. The Broadband Video Summit will take place on Wednesday October 15 at the 24th edition of MIPCOM, October 13-17, 2008, Palais des Festivals, Cannes.
ANDY'S AIRPLANES, a soaring new adventure series that captures the exhilaration of flying for children, has retained International Producers Group (IPG) as worldwide sales agent for the new property.
IPG President and CEO, Richard Ellman, is now in discussions with both international distributors and U.S. broadcasters as well as manufacturers and distributors for all ancillary rights. IPG will bring the debut animated program to MIPCOM Jr. and MIPCOM in Cannes, France this fall.
From Disney comes NATIONAL TREASURE 2: BOOK OF SECRETS and the third season of THE MUPPET SHOW, along with Volume 1 of the RICHIE RICH/SCOOBY-DOO hour and OBAN STAR-RACERS Vol. 2.
NATIONAL TREASURE 2: BOOK OF SECRETS
Michael Eisner, the former CEO of the Walt Disney Company and now the driving force behind online content companies Vuguru and Veoh, will deliver a keynote at the upcoming MIPCOM, which takes place in Cannes October 13-17, 2008.
Leading family entertainment producer and distributor Chorion has signed a major deal with UK broadcaster Five for its brand new children's television series OLIVIA, based on the best-selling book property about a loveable pig.
In addition, Chorion has signed a number of new international pre-sales with ABC Australia, YLE Finland, SVT Sweden, NRK Norway and RUV Iceland for the pre-school animated series.
Following hot on the heels of successful premieres on Cartoon Network US and Five UK, Chorion's brand-new series THE MR. MEN SHOW is making its French debut on France 5 on April 12.
The show is also starting to make its mark worldwide with acquisition deals signed with ABC Australia, HOP! Israel and Tiji France.
Aardman Animations hit childrens brand SHAUN THE SHEEP continues to expand its international presence, securing a raft of new TV and licensing deals worldwide.
Since its launch at MIPCOM 06, SHAUN THE SHEEP has racked up television sales and licensing deals in over 150 territories and has won several prestigious accolades including the Cristal Award for Best TV Production at the Annecy Animated Film Festival 2007 and the Audience Choice Award at the World Comedy Film Festival 2007.
Based on the theme of features and short films, the latest Acrobat edition of Animation World Magazine is now available for download. Disney launches a new shorts program with a timely Goofy misadventure, and Bill Desowitz gets an AWN exclusive from some of the directors, animators and John Lasseter. Janet Hetherington checks in with Canada's award-winning National Film Board and finds that its commitment to innovation in animation is as fresh as ever. Jon Hofferman surveyed a host of filmmakers to find out what we can expect from them in the near and distant future.
U.K.-based media and entertainment company Ludorum's train-themed series CHUGGINGTON has been picked up by major networks in Europe, reports C21 MEDIA. SuperRTL (Germany), TF1 (France) and ABC (Australia) have signed broadcast deals for the 3D animated series aimed at three- to six-year-olds and their parents. The series is already in production for the BBC and is scheduled for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2008. Shanghai-based Motion Magic Digital Entertainment is animating the show.
Canadian animation studio House of Cool, which has contributed to such films as MONSTERS INC, THE INCREDIBLES and HORTON HEARS A WHO, will begin producing original content, reports C21 MEDIA.
Heading the slate of three new series is BETTY BANNER PARTY PLANNER (26x22), a comedy-action series for kids 7-11 that was one of the most-screened kids shows at MIPCOM. Betty's adventures include such things as arranging a birthday party for a 300-year-old vampire and tea with the Queen, all while contending with a huge party corporation that wants to put her out of business.
Mark Cranwell has been named Director of Content Acquisition for Babelgum, the next-generation global Internet TV network, it was announced today. In the newly created position, Cranwell will be responsible for leading Babelgum's outreach efforts to producers, filmmakers and content creators in support of the new platform's content strategy. He will report directly to Simon Kenny, Babelgum's Head of Content Strategy and Advertising, in the company's London operation.
Adina Pitt has been named vice president, content acquisitions and co-productions for Cartoon Network and Boomerang, it was announced today. In her new role, Pitt will be responsible for identifying, negotiating and acquiring pre-produced series, specials, movies and short-form product that fit the Cartoon Network and Boomerang brands for exposure on all platforms. She'll continue to oversee those programs once they have been acquired and positioned at each of the networks.
The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) wrapped up MIPCOM 2007 -- the best-attended edition since the audiovisual market's founding -- with a rich array of sales of new animation, as well as titles from the board's extensive archives. Multi-award-winning MADAME TUTLI-PUTLI was snatched up by Canal + France, ARTE, and Swizerland's TSR. Canal + Spain and TSR also acquired the audience favorite SLEEPING BETTY, while YLE (Finland) bought three shorts from the NFB's TALESPINNERS children's collection: ASTHMA TECH, THE GIRL WHO HATED BOOKS and JAIME LO, SMALL AND SHY.
France's Marathon Media has concluded several new deals for its leading kids shows MONSTER BUSTER CLUB, FAMOUS FIVE ON THE CASE and TOTALLY SPIES, reports C21 MEDIA.
MONSTER BUSTER CLUB (52x56), which was pre-sold to Super RTL in Germany, has been picked up by RTVE (Spain), RTV (Slovenia), RTE (Ireland), LNK (Lithuania), Arabic network MBC, Radio Canada and Denmark's TV2. Additional negotiations are in progress in the U.S., Italy, Turkey, Singapore, South Africa and Brazil.
Hyderabad-based DQ Ent. has struck major co-production deals with a number of international companies at this year's MIPCOM.
DQ, Classic Media, and MoonScoop have forged a partnership to produce a new 52x11 3D series called CASPER'S SCARE SCHOOL, based on Seymour Reit and Joe Oriolo's classic character Casper the Friendly Ghost.