Rick Feldman has taken over as new president/ceo of the National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE), responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations and strategic planning of the organizations worldwide activities. Feldman is based in the associations global headquarters in Los Angeles and reports to the NATPE Board of Directors Executive Committee. He replaces Bruce Johansen, who served in the position for 10 years.
Special Event: NATPE
After a down-sized NATPE 2003 at the New Orleans Convention Center and local hotels, The National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE) and Venetian Hotel and Sands Expo Center have entered into an agreement to host the annual conference and exhibition permanently in Las Vegas, Nevada, beginning in 2004.
At NATPE, Monster Distributes has acquired the half-hour special HERMIE AND WORMIE from U.S.-based GlueWorks Entertainment. With voice-over talent from Tim Conway, Don Knotts and Melissa Disney, Max Lucados HERMIE AND WORMIE is the 3D-animated story of two caterpillars who long to escape their dull, boring lives and become something great. Post Central Charlottes Demetre Gionis directed the animation team and RAE Creative supervised all post-production for the show.
Education Comics will showcase a new cartoon series called THE ADVENTURES OF SCOOTER MCDOOGAL at this year's NATPE. Derived from the popular educational comic book series and targeting kids 6-12 years old, the educational series follows quirky hero McDoogal as he visits famous historical figures throughout the ages on his super rocket-powered scooter that defies the laws of physics. The series, which is executive produced by Diane Russomanno, premiered in 2002 at a holiday benefit in Los Angeles for the Danny Thomas St. Jude's Hospital Fund.
At this year's NATPE, Canada's Portfolio Entertainment will offer a sneak peek at its new animated series CARL SQUARED, currently in development for Canadas Family Channel. The half-hour series is a comedic look at cloning and other cutting-edge scientific techniques that are now a part of everyday life. Portfolio will also bring back its hit series ROBOROACH (52 x 30-minutes), which is currently distributed worldwide outside the U.S. by Fox Kids Europe. The series has recently been renewed for a third season of 26 episodes by Canadas Teletoon.
Entertainment company channelzero brings a "fowl" new animated series entitled THE FUPDUCK SHOW to NATPE 2003. Series creator and producer Dave Warren describes the offbeat show as "POPEYE meets THE SOPRANOS." The adult comedy is set in the seedy underworld of topless dancehalls. The company will also be screening the brand new animated music video "Girl, What's The Deal," from the series SOSOPHIE, which debuted at NATPE 2002.
Heading into NATPE 2003, Canada's Studio B has announced new shows and deals, and is aiming to attract some international co-production deals during the upcoming trade show. Currently the studio is in development on SIMON STIMPLE (26 x 22-minutes) for TELETOON.
Seoul, Korea-based computer animation studio DigiArt Production is bringing the first of 26 x half-hour episodes of SEEDIAN, a CG-animated action-adventure series targeting 6 to 11 year-olds. The story of SEEDIAN takes place on a faraway planet called Green Star, whose environment has been left in ruins by an insurgence of mutated toxic mushrooms. Joined by a mystical warrior named Seedian, four young botanical heroes team to find the twelve life-seeds which are needed to save the planet.
To more accurately reflect its core business, licensing company ShoPro USA has changed its name to ShoPro Entertainment. The company will officially unveil its new logo and introduce two new anime shows at NATPE 2003: MEGAMAN BATTLE NETWORK and MIRMO ZIBANG! Both properties began as manga and have evolved into popular TV series in Japan. MEGAMAN BATTLE NETWORK, based on the popular video game series from CAPCOM, is set in a time when everyday amenities are linked to a central computer system.
Granada International will arrive at NATPE with two popular preschool series. Cosgrove Hall Films' ENGIE BENJY (26 x 10-minutes), already a hit in the U.K., features the vibrant and colorful world of Engie the engine doctor and his team as they make things better for sick planes and tired buses.
Vancouver-based Atomic Cartoons will be showcasing their animation wares at NATPE 2003 including two new series with cartoonist Adrian Raeside titled DYSFUNCTION JUNCTION and DOC SHOCK. Humor and bizarre experiments run rampant in DOC SHOCK, a series about a college professor who may be a whacked-out extraterrestrial. DYSFUNCTION JUNCTION follows a group of ill-fated dot-commers in a family that is movin on down instead of up.
Latin American distribution specialist Salsa Entertainment returns to NATPE 2003 with the exclusive Latin American distribution rights to three new animation series: SOMETHING ELSE (26 x 11-minutes), OLLIVERS ADVENTURES (13 x 21-minutes) and METALHEADS (26 x 11-minutes). Based on the award-winning childrens illustrated book of the same title by Kathryn Cave and Chris Riddell, SOMETHING ELSE targets 5 to 8 year-old kids with the unpredictable adventures of long-nosed, orange and furry Something and small, blue and furry Something Else.
Vancouver-based computer animation studio Mainframe Entertainment, Inc. is bringing two new animated projects to this year's NATPE: ALIEN LEGION and MAXINE 5. ALIEN LEGION, based on the cult comic book series created by Carl Potts, follows the futuristic exploits of the Legion's Force Nomad and its multi-species ranks of alien legionnaires. Culled from the unwanted of three galaxies, legionnaires are the expendable shock troops and peacekeepers of the new intergalactic realm.
From KISS to clones, Corus Entertainments Nelvana Limited brings an eclectic slate of programming to NATPE this January. Gene Simmons, lead singer of the rock band KISS, has created MY DAD THE ROCK STAR, a 26 x 30-minute animated comedy targeted to 6-12 year-olds. The series centers on Willy Zilla, a 12 year-old kid who just wants to lead a quiet, normal existence.
International distributor Comarex will attend NATPE 2003 with a selection of animated series including FAIRY TALE POLICE DEPARTMENT (26 x 30-minutes), EM.TV's series about a special unit of the secret service that fights against crime in the fairy tale world; FLIPPER & LOPAKA, a 52 x 30-minute series that tells the story of Lopaka, Prince of Quetzo, and his dolphin friend Flipper; THE WORLD OF TOSH (26 x 30-minutes) revolves around nine year old Tosh, who has a talent for getting himself and others into trouble without
Los Angeles-based entertainment company channelzero will be attending MIPCOM with the pilot episode of their animated series SOSOPHIE. The short entitled "Dead Dog Double-Dare," is a co-production between channelzero, Atomic Cartoons, SMEC Media & Entertainment and Hacienda Post. SOSOPHIE is an action series that is described by its creators as THE SIMPSONS meets THE DUKES OF HAZARD. SOSOPHIE debuted at NATPE in January 2002.
Animated action seriesSOSOPHIE, currently in development at entertainment companychannelzero, has brought on Emmy-winning writer Peter Gaffney."Peter's body of work and list of credits speak for themselves," saidchannelzero founder and creative producer Dave Warren. "I think he'sthe finest writer in animation and I'm thrilled to be working withhim to bring SOSOPHIE to television." Described by its creators asTHE SIMPSONS meets THE DUKES OF HAZARD, SOSOPHIE debuted at NATPE in
The March 2002 Acrobat issue of Animation World Magazine is now online! In this issue, Greg Singer takes an in-depth look at Weta, Ltd., and uncovers the secrets of the company behind the Academy Award-winning visual effects for THE LORD OF THE RINGS. John Edgar Park explains how to build your own animation workstation, and the best way to learn Maya at home. John C. Donkin, Blue Sky's associate producer, reminisces about the studio's transformation from small boutique to major feature film competitor with the production of ICE AGE.
Each week, Animation World Magazine offers new articles, special features and theme-based coverage of the art, craft and industry of animation. New this week:
Don't work in a studio or live next to a school but want to learn Maya? John Edgar Park offers a solution and reviews the best Maya training videotapes around.
Corus Entertainments Nelvana scored a slew of sales at this years NATPE show, including an output deal with Venezuelas Venevision for four shows per year plus first look options. Other programming deals saw ABC-TV Australia license seven shows including FRANKLIN THE TURTLE, LITTLE BEAR and BLAZING DRAGONS and Panamanian broadcaster FETV has agreed to a package deal of over 100 half-hours of animation.
Silver Lining Productions Ltd. and Millimages have developed a script for a television holiday special based on ILL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS, the most recent edition in the TOOT & PUDDLE childrens book series written and illustrated by Holly Hobbie. The production team is also in development on a 26-part animated series based on the complete collection of TOOT & PUDDLE books. The companies are seeking broadcaster interest at the NATPE 2002 show.
INITIAL D is the tent pole of several newly acquired properties international distributor TOKYOPOP will showcase at NATPE 2002. An unassuming tofu delivery boy becomes addicted to street racing in this Japanese import, which has already spawned a theatrical animated film and sold over 30 million graphic novels in its native country. Call it the animated FAST AND THE FURIOUS. TOKYOPOP will also present REIGN, a sci-fi fantasy take on the ancient world of Alexander the Great featuring character and concept design from Peter Chung, creator of MTVs AEON FLUX.
Vancouver animation studio Atomic Cartoons is in Las Vegas for NATPE 2002 with a collection of proprietary properties. Their catalogue includes the original program ATOMIC BETTY and the Internet show DOG IN A BOX WITH 2 WHEELS, an offbeat animated comedy series about a randy little dog with wheels for hind legs. Dog has devoted his life to vigilante justice after a senile geriatric ruined his life in a freak oxygen tank/cigarette-smoking accident. The series is geared towards an older audience, teens and young adults, in an 11 x 26 format.
Fremantle International Distribution (FID) will be launching a second series of the animated adventures of BILLY THE CAT at NATPE 2002. Based on the books created by Stéphane Colman and Stephen Desberg, BILLY THE CAT is the story of a boy who is transformed into a cat as punishment for being cruel to animals. BILLY THE CAT has already been well-received by broadcasters worldwide, with sales of the first series to the U.S., the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, Scandinavia, Benelux, Australia, Latin America, South East Asia, the Middle East and Africa.