DreamWorks coo Helene Hahn is resigning her post after 10 years with the company, reports VARIETY. She long been considered one of the top female execs and has been a partner with DreamWorks principal Jeffrey Katzenberg for more than 30 years. She will remain coo until a replacement can be found and will act as a consultant for a year following her departure.
Tagged With: Disney
Libby Reed investigates the return of Mickey, Donald and Goofy as a team in the new direct-to-video feature, The Three Musketeers.
Disney Pictures has released the date for Andrew Adamson's THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE, reports the NEW ZEALAND HERALD. Fans will be able to catch the film Dec. 9, 2005. In addition, Sony Picture Imageworks has been hired to do 400 effects shoots for the film, whose main f/x house is Rhythm & Hues. New Zealand's Weta Workshop will create the makeup prosthetics for all of the creatures.
In Part 1 of this two-part series, Ellen Besen examines the motivations and effects of animation's obsession with realism.
Concluding our extensive interview with Tad Stones, Joe Strike talks with the animation vet more about Darkwing Duck and direct-to-video projects.
The Walt Disney Company has unveiled the Disney Dream Desk PC, a new personal computer geared to tap into the growing children market.
"We've traveled a long way since that first Mickey writing tablet hit the market in 1929" said Bob Iger, Disney president/coo. "At the core of Disney is our mission to entertain and enlighten audiences through products that spark the imagination. With the launch of the Disney Dream Desk, a computer designed with kids in mind, we've developed a tool box for children to unleash their imaginations and expand their minds."
The family of THE LION SLEEPS TONIGHT composer Solomon "Mbube" Linda has filed a suit against The Walt Disney Co. for the use of the song in the film, THE LION KING, reports VARIETY. The copyright infringement suit, filed in South Africa's Pretoria High Court, is for $1.6 million. Disney has until Aug. 12, 2004 to respond to the claims or be ruled against by default.
Marvel Enterprises has sued the Walt Disney Co. and ABC Family (formerly Fox Family) for at least $16 million, which it claims it is owed on the cartoons it licensed to Fox Family, which Disney acquired in 2001, reports VARIETY. As part of the suit filed July 15, 2004 in L.A. Superior Court, Marvel argues that Disney improperly accounted for profits on animated series THE INCREDIBLE HULK, X-MEN AND SPIDER-MAN and failed to promote the shows. In the complaint, Disney claims the toons lose money, but will not provide proper accounting.
Walt Disney has promoted Bob Lambert to svp for worldwide media technology and development, reports VARIETY. In his new expanded role, he will oversee several new digital media projects, Disney's relationships with technology companies, regulatory matters and piracy protection. He will continue overseeing the New Technology and New Media group and providing corporate guidance for the Walt Disney Imagineering Research and Development unit.
Sam McKim, the legendary Disney Imagineer who drew the first souvenir maps of Disneyland in 1954, died of heart failure on July 9, 2004 at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank. He was 79 years old. In addition to his Disney career, McKim started out as a child actor who appeared in films with John Wayne, Spencer Tracy, James Cagney, Rita Hayworth and Gene Autry.
Philip Anschutz's Walden Media has left Disney for Fox, reports VARIETY. The AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS producer will team with Fox on five features, including Kate DiCamillo's BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE (due for release January 2005); Katherine Paterson's BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA; Lois Lowry's THE GIVER; Wendy Orr's NIM'S ISLAND; and Adam Mortimer's as-yet-unpublished comicbook proposal BIBLIONAUTS. Unlike the past Disney deal, the Fox agreement is neither exclusive nor constrained by time limits.
Hong Kong Disneyland is expected to create 18,000 jobs, including 5,000 before opening of the theme park, it was reported in THE STANDARD in China. The park is expected to open by late 2005 and give a tourism and employment boom to the former British colony.
Toon Disney celebrates the addition of the legendary 1995 animated series SPIDER-MAN into its popular JETIX action-adventure programming block with a JETIX Web-Slingin Marathon July 2 through July 4, 2004 from 7-11:00 pm. Timed around the highly anticipated- theatrical release of SPIDER-MAN 2, the broadcast includes fan favorite episodes of SPIDER-MAN such as "The Sting of the Scorpion," "Enter The Green Goblin" and "Kraven the Hunter."
The U.S. Postal Service has issued a set of four stamps featuring Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck and a host of Disney friends, the first of three Disney-themed stamp panes that will be issued over as many years.
"With the dedication of the Disney stamps, we get the chance to capture the spirit of friendship as it appears in the art, the imagination and the creative tradition of Walt Disney," said postmaster general John Potter, who officiated at the first-day-of-issue stamp dedication ceremony in front of the Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland Park on June 23, 2004.
Toon Disney expands its action/adventure evening block, JETIX, to four hours on Saturdays and Sundays, 7:00-11:00 pm, starting June 26, 2004, coinciding with the Toon Disney premiere of the 1990s animated series SPIDER-MAN.
Akira Matsumoto will take over as vp/gm for Buena Vista Games, Asia Pacific, the global interactive entertainment arm of Disney Consumer Products on July 1, 2004. He replaces Shuji Utsumi, who will be leaving the company to pursue personal interests.
The underrated TEACHER'S PET feature, which wildly riffs on PINOCCHIO and other Disney icons, bows on DVD (Disney Home Ent. $29.99) June 15, 2004. Creator Gary Baseman, director Timothy Björklund and writers Bill & Cheri Steinkellner up the ante with Spot/Scott (Nathan Lane) approaching mad scientist Dr. Krank (Kelsey Grammer) in Florida to help him become a permanent human. One can only hope that the series itself will soon find its way to DVD.
The DVD includes:
* Series premiere episode
LORENZO director Mike Gabriel was stunned at winning The Grand Prix at Annecy. How could we have won? he told AWN. There were 50 world class shorts we were competing against, shorts that were all imaginative, and it was completely intimidating. We felt like we were welcomed into the club.
Joe Strike talks to Tad Stones about his thirtysome years in animation, from Eric Larsons training program at Disney, his work on EPCOT, the influence of Jeffrey Katzenberg, Disney TV Animation and now his new project, Brer Rabbit, at Universal Cartoon Studios.
Sharon Morrill has been promoted to president DisneyToon Studios, and will continue to report to Walt Disney Feature Animation president David Stainton.
In her capacity, Morrill will still oversee all aspects of development and production for the divisions burgeoning line of Disney Video Premiere films and DisneyToon theatrical releases. Additionally, she will continue to be responsible for the divisions day-to-day activities, including synergy, finance, human resources, technology, publicity and legal affairs.
Walt Disney Internet Group announced the launch of its critically acclaimed Disney's Toontown Online (www.disney.co.uk/toontown) in the U.K. The award-winning downloadable massively multiplayer 3D online game first launched in the U.S. in June 2003 and hit the Japanese market earlier this year.
Jack Bradbury, animator/comic book artist best known for his work with Walt Disney's characters in both media, died of kidney failure at a nursing home in Sylmar, California, May 15, 2004, at the age of 89, it was reported in the LOS ANGELES TIMES.
A native of Seattle, he started at Disney in the mid-1930s and worked his way up to a full animator position, working on such famous shorts as Ferdinand the Bull and on memorable features, including FANTASIA, BAMBI and PINOCCHIO.
Buena Vista International Television kicked off the start of the L.A. screenings for some 1,000 TV buyers from around the world in high-spirited style, unveiling six new and seven returning primetime series, with most of the cast and key creatives from each show on stage of the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood May 23, 2004, followed by a party across the street at The Annex, which featured a live performance by rocker Cyndi Lauper.