Beginning in February, Kids WB! Saturday morning line-up will start airing the hit Japanese animated series, "Pokémon," a cartoon which gained infamy in late '97 when hundreds of young Japanese viewers simultaneously suffered seizures while watching an episode that featured a high-contrast flash sequence [AF 12/23/97]. While the series currently completes its first season in first-run syndication, Kids WB! will premiere twelve all new episodes of "Pokémon," which will join the series syndication package of 52 episodes for the completion of the '98-'99 season.
Superfresh Productions (Booth 3331) brings with them "SpaceBuddies!," best described as "The X-Files" from the alien's point of view. The half-hour clay animated sitcom recalls the old serials of the 1950s, only this time the hero, Nanook, is a little chartreuse man from outer space. "SpaceBuddies!" aims to explain Earth's mysteries...from the alien autopsy video to the success of Celine Dion.
Toronto, Canada-based Cambium Releasing has three new products - "Kit and Kaboodle" for the US and Latin American markets, "Littlest Angel's Easter," and "Infosaurus News Flash." "Kit and Kaboodle" (26 x 12 minutes) is from 1985 Academy Award-winning director Jon Minnis (Best Animated Short Film - Charade) and is a co-production between Cambium Film & Video Production and Cinegroup in Montreal. This pre-school series not only entertains, but also teaches children about themselves and how to interact with one another, says Cambium Senior VP Rita Carbone Fleury.
GLC Productions, a New York-based production/post-production company, debuts their maiden series venture at this year's show, The Buddy System, an animated Seinfeld meets The Odd Couple. The show, created by Big Nate syndicated cartoonist Lincoln Peirce, centers on the escapades of Buddy and Howie, a pair of sports-crazy twenty-something bachelors. Projected as a weekly half-hour 3D animated series, GLC has produced a 7-minute segment from the premiere viewable at NATPE.
Cubic Enterprises introduces two new children's programs - KoKo, The Pink Rabbit and Koni and the Starjammers. KoKo, two 45-minute clay animated specials follows KoKo and friends as they discover the value of friendship and the simple treasure of life. Koni is a 2D cel sci-fi action/adventure animated series starring Koni, Yena, Icon and Kobot as they bravely battle to retrieve the Hadron Batteries and ultimately, save the Earth in thirteen half-hour episodes.
Barcelona, Spain-based animation company D'Ocon Films Productions announces the launch of a co-production with Sony Wonder on Myths&Legends, a 13-episode series (with an option of a second set of 13), about two kids who discover a magic cavern which allows them to travel back through history. Their adventures take them to ancient Greece, the shores of Loch Ness and amongst the Knights of the Round Table; in each case making sure that good triumphs over evil.
This year's Super Bowl footballweekend (January 30-31) is turning out to be a big weekend for animationfans as well. CLICK HERE for a guide to what sort of TV animation you can expectbefore, during and after the big game on Super Sunday!
Over four decades, Zagreb Film produced about 600 animated films that won hundreds of international awards and became world renowned for a unique animation style that became known as "the Zagreb School." For the first time, the studio's library will be offered for international distribution at NATPE through Rembrandt Films. Rembrandt has divided the films into thirteen episodes of 26 minutes each.
Four animated series are making their U.S. debuts at NATPE this year through Paris-based Canal+ Distribution/Canal+ Image International: Fennec (52 x 13 minutes), Blazing Dragons (26 x 13 minutes) created by Monty Pythons Terry Jones, The Pirate Family (26 x 26 minutes) and Tristan & Isolde (26 x 26 minutes). Canal+ is also offering the feature-length version of the animated feature, Trouble with Sophie, based on the famous childrens book by the Countess Segur.
Premiered at MIPCOM, Korean company Samsung Entertainment Group will again offer their newest animated series for adults called Alexander. Peter Chung, creator of Aeon Flux, is designing the characters for the fantasy-adventure show, which is set in 4th Century B.C. Macedonia, and is based on the novel Alexanders War Chronicles by Hiroshi Aramata. The executive producer is Haruki Kadokawa, with Masao Maruyama producing, Rintaro directing and Yoshinori Kanmori supervisor directing. Animation is being produced by Mad House in Japan.
Budapest, Hungary-based Varga Studios has been commissioned to co-produce a series of animated projects: Liza (13 x 6 minutes), Wolves, Witches and Giants (13 x 7.5 minutes), Animated Tales of the World, Percy, the Parkkeeper (13 x 7.5 minutes) and Kipper. In addition, Vargas sister company, VARGA tvc Ltd., premiered their first project, Oi! Get Off Our Train, a half-hour animated special produced by the company in association with BBC Bristol, Miramax Films and ZDF, which made its television debut in the U.K.
Toronto, Canada-based animation studio NELVANA Enterprises (Booth 1910) has reached a deal with cable and satellite channel TELETOON France giving the broadcaster 200 half-hours of animation programming per year from NELVANA.
MTV brings five different animated shows to NATPE including their newest entry, MTV Downtown, a look at the lives of a group of diverse, multi-ethnic characters who live, work and play in the East Village of New York City. The cast centers on a pair of siblings who are polar opposites: older brother Alex is introverted and thoughtful, while teenage Chaka is wild and impulsive. Thirteen half-hour episodes of the show are being offered.
DIC is introducing three new half-hour series at NATPE: Sabrina: The Animated Series, Sonic Underground and Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century. Sabrina is based off the ABC TV series which was originally based on the Archie comic books. 65 episodes, scheduled to air in the U.S. on UPNs Disney Afternoon and distributed by Buena Vista Television internationally, will feature the voice of Emily Hart as 12-year old Sabrina and Melissa Joan Hart as the voice of Sabrinas two aunts.
Kaleidoscope Media Group has entered a deal with Brilliant Digital Entertainment to distribute Gravity Angels, (viewable at http://www.multipathmovies.com) the Internets first full-length 3D computer animated movie. The two-hour sci-fi thriller, which will be offered at NATPE for domestic and international broadcast and home video rights, uses Brilliants proprietary production technology. Brilliants president Kevin Bermeister explains, Our tools allow us to create scalable animation in one production process.
Cartoon Network has announced the launch of three new animated series for the 1999 season - Courage, The Cowardly Dog, Mike, Lu & Og, and I Am Weasel. Courage is based on the 1995 Academy Award-nominated Cartoon Network short Chicken from Outer Space, created, written and directed by John R. Dilworth. Thirteen episodes, launching in November 1999, will chronicle the adventures of a timid dog as he defends his elderly owners in the small town of Nowhere from paranormal elements.
The new animated comedy from Eddie Murphy and Will Vinton Studios, The PJs, has been generating great ratings and some harsh words from the African-American community. A special Sunday night preview of the show on January 10 garnered an incredible 12.6/18 rating, the second-highest preview or premiere numbers in Fox history, topped only by the 12.7 from the January 1990 premiere of The Simpsons. Likewise, the show delivered strong numbers when it moved to its regular Tuesday, 8:30 p.m.
Fox will debut the new mid-season animated sitcom, "The P.J.s," on Sunday, January 10 at 8:30 p.m. following a divisional conference football playoff game. The show will start the following Tuesday in its regular 8:30 p.m. slot following "King of the Hill." The "foamation" series was produced at Will Vinton Studios and is executive produced by comedian/actor Eddie Murphy.
By special arrangement with Nielsen Media Research, AWN publishes the Nielsen ratings for animated programs on a monthly basis in the Animation Flash. The ratings included herein are only for U.S. national network television. The following list of animated national network programs is ranked by Household Ratings. A Rating is the percentage of households that tuned into the program. This percentage can provide us with the number of households that tuned into the program on average during the month. The universe estimate for the 1997-98 television season is 98 million TV homes.
Actor/comedian Eddie Murphy and Oregon-based Will Vinton Studios have teamed up to create "The PJs," the first stop-motion animation series to air in prime-time. Set in a big city housing project, the "foamation" series centers around a unique cast of characters led by building superintendent Thurgood Stubbs (voiced by Eddie Murphy). The premiere episode, "Hangin' With Mr. Super," airs Sunday, January 10, at 8:30 p.m. (ET/PT) on FOX network following "The Simpsons." The show moves to its regular day and time on Tuesday, January 12 at 8:30 p.m. (ET/PT) following "King of the Hill."
Director JC Wegman has completed work on two 1-minute, 30-second animated segments for the NBC pilot "Payback." The animation was produced at Acme Filmworks in Hollywood, California. "Payback" is the American version of the Italian show "You Get What You Deserve," which targets heartless individuals in unfriendly professions and subjects them to vicious pranks. Wegman created animation for two practical jokes, "Towing Yard" and "Parking Enforcement," orchestrated by radio personality Tim Conway Jr. The special will air on NBC, January 2 from 8-9 p.m. (EST and PST).
Comedy Central is helping animation fans ring in the New Year with a four-episode "South Park" marathon running from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m., followed by a countdown to midnight from "South Park." The four "kick ass" episodes are fan favorites chosen by viewers through Comedy Central's web site. Alternately, animation fans in the U.K. can celebrate with BBC2's line-up of animated New Year's programming. Two episodes of Aardman Animations' "Rex the Runt" will air New Year's Eve (December 31) at 2:20 and 2:30 p.m. followed by the "The Old Lady and the Pigeons" at 3:20 p.m.
Imagine having your geeky yearbook photo digitally altered, animated, and then broadcast all over the world. "Mrs. Munger's Class," a segment that airs on ABC's top-rated children's programming block, "Disney's One Saturday Morning," is based on this very concept. Every week, a new short segment brings a page from a school yearbook to life, using computers to superimpose moving lips and caricature the facial features of the fictional Mrs. Munger and her students resulting in humorous and nonsensical conversations.
ANIMALS ON 64 ZOO LANE. Germany-based ZDF Enterprises, a subsidiary of ZDF German Television Network, and French animation producer, Millimage, are set to co-produce 64 Zoo Lane, a 13x10 minute series for children ages four to ten. The show, which will be ready in August 1999, uses illustrator An Vrombaults painterly animation style to create a colorful world of animal characters. A different animal stars in each episode and recounts his or her own story to Lucy, the little girl who lives next to the zoo.
Hibbert Ralph Animations The First Snow of Winter will premiere in the U.K. on BBC1 on Christmas Day, December 25, at 4:40 p.m. The half-hour animated special from director Graham Ralph features the voices of Miriam Margolyes, Sorcha Cusack, and the late Dermot Morgan. The film follows the tale of Sean, a little Irish duck who becomes separated from his parents and misses the annual migration south. Thus, he is left alone to face the hostile climate of the bitter Irish winter. The special also airs in the U.S. on the Disney Channel on December 23 at 7 p.m.