UK-based production company Animatrix Ltd. plans to create an all new 26 part series based on the 1980s preschooler DR. SNUGGLES. Featuring Sir Peter Ustinov voicing the title character, a cuddly bow-tied inventor who strives to make the world a better place, the original DR. SNUGGLES was broadcast in more than 80 countries, and can still be seen in Germany, Scandinavia, Holland, Ireland and Canada. Animation studio Telemagination has produced a 3 1/2-minute pilot of the newly revamped DR. SNUGGLES scheduled to screen this year at Cartoon Forum and Mipcom.
DIC Entertainment has acquired the worldwide television distribution, merchandising and licensing rights for the Japanese animated classic SPEED RACER. DIC acquired the license from Speed Racer Enterprises and Tetsunoko. John Rocknowski and his son, Jim, are the proprietors of Speed Racer Enterprises, who acquired worldwide rights to the property in 1991. The package consists of the original 52 half-hour episodes and 34 new episodes, none of which have been shown in the U.S. with English dubbing until now.
BBC (UK), France 3 (France) and ABC (Australia) have picked up independent studio Millimages' latest animated series CORNEIL & BERNIE. The 52 x 13-minute series, also known as WATCH MY CHOPS!, is currently in production and is set to broadcast internationally during 2003. Lead character Corneil is a cultured and well-read dog, who is likened by the producers to "a canine FRASIER." Corneil keeps his genius talents hidden from his owners, but when Bernie the dog-sitter is hired and discovers Corneil's secret, Corneil's life is turned upside down.
A new 13 x 10-minute series being billed as the first CG series from Africa is currently in pre-production at Johannesburg, South Africa studio AnimMate. "The series will be entirely produced by African talent in South Africa," Tanja Botha of Johannesburg-based Animation Africa, which is distributing the series, told C21 MEDIA. "It's a first for Africa.
For the third year in a row, Cartoon Network will wrap up summer with a weekend-long marathon of original animation. Highlights include the premiere of eight new series pilots, the debut of four animated music videos, a sneak peak at the new series CODENAME: KIDS NEXT DOOR and back-to-back episodes from CN's original animated series. From 8:00 pm (ET, PT) on Friday, August 23, 2002 until 10:00 pm on Sunday, August 25, Cartoon Network will air 50 hours of original animation from series such as DEXTER'S LABORATORY, GRIM & EVIL, COURAGE THE COWARDLY DOG, ED EDD N EDDY and THE POWERPUFF GIRLS.
Corus Entertainment's Nelvana has signed a deal to supply a 90-minute Nelvana branded programming block for Eastern European kids' broadcaster Minimax. Starting in September 2002, the Hungary-based cable and satellite broadcaster Minimax will screen the Nelvana block on Saturday and Sunday mornings, across three of its territories -- Hungary, Poland and Romania. The deal is the first of its kind for Nelvana in Eastern Europe, and comes in response to recent demand from broadcasters there for a cohesive, themed approach to kids' weekend programming.
Artist Kenny Scharf brings his vision to Cartoon Network with a CG-animated half-hour special THE GROOVENIANS, premiering on Sunday, November 10 at 10:30 pm during Cartoon Networks ADULT SWIM animation block. A self-described "pop-surrealist," Kenny Scharf came to fame in the 1980s with art inspired by pop culture, particularly cartoons like THE JETSONS and THE FLINTSTONES. Scharf works in a variety of media, from oil paint on canvas to sculpture, and incorporates not only cartoon characters, but vivid colors, graffiti-inspired imagery, vintage advertisements and more.
Why hasn't American animation followed suit? Fred Patten reviews the new Trigun Ultimate Fan Guide and wonders why U.S. series aren't similarly documented.
The brand new HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE series kicks off on Cartoon Network, Friday, August 16, 2002 at 4:00 pm (ET, PT) with 90-minute movie featuring the never-before-told story of the origin of He-Man. New episodes of the series will air Fridays at 6:00 pm during the network's "Toonami" block, starting on August 30.
CAOZ, a digital design and animation company in Reykjavik, Iceland, is in development on a series based on THE LOST LITTLE CATERPILLAR, a 26 minute computer-animated film by Gunnar Karlsson, which will premiere in Iceland on August 31, 2002. The film is based on a story by Fridrik Erlingsson and tells the tales of a spell bound caterpillar princess that one day wakes up on a tree leaf. As she goes on a journey and encounters the other creatures of the garden, she learns something about others and herself.
UK-based distributor Indigo Kids has signed a deal to distribute Toonz Animation India's new project THE ADVENTURES OF TENALI. Indigo will take worldwide television, video, DVD and licensing rights, excluding India and Singapore, as part of an ongoing agreement with the studio, which includes Asian distribution rights for HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR MONSTER, a co-production with UK-based Treehouse Productions and Canada-based Vivamundo. Based on a character from Indian folklore, THE ADVENTURES OF TENALI (26 x11-minutes) takes a trip through history to a world of monarchs and palaces.
According to an AP report, plans are underway to revive DAVEY & GOLIATH, the '60s stop-motion animated series created by Art and Ruth Clokey, with production scheduled to begin shortly on a brand new 26 x 15-minute series featuring young Davey and his talking dog pal Goliath. A one-hour Christmas special is also in the works. The special may premiere as soon as 2003, with the series scheduled to debut in 2004. DAVEY & GOLIATH made a recent comeback in a sly 30-second spot for Mountain Dew, directed by Wreckless Abandon Studios for BBDO/NY.
Vancouver, Canada-based Mainframe Entertainment, Inc. will provide the CGI animation production for Columbia TriStar Domestic Television (CTDT) Family Entertainment's new animated series, SPIDER-MAN, slated to premiere on MTV in winter 2002. According to Mainframe, this new incarnation of the Spider-Man series, featuring Peter Parker as a college student trying to juggle school, work, relationships and being a super hero, will feature CG animation processed to have a classic animation look, combining bright, abstract colors and including a realistic neon lit city.
Anime and pigs is the winning combination for Miramax Television's kids' TV debut. TOKYO PIG, an anime comedy produced by Miramax in association with SME Visual Works, Inc. will debut on ABC Family September 14, 2002. TOKYO PIG follows the adventures of nine-year-old Spencer and his magical pet pig, Sunny. When paired with Sunny, Spencer discovers he has the ability to make whatever he imagines come to life. Each week the duo embarks on a new adventure and Spencer tries to keep his stray thoughts from running wild and turning his life upside-down.
Fox Kids UK has announced the line-up for its new season of programming and it includes several UK television premieres and a second season of the battling robots show MEDABOTS, which is currently one of Fox Kids UK's top-rated shows. Among the UK premieres are the anime series SHIN CHAN, acquired from TV Asahi, and PIG CITY, a Cinegroupe production that features the adventures of a country bumpkin pig in the big city.
Kids' WB! is introducing a Flash animated series to U.S. broadcast television with the premiere of ¡MUCHA LUCHA! on August 17, 2002. The series explores the Latino cultural phenomenon known as "Lucha Libre" and follows Rikochet, Buena Girl and The Flea as they study and live the "Code of Masked Wrestling." ¡MUCHA LUCHA! was created by Eddie Mort and Lili Chin and produced by Warner Bros. Animation under the creative supervision of Alfred Gimeno, Joel Kuwahara and Michael Ryan. The series features the voices of Carlos Alzaraqui, Candi Milo and Kimberly Brooks. "Kids' WB!
Cartoon Network hasrevived yet another Warner Bros. series with the premiere of THEOBLONGS on Sunday, August 4, 2002 at 10:30 pm during Adult Swim,Cartoon Network's twice-weekly block of animation aimed at adults.The Oblongs is a series about a typical close-knit family that justhappens to have various physical abnormalities due to living in closeproximity to a toxic swamp. The series is based on characters thatappear in Angus Oblong's book, CREEPY SUSIE AND THIRTEEN OTHER TRAGIC
Program distribution anddevelopment company CABLEready has inked a deal with Tokyo's SSAProductions for key international TV rights to SLAMMIN' SAMMY, ananimated one-hour biography of Sammy Sosa, the Dominican-born MajorLeague Baseball star. The deal includes all of South and CentralAmerica, the Caribbean (except the Dominican Republic), Asia'sPacific Rim, Europe, Canada and Africa. SLAMMIN' SAMMY -- THE SAMMYSOSA STORY traces Sosa's life from the hardships of his youth as a
QUEER DUCK, the animated series about an openly gay duck and his friends, is going international following a recent agreement between Showtime Networks and The British Broadcasting Company (BBC). The show, which consists of 20 x 3-minute episodes, will air on BBC Choice as a regular part of the weekly magazine program That Gay Show. BBC Choice is a mixed genre channel aimed at a modern young audience whose core is 25 to 34 year olds. The BBC will have all television rights to show QUEER DUCK in the United Kingdom until 2005.
Pop singer George Michael has been courting controversy in the U.S. and across the pond with the animated video for his latest single "Shoot The Dog," which features less-than-flattering caricatures of President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Highlighted by the premiere of '60s cult series THUNDERBIRDS, U.S. cable network TechTV recently announced its 2002-2003 line-up, which focuses on a new programming strategy. "In addition to our existing original programming, TechTV has added more entertainment-based technology programming with a new line up of acquisitions and commissions," explained Greg Drebin, senior vice president of programming and production for TechTV.
Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy! John Kricfalusi's revolutionary animated series THE REN & STIMPY SHOW is back with six new original episodes. Cable network The New TNN (part of the MTV Networks family) has signed Kricfalusi to produce new original episodes of THE REN & STIMPY SHOW to air as part of TNN's new primetime adult animation block, scheduled to launch in the spring of 2003. The six new episodes will be presented in addition to all 52 episodes of the original series.
Augenblick Studios has signed a deal with Film Roman to produce a series based on the short film DRUNKY. DRUNKY recently screened at Annecy 2002 and the Brooklyn Film and Video Festival. It also took first prize in the 2D animation category at the First Annual DIRECTV - Level13.net Online Animation Festival, which is sponsored by Film Roman. You can see DRUNKY online at www.augenblickstudios.com. More details to come
TAKALINI SESAME, the South African version of the popular children's series SESAME STREET, will be introducing an HIV-positive role model into the Muppet cast. The ASSOCIATED PRESS has reported that, at the urging of the South African government, representatives of the Sesame Workshop have decided an HIV-positive Muppet character will join the series in September 2002. "We want to build hope and address the issues of stereotypes against HIV," said Yvonne Kgame of the South African Broadcasting Corp., which airs the program.
Cartoon Network's newest series, WHATEVER HAPPENED TO ROBOT JONES?, premieres Friday, July 19, 2002 at 9:30 pm. In the retro-1980s future where robots have become commonplace, Robot Jones is a spunky young robot trying to cope with life, fit in with humans and survive adolescence and junior high. ROBOT JONES was created by Greg Miller, who has previous worked on DEXTERS LABORATORY and COW AND CHICKEN.