To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the "Popeye the Sailor Man" franchise in 2004, King Features Syndicate has christened production of a brand-new 3D computer-animated POPEYE TV and home entertainment special. Mainframe Entertainment will not only animate but, according to DAILY VARIETY, has secured international distribution rights in several markets, including TV rights in Canada and TV/DVD/VHS rights in the U.K. and Australia.
The U.K.s Toonami channel, dedicated to action/adventure/anime animation, has landed STAR WARS: CLONE WARS. The new 2D series from Lucasfilm and Cartoon Network Studios chronicles the adventures of the STAR WARS heroes during the events that directly follow EPISODE II. The third Cartoon Network channel in Europe, Toonami, started broadcasting on September 8, 2003 and will begin airing CLONES on November 10. Cartoon Network will debut the new show in the U.S. on November 7. SAMURAI JACK and DEXTER'S LABORATORY creator Genndy Tartakovsky is the lead animator on the series.
Sit back and get ready for 100 years of animation history in Bravos special THE ANIMATED CENTURY. Hosted by animated teacher Professor Elderberry and his student Horace, the show presents clips from the most important animated films of all time. The special delves into all forms of animation from cel to puppet to sand. Included in the special are works from Emile Reynaud, Winsor McCay, the Fleischer Bros., Walt Disney, Chuck Jones, Bob Clampett, Jiri Trnka, Raoul Servais, Yuri Norstein and many more.
ABC finally, officially, released its new ABC Kids fall lineup, which starts Sept. 20, 2003 with two new series, LILO & STITCH, THE SERIES, a spin-off of last summers highly successful animated feature, as well as Disney Channels hit sitcom, THATS SO RAVEN. Commenting on the new additions, Jonathan Barzilay, gm/svp of ABC Kids and Toon Disney said, These distinctive series will add new dimension to the popular ABC Kids lineup.
ABC Kids Saturday Morning Line-Up (all times are ET):
ARTOONIC, a new Italian 3D series pilot about an inept polar bear's attempts to catch a baby seal in the glaciers, will participate in Cartoon Forum 2003 (Sept. 17-21 in Verese, Italy). The 13x5 series, an Inarc Progetti srl production that's created and directed by Daniele Bigi (creator of the short NMA and a collaborator on ROBOTA) and produced by Alfio Balsamo and Gaby Kiss-Maerth, will utilize traditional cartoon techniques and without any dialogue. Animation and rendering are being done in Maya and modeling is being performed in LightWave 3D.
Silver Lining Prods. and Mainframe Entertainment are co-producing a new animated adventure series (26x22) for preschoolers, SMALL AND FRIENDS, based on the best-selling childrens book series featuring MR. BEAR by Scottish author/illustrator Debi Gliori.
CODENAME: KIDS NEXT DOOR, an original Cartoon Network animated action-comedy series will premiere on Cartoon Network Latin America on Sept. 5, 2003 at 7:00 pm CODENAME: KIDS NEXT DOOR follows the escapades of five eager, yet bumbling, 10-year-olds as they fight against the forces of tyrannical adults.
Walt Disney Television Int'l (WDTV-I) has acquired broadcast rights to Mainframe Entertainment Inc.'s animated Halloween special SCARY GODMOTHER HALLOWEEN SPOOKTAKULAR for its channels in Asia, Latin America, Italy and Germany.
Anime fans, thank your celestial stars, and Cartoon Network for debuting in the U.S. KNIGHTS OF THE ZODIAC, August 30, at 7:00 pm as part of the network's Saturday evening action programming block. The Japanese futuristic action-adventure series follows the adventures of the mystical Knights of Athena, which was produced originally in Japan in 1986 by Toei Animation, and re-purposed for the U.S. Kaleidoscope Ent. and DIC Ent.
AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE, the animated comedy about three human-sized food products that live together in a rental house in New Jersey, returned to ADULT SWIM on August 31, 2003 with a new season of peculiar adventures at 11:45 pm.
Channel 4s plans to lead the way in the U.K. to create world-beating animated shorts and specials with its three-year funding commitment to animation commissioning. A total investment of £1.6 million will be injected into the channels three animation schemes Mesh, Air and Animate!
"No other television broadcaster has invested so much in developing the raw talent of the U.K.s animators and we look forward to seeing more fresh and innovative specials over the next three years," said Tim Gardam, Channel 4 director of television.
Kids' WB! kicks-off its new fall schedule with the early launch of the second season of the comedy-adventure OZZY & DRIX, premiering Saturday, August 23, 2003 (9:30 am ET/8:30 am PT). Based on the animated characters from the feature film OSMOSIS JONES, OZZY & DRIX is an animated inner-body buddy-cop comedy following the comedic adventures of white blood cell cop Ozzy and his partner, over-the-counter cold pill Drix, as they defend the City of Hector, which is the body of a 13-year-old boy. Ozzy and Drix investigate and combat colds, diseases and injuries from the real inside.
Daffy Duck takes off for new space adventures as Duck Dodgers in the 24.5 century, a new series Cartoon Network premiered August 23, 2003 at 11:30 am. The hapless duck was accidentally frozen in the 21st century and thawed out 351 years later. The inept but fast-talking duck (voiced by Joe Alaskey) is given command of a ship, assisted by an Eager Young Space Cadet, played by Porky Pig (Joe Bergen), to help Earths Galactic Protectorate stand up to attacks by aliens such as Martian Commander X-2, played by Marvin the Martian (also voiced by Alaskey).
Hey, if you dont sue a major media mogul for using your name or part of your name for their new channel you just may get a good deal out of it. At least thats the case for SPIKE AND MIKES SICK AND TWISTED FESTIVAL OF ANIMATION (www.spikeandmike.com), which now will showcase the best of the festivals fare in six, half-hour episodes on Viacoms Spike TV (which had to delay the launch of the re-named channel in the legal name battle with director Spike Lee that was ultimately settled).
Kids' WB! kicks off its Saturday morning schedule on September 13, 2003 and its weekday lineup on September 15, with and unprecedented slate of returning to the 2003-2004 season. The network will also launch the "Kids WB! BIG, Really, Really BIG Sweepstakes," offering kids the chance to win one of hundreds of prizes.
ABC Television recently turned to emerging media and post studio Digital Bucket to create an innovative DVD promoting the network's new fall season. An entertaining and effective promo give-away, the DVD will inform viewers about the new programs, movies, returning ABC favorites and the TGIF franchise.
Boston-based Viewpoint Studios produced the theatrical, television and radio advertising campaigns for Discovery Channels newest special presentation, NEFERTITI RESURRECTED, which premieres August 17, 2003 at 8:00 pm, with rebroadcasts Aug. 18 at 12:00 and 3:00 am plus Aug. 24 at 10:00 am and 4:00 pm.
Alan Brady, the caustic TV host portrayed by Carl Reiner on THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW back in the '60s, returns in a new computer-animated special on TV Land, airing Aug. 17, 2003 (10:00-10:30 pm). THE ALAN BRADY SHOW marks TV Land's first original animated special in the network's seven-year history. Reiner, who reprises his character in voice-over, also wrote the special and serves as exec producer along with George Shapiro and Howard West of Shapiro/West Prods.
Move over 4Kids FOX BOX and Discovery Kids, DIC Entertainment is in the business of providing a three-hour programming block for kids designed to help stations meet their FCC core programming requirements.
As kids are getting ready to face going back to school, they perhaps can find animated comfort and reassurance in the BLUES CLUES primetime special, BLUE TAKES YOU TO SCHOOL, when the kitten, Periwinkle, faces his first daunting day of preschool. The special debuted at 8:00 pm August 11, 2003 on Nick Jr.
Anime Network, the first dedicated anime network in the U.S., plans to acquire more anime programming for its growing digital network at the upcoming MIPCOM market in Cannes, October 10-14, 2003.
With the diversity of programming available at MIPCOM, we expect to discover new sources for content which we can then bring back and introduce to American viewers, said Anime Network president Kevin Corcora. Were also anxious to meet and explore other opportunities for our sister companies, including ADV Films and NewType USA.
Keep an eye open for Abbey Home Media Groups new animated series, WIDE EYE, set to debut on CBeebies and CBeebies on BBC in fall 2003. Co-produced with the BBC and animated by King Rollo Films, this enchanting 26x10 2D animated series is based on the stories in the WIDE EYE early learning program, which has been sold in 30+ countries.
Toronto-based March Entertainment will launch its new animated television series CHILLY BEACH September 3, 2003 at 5:30 pm, immediately following THE SIMPSONS on CBC-TV in Canada. Produced in Flash in association with the CBC, CHILLY BEACH represents the first time a Canadian property created as Internet Webisodes has been picked up by the network.