Creative companies Sunbow Entertainment and Rumpus have signed a co-production deal for KAPPA MIKEY, a fish-out-of-water story with an unusual twist. Targeted at 8 13 year old kids, the series mixes comedy and action in a satire of anime-style animation and American cluelessness about foreign culture. The show revolves around Mikey, an American superhero, who comes to Japan to fight evil with a team of Japanese anime stars. Mikey is not the most sensitive American ever to work overseas.
THE HAND BEHIND THE MOUSE: THE UB IWERKS STORY, a documentary on the life of the animation legend, is scheduled for cable TV broadcast and for sale on home video. Bravo will air a 46-minute version of the film on September 14. Independent Film Channel (IFC) will air the full 90-minute version four times: November 15 at 12:15 pm and 6:15 pm and November 27 at 11:45 am and 6:15 pm. Buena Vista Home Video will release will film on VHS on September 11. The video will contain 2 bonus Mickey Mouse cartoons, PLANE CRAZY and STEAMBOAT WILLIE.
The WB Network has decided not to air the second season of its animated primetime series BABY BLUES. The series was a summer replacement last year and was scheduled for a 13-episode second run. In addition, six-episodes of the series were left over from the first season, leaving 19 un-aired episodes that cost US$15 million to produce. Executives decided to dump the toon due to its already packed fall schedule, which includes 5 new live-action comedies and no animation. The network will write off the series through an accounting rule in relation to its parent Time Warner's merger with AOL.
Via viewer votes, KIDS NEXT DOOR, created by Tom Warburton, won Cartoon Network's The Big Pick, making it the network's next series for the fall 2002 season. The show pits five eager 10-year-olds on missions throughout their neighborhood. Warburton currently serves as a director on Cartoon Network's SHEEP IN THE BIG CITY. Ten pilots aired in the Big Pick competition. A total of 221,218 votes were cast during The Big Pick, including more than 50,000 online votes at CartoonNetwork.com. The second place toon was A KITTY BOBO SHOW, while third place went to MY FREAKY FAMILY.
The KING OF THE HILL special, which aired on Wednesday at 8 pm, scored higher ratings than in its regular timeslot on Sundays at 7:30 pm. THE SIMPSONS remained the top primetime toon, finishing in 37th place with a 5.2 rating/9 share. FAMILY GUY moved ahead of KING OF THE HILL to place 64th, garnering a 4 rating/7 share. The Wednesday installment of KING carved a 3.6 rating/7 share in the 73rd slot. However, KING on Sunday scored a 3.4 rating/6 share at #75. In 82nd place, FUTURAMA fashioned a 3 rating/6 share. The U.S.
Animation and production house Loop Filmworks has created a series of short films for Noggin, directed by David Chartier. "Noggin came to us with the idea of creating a series of short films told from the perspective of a precocious kid who uses his parents video camera to capture things he's curious about - such as which type of ice cream melts the fastest, and, how many ants could you fit at one time on a lollipop.
Mr. X, Inc. has completed the photo-realistic visual effects, compositing and online conform for Default's first music video, "Wasting My Time." The video was directed by Noble Jones. Wasting My Time is the third collaboration for Mr. X and Director Jones, who recently completed music videos for Doyle Bramhall II and Smokestack's "Green Light Girl" and Sugar Jones' "How Much Longer." The music video starts with a young woman looking at her watch.
Cartoon Network U.K.'s Scooby Week was a huge hit scoring a 1.8 overall kids rating, giving it the highest share of kids viewing at 10.3% over the week. The Mystery Machine gang scared 3.1 million people from August 6 to August 10. The special put Cartoon Network's share of kids viewing way ahead of all kids' channels including Nickelodeon, Fox Kids, Disney and Trouble as well as Sky One.
Santa Monica, California-based R!OT has wrapped on the visual effects and post-production for "Rexall," the first video from Jane's Addiction and Red Hot Chili Peppers' guitarist Dave Navarro's debut solo album "Trust No One." R!OT artists, headed by visual effects supervisor Deak Ferrand, created a 180-degree pan of a fire engulfed city. "We mapped the matte painting onto a sphere so that we could reframe it and match the angles of the live shots," Ferrand explained. "That gave us the freedom to move the camera through it in any way that we wished.
Cartoon Network U.K. has acquired 26 episodes of X-MEN: EVOLUTION from Warner Bros. The Film Roman-produced series follows the exploits of the X-Men as teenagers. The series will hit U.K. airwaves in September. Finn Arnesen, VP of programming, development and acquisitions for Cartoon Network Europe, said, "This series will appeal to X-MEN fans as well as drawing in new viewers with the strong story lines and an updated take on the X-MEN franchise. X-MEN popularity is building; X-MEN The Movie came out last year, there's a second movie coming in 2002.
Moving up to 33rd, THE SIMPSONS secured a 5.5 rating/10 share. KING OF THE HILL was crowned in 60th place, garnering a 4 rating/8 share. Holding steady at 66th, FAMILY GUY grabbed a 3.7 rating/6 share. The traditionally high-ranking SIMPSONS Wednesday special only scored 76th place with a 3.4 rating/7 share. Jumping up a slot to finish 77th, FUTURAMA forged a 3.2 rating/6 share. The U.S. universe estimate used for calculating ratings for the broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, UPN, PAX and WB) is equal to 100% of all TV households.
Neptuno Films is launching a new animated show, 2020. Aimed at 8 to 12 year olds, the show is centered on a middle-class family, The Campbells, who live in a futuristic city where synthetic food and clones are in fashion. Josep Viciana will direct with a team of comic book designers. Production will start in 2002. Viciana said, "We are very excited with the challenge ahead. We have been able to set up for this project one of the most talented teams in Spain ever.
São Paulo, Brazil-based AD Studio has created the visual effects for latest music video from Brazilian band AD, entitled "Get Down." The video features an animated alien playing the role of lead singer, three robots hammering away on their musical instruments and over 13,200 dancing aliens. All the modeling, animation and rendering were done with Electric Image's Universe 3D animation system, utilizing some 3D party shaders and plug-ins and compositing separate rendering passes with Adobe After Effects.
U.K.-based kids animation producer Telemagination has cast the British comedy duo French and Saunders for the voices of the two main characters in their newest in-house animation series PONGWIFFY. The series was commissioned by U.K. broadcaster CITV. Targeted at 6 to 9 year olds, the series follows a group of dysfunctional witches. Dawn French (FRENCH AND SAUNDERS, THE VICAR OF DIBLEY) will voice Pongwiffy, a witch of dirty habits, while Jennifer Saunders (FRENCH AND SAUNDERS, ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS) will voice Sharkadder, Pongwiffy's obsessively vain best friend.
With THE SIMPSONS still remaining the top dog, KING OF THE HILL jumps over FAMILY GUY to become the second rated primetime toon. Moving up from 44th to place 35th, THE SIMPSONS scored 5.5 rating/10 share. KING OF THE HILL finished in the 64th slot, garnering a 3.9 rating/7 share. Sliding into the 66th slot, FAMILY GUY grabbed a 3.8 rating/7 share. Meanwhile, FUTURAMA forged 3.3 rating/7 share in 78th place. The U.S. universe estimate used for calculating ratings for the broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, UPN, PAX and WB) is equal to 100% of all TV households.
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.
Phoenix-based animation house Rainbow Studios has digitally cloned and animated 3D dinosaurs for MPH Entertainment's upcoming A&E Network documentary special THE LOST DINOSAURS OF EGYPT. "We did a lot of things different on this project," said director Jim Milio of MPH Entertainment.
Rezn8, an award-winning design and communication company, has produced a graphic-intensive show open and complete graphics package for FLIPPED, a new reality-based television series on MTV. The package included the logo design, animated open, graphic bumpers and backgrounds for the show. The show opens with 30-seconds of show footage propelled at the viewer through a tunnel effect which concludes with the series logo emerging from the back of the tunnel flipping the positions of the two P's.
Broadcast design and visual effects firm Creative Bubble has created the title sequences and promos for Showtime's SNOW IN AUGUST and GOING TO CALIFORNIA. For the TV movie SNOW IN AUGUST, the promo features a young boy walking through a snowy landscape and through an iron gate. "The film deals with a young boy in the '40s who is in love with comics and comic book imagery," explained Showtime art director Damian Mager. "We decided to make his world much like that of a comic book." Creative Bubble designer Doug Dimon said, "The producers had selected the clip for the titles.
DECODE has sold 26 episodes of its newest series, THE BLOBHEADS, to Nickelodeon and Frances Canal J. The series is scheduled to premiere in 2002. For Nickelodeon, this deal marks the first program pre-sale across multiple territories in the U.K., Europe and Australia. Co-produced by DECODE and C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures, the series is aimed at 8-12 year olds and mixes live-action human characters with CGI aliens.
Black Logic has created the special effects and graphics for the 30-second ZOOG MOVIE opening. The project was completed for ad agency PMcD Design and client The Disney Channel. The spot opens with several bouncing kids descending from a dark-blue sky. The perspective then widens to reveal a neon green trampoline that spells out "Zoog." As the children continue to flip, a filmstrip takes the viewer on a roller coaster ride through the air. "ZOOG is a main title animation disguised as a ride film," said John Mabey, head of CGI at Black Logic.
In its regular Sunday time slot, THE SIMPSONS placed 44th with a 4.8 rating/9 share. The special Wednesday 8 pm airing of THE SIMSONS finished in the 57th slot with a 4.3 rating/8 share. At #72, Fox's FAMILY GUY fashioned a 3.8 rating/6 share. KING OF THE HILL hiked in at #87 with a 3 rating/6 share. Closing out the primetime toon chart, FUTURAMA finished in 93rd place, taking home a 2.7 rating/6 share. The U.S. universe estimate used for calculating ratings for the broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, UPN, PAX and WB) is equal to 100% of all TV households.
Showtime Networks has greenlit a new series from MGM, entitled, JEREMIAH, based on Platinum Studios' award-winning graphic novel series by Belgian author Hermann Huppen. The show will star Luke Perry (BEVERLY HILLS, 90210) and Malcolm-Jamal Warner (MALCOLM & EDDIE). The 20-episode series, set to debut in early 2002, is being produced by Jeremiah Productions Inc. in association with Lion's Gate Television and Platinum Studios and will be distributed by MGM Worldwide Television Distribution. J. Michael Straczynski (BABYLON 5) will serve as showrunner and executive producer for the series.
At The Post, a digital effects studio formed by artist Wayne Shepherd, has created the music video for Aerosmith's song "Fly Away From Here." The Aerosmith project came to the company via noted visual effects supervisor Chris Watts. The video features 195 effects and CG shots, which were created in Henry. "This project was easily the most complex of my career and one of the most rewarding," said Shepherd. "With the computer animation and effects teams under one roof, we were able to deliver this effects-intensive music video in an incredibly short time frame.
Nickelodeon has renewed five first season shows including AS TOLD BY GINGER (20 EPISODES), THE FAIRLY ODDPARENTS (14), INVADER ZIM (20) and PELSWICK (13). In addition, Nelvana-produced MAGGIE AND THE FEROCIOUS BEAST has also been renewed for 13 episodes. AS TOLD BY GINGER, produced by Klasky Csupo, follows 12-year-old Ginger Foutley as she crosses the shaky bridge between childhood and adolescence. THE FAIRLY ODDPARENTS follows 10-year-old Timmy Turner and his fairly odd fairy godparents.