Vancouver-based Mainframe Entertainment, Inc., a leading creator of computer animation, has digitized the last pixel on it's first one-hour primetime special, SCARY GODMOTHER HALLOWEEN SPOOKTAKULAR, scheduled to air on Canada's YTV network this coming Halloween, October 31, 2003. Mainframe CEO, Rick Mischel, said this is the first time an animation company has made a television special using feature-film quality SOFTIMAGEXSI software. The show is based on the popular comics and children's books by the award-winning artist and writer, Jill Thompson, who also served as the art director.
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While most of Nelvana's computer animated programs have been done with the assistance of outside studios, the Toronto-based production house, which is part of Corus Entertainment, turned out an entire 3D CGI one-hour special, ç, completely in-house, now airing on Nickelodeon. It premiered in primetime March 31 with rebroadcasts on April 1 and 14 at noon. The studio is becoming increasingly more self-contained, under the direction CGI pioneer and production chief Scott Dwyer. Based upon the best-selling book series by acclaimed children's author, David Kirk, MISS SPIDER stars Brooke Shields as the voice of a full-grown spider who discovers she doesn't know everything there is to know about being a terrific mom. Having been adopted herself when she was young, Miss Spider's lessons multiply when she and her young ones try to reunite an abandoned chicken egg with its mother. Nelvana used primarily Maya and combustion to create the rich, colorful natural environments and soft characters. The Nelvana production in association with Callaway & Kirk was exec. produced by Michael Hirsh, Dyer, Kirk, Nicholas Callaway and Nadine va der Velde. Pam Lehn served as supervising producer and Susie Grondin was producer. Mike Fallows directed the script by van der Velde while Mike Shiell was animation director. While animation remained at Nelvana, voice recording was done in Canada and the U.S. Tony Jay as the voice of the evil Spiderus was recorded at Voice Trax West in Los Angeles. Shields and Rick Moranis (the voice of her husband Holley) were recorded at Magno Sound in New York City. The majority of the voices were recorded at Studio 306 in Toronto under the direction of Jessie Thomson. Nelvana also produced in-house the ROLIE POLIE OLIE: GREAT DEFENDER OF FUN special last year that aired on Disney in the U.S. and CBC in Canada. MISS SPIDER'S SUNNY PATCH KIDS will air later this year on TELETOON in Canada. The special is sponsored by U.S. retailer Target, which just launched a lifestyle brand for children called Sunny Patch, in stores across America featuring images of Miss Spider and friends on clothing, garden tools and home décor.
On February 4, 2003 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, Imagina is organizing a presentation of the effects from HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS, with two of the key special effects facilities that worked on the film.
THE WALKING WITH DINOSAURS specials are back on the BBC, with the premiere of THE GIANT CLAW and LAND OF GIANTS over the holiday season. For the first time in the WALKING WITH series, the special effects on display include the integration of a human being into the prehistoric landscape. Zoologist Nigel Marvin, who hosts both shows, travels back in time to ancient Earth in search of a variety of dinosaurs.
Animated Christmas specials haven't always been synonymous with the season, it just feels that way. Martin Dr. Toon Goodman discusses their history and the uneasy balance they strike when trying to depict the "true" meaning of the season.
U.S. broadcaster NBC has acquired A FREEZERBURNT CHRISTMAS, a new stop-motion animated special, and plans to air it in prime time this holiday season. SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE cast members Chris Parnell, Darrell Hammond and Horatio Sanz lend their voices to this half-hour special from Wreckless Abandon Studios and distributor Broadway Video Enterprises. When a shy, down on his luck character named Freezerburn stumbles upon an evil toy magnate planning to take down Santa Claus, he summons his gang of quirky pals to warn Santa and save Christmas.
Two blockbuster special editions are available on DVD November 26, 2002 and both feature some innovative CG animation.
The UK's Animex animation festival has announced that it will host veteran voice actor Nancy Cartwright and WETA's special effects expert Jason Schieffler as the special guests for its 2003 event. Animex 2003 will be held January 28 31, 2003 in Middlesbrough, UK. Organized by the University of Teesside, in collaboration with Middlesbrough Council, Animex is now in its fourth year.
The 9th Holland Animation Film Festival takes place in Utrecht, The Netherlands, November 13-17, 2002. This year, the festival will screen more than 300 films chosen from over 800 entries. Among the special programs offered at this year's festival are retrospectives on Monique Renault, Chuck Jones, George Pal and Ub Iwerks.
Some festival favorites took home awards at this year's I Castelli Animati Festival, in Genzano di Roma, Italy. Concluding on October 27, 2002, the festival honored Christopher Hinton's FLUX with the International Grand Prize, while Robert Bradbrook's HOME ROAD MOVIES picked up the award for Best European Film. Special Jury Prizes were awarded to STROJENIE INSTRUMENTOW (TUNING INSTRUMENTS) by Jerzy Kucia and THE INVASION by Phil Mulloy.
Pixar Animation is opening its doors for a worthy cause. The studio, which is normally not open to the public, is hosting a gala preview of the English-dubbed version of Hayao Miyazaki's SPIRITED AWAY, featuring special guests Miyazaki, Pixar director John Lasseter and actor John Ratzenberger, to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. On Sunday, September 15, 2002, guests can enjoy an exclusive opportunity to spend an afternoon at Pixar Animation Studios, view a special preview of the film and meet the special guests during a cocktail reception and silent auction.
On Thursday, August 22, 2002, Saks Fifth Avenue and The New York Museum of Radio and Television are sponsoring a preview screening of the new Cartoon Network CG special, THE GROOVENIANS. Starring Dennis Hopper and Paul Reubens and featuring music by Mark Mothersbaugh of DEVO fame and members of the B-52s, the show is based on the designs of Pop-Surrealist Kenny Scharf. A special cocktail party and exclusive GROOVENIANS T-shirt signing with Scharf will be held at the Saks Manhattan store (611 5th Avenue) on Thursday, August 22nd from 6:00 8:00 pm.
The coveted short film grand prize at the 26th International Festival of Animated Film at Annecy went to Adriaan Lokman's CG short BARCODE, while Barry Purves' animated comedy drama HAMILTON MATTRESS was honored with the grand prize for Best TV Animation Program. 245 films were screened in the "Annecy 2002" official selection, coming from 33 countries, with more than 200 films premiering at the festival. The awards were presented at the closing ceremony held on Saturday, June 8, 2002. Congratulations to all the winners!
From a boy whose love is real, even if he is not, to a singing, bell-ringing hunchback, March video releases have something for everyone.
March 5, 2002
A.I. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE Special Edition.
As part of Oxygen's "Addicted To Love" week, the cable network will premiere BEHIND THE KISS, a one-hour special created by animator Corky Quakenbush. Created in stop-motion animation, this special features a spoof of talk show host Charlie Rose interviewing actors Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Meg Ryan, Barbra Streisand, Richard Gere, Ellen DeGeneres and Julie Andrews at the premieres of Hollywood movie parodies, including XENA, WARRIOR PRINCESS DIARIES, ROMEO AND J. LOET, AN OFFICER AND A YENTLMAN, HANNIBAL: YOU'VE GOT MEAL and BITANIC.
Here are a few of the notable special effects and animated films being released this month:
JEEPERS CREEPERS - January 8
JEEPERS CREEPERS was a surprise summer hit in 2001. The story of two teenaged siblings running from a flesh-eating monster gets the double-disc treatment from UA/MGM home video. Available on January 8, 2002, the 2-sided DVD features screen-specific audio commentary with director Victor Salva, a 59-minute documentary THE MAKING OF JEEPERS CREEPERS and deleted scenes. Suggested retail price: 2-sided DVD $26.95.
fxPak, a collection of seven third-party special effects plug-ins and programs, is now available for Caligari trueSpace5. Using the new plug-ins like PyroCluster and PrimalParticlesFX, users can create photo-realistic smoke, fire, haze, cloud effects and fly-through animations, as well as particle effects, complex shader effects and other advanced special effects. Regularly priced at US$199, fxPak is available for a limited-time introductory offer of US$99 to trueSpace5 users.
SANTA, BABY!, a new animated holiday special, will premiere Monday, December 17 at 8:00 pm on FOX. The one hour special is produced by Rankin/Bass and sponsored by Coca-Cola. Featuring the voices of Gregory Hines, Eartha Kitt, Patti LaBelle and Vanessa Williams, SANTA BABY! tells the story of Noel, a once successful songwriter who becomes a sidewalk Santa in the hope of breaking his writer's block. With the help of his wife, daughter, a Christmas partridge named Melody Songbird and a cat named Emerald, Noel discovers his hit song and the true meaning of Christmas.
Test your skills and challenge your brain with AWN's Animation Trivia Quiz. This week, we're asking more questions about...
Here is a viewers guide to the notable animation and special effects releases on DVD and VHS for the month of November, 2001:
The World Animation Celebration (WAC) took place August 7-12, 2001 in Hollywood, California with six days of film screenings, business conferences and career sessions, plus the marketplace. The awards ceremony was the first induction into the Animation Hall of Fame, honoring men and women whose contributions to the arts, business, education and entertainment of animation has been of the greatest value. The 2001 Hall Of Fame winners were animation legends Walt Disney, Chuck Jones and Windsor McCay.
Los Angeles-based Whamo Entertainment and Australia-based Burbank Animation Studios have announced the completion of their Halloween special, THE CANTERVILLE GHOST. The special is the tale of an American family that inherits an English castle, inhabited by the ghost of Simon de Canterville who tries to get rid of the family. The film is the sixth and last animated special from the Animated Classic Gold Collection 1. The other titles from the collection include EASTER IN BUNNYLAND, JOSEPH AND THE COAT OF MANY COLORS, ANNA & THE KING, SILENT NIGHT and D4: THE TROJAN DOG.