The Kids' WB! is planning a celebrity guest appearance and special two-part episodes of some of its most popular Saturday morning shows in the month of February. STATIC SHOCK will feature NBA superstar Shaquille ONeal in an animated guest appearance. In "Static Shaq," airing Saturday, February 16 (8:30 am ET/7:30 am PT), Shaq pays a visit to Virgil and his dad but a ruthless meta-human gang makes it difficult for Virgil to keep his Static status a secret from his new friend.
Disneys Classic Treasures Crosses The Alps. Buena Vista International Television has added Austrian terrestrial broadcaster ORF and Telepool Zurich in Switzerland to its list of licensees for the "Classic Treasures" package of Disney and Disney/Pixar films. For the first time, viewers in these territories will be able to watch popular animated films on terrestrial television. The package includes A BUG'S LIFE, MULAN, HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, TOY STORY and TOY STORY 2.
Tape House Toons has completed 16-seconds of animation that transforms Melissa Joan Hart of The WB! television program SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH into an animated character. In the episode, which airs February 1, 2002 at 8:00 pm, a hex is put on Sabrina and she is turned into an animated character who careens around the live-action set until the hex is removed and she returns to normal. Don McGrath co-directed and animated the sequences. Richard Codor did character design, storyboarding and co-directed, and David Lipson was executive producer.
The January 26, 2002 episode of SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, a rebroadcast of a November 2001 Gwyneth Paltrow-hosted show, will contain a new, never-before-aired cartoon by Wachtenheim/Marianetti Animation. "Harry the Embryonic Stem Cell," written by Robert Smigel and Louis C.K., is a humorous look at the debate surrounding this contentious issue. Designed and animated by Wachtenheim/Marianetti, the piece also spoofs Britney Spears. If you have ever wondered what a right-wing, Christian Coalition cartoon might look like, be sure to catch this episode of SNL!
Silver Lining Productions Ltd. and Millimages have developed a script for a television holiday special based on ILL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS, the most recent edition in the TOOT & PUDDLE childrens book series written and illustrated by Holly Hobbie. The production team is also in development on a 26-part animated series based on the complete collection of TOOT & PUDDLE books. The companies are seeking broadcaster interest at the NATPE 2002 show.
A judgement was recently rendered by a Stockholm Chamber of Commerce arbitrator that Swedish animation house Happy Life violated copyright and was in breach of contract when it produced a second series of the animated show LISA. The dispute between LISA creator Magnus Carlsson and his former employers ended in his favor on December 21, 2001 after a six-month long arbitration process.
In addition to committing to a new SPIDER-MAN series and the college satire THE FRESHMAN, MTV has signed on for a third animated series due in Fall 2002. Corus Entertainment's Nelvana and MTV will co-produce the animated comedy series CLONE HIGH. Taking a tongue-in-cheek approach to science and history, the series features cloned historical figures, dead celebrities and musicians as high school students facing the pressures of being modern teenagers while attempting to live up to the legacy of their DNA donors.
Kids' WB! announced the production and pick-up of ALL NEW SCOOBY-DOO! THE ANIMATED SERIES (working title) and OZZIE & DRIX, a new animated series based on the Warner Bros. feature film OSMOSIS JONES. The latest incarnation of the Scooby-Doo animated series from Warner Bros. Animation is a joint pick-up by Kids WB! and Cartoon Network and is slated to debut on Kids WB! in Fall 2002 and will air subsequently in the 2002-2003 season on Cartoon Network. Kids WB!
INITIAL D is the tent pole of several newly acquired properties international distributor TOKYOPOP will showcase at NATPE 2002. An unassuming tofu delivery boy becomes addicted to street racing in this Japanese import, which has already spawned a theatrical animated film and sold over 30 million graphic novels in its native country. Call it the animated FAST AND THE FURIOUS. TOKYOPOP will also present REIGN, a sci-fi fantasy take on the ancient world of Alexander the Great featuring character and concept design from Peter Chung, creator of MTVs AEON FLUX.
International production and distribution giant TV-Loonland has again joined forces with German broadcaster ZDF for two new co-production ventures, SOMETHING ELSE and RUDI (working title). This partnership follows the previous TV-Loonland/ZDF co-production of the animated series PETTSON AND FINDUS and the upcoming LITTLE GHOSTS.
Vancouver animation studio Atomic Cartoons is in Las Vegas for NATPE 2002 with a collection of proprietary properties. Their catalogue includes the original program ATOMIC BETTY and the Internet show DOG IN A BOX WITH 2 WHEELS, an offbeat animated comedy series about a randy little dog with wheels for hind legs. Dog has devoted his life to vigilante justice after a senile geriatric ruined his life in a freak oxygen tank/cigarette-smoking accident. The series is geared towards an older audience, teens and young adults, in an 11 x 26 format.
Yes, its true. Nickelodeon has confirmed the cancellation of Emmy and Annie award-winning series INVADER ZIM. A statement from Nick says the reason for the cancellation was poor ratings from their core demographic (kids age 2 to 11). The network will be wrapping the series after completing 26 of the originally contracted 40 episodes. INVADER ZIM premiered on Nickelodeon in March 2001 and was renewed with a 20-episode commitment in August of that year. The show posted strong ratings for its premiere episode, with a 6.0 rating/17 share (about 1.8 million viewers) among kids 2 to 11.
KidsWebTv, a kids' entertainment content provider, will present the Flash-animated Web series, EDDY THE ECO-DOG UNLEASHED! at NATPE 2002. Aimed at tweens, the cartoon features the silly antics of Eddy and his pals on the planet Chachachawowa.
A&S Animation, Inc. is presenting their animated short series, TIMMY'S LESSONS IN NATURE at NATPE 2002. In the dialogue-free series, disaster prone Timmy demonstrates basic rules of nature. The one-minute shorts have won awards at six international film festivals including ASIFA-East's Excellence in Writing award.
Fremantle International Distribution (FID) will be launching a second series of the animated adventures of BILLY THE CAT at NATPE 2002. Based on the books created by Stéphane Colman and Stephen Desberg, BILLY THE CAT is the story of a boy who is transformed into a cat as punishment for being cruel to animals. BILLY THE CAT has already been well-received by broadcasters worldwide, with sales of the first series to the U.S., the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, Scandinavia, Benelux, Australia, Latin America, South East Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
French producer Alphanim will be bringing several programs from their distribution slate to NATPE 2002 including SPACED OUT (26 x 26'), X-DUCKX (78 x 8'/26 x 26'), ROBOT BOY (52 x 13'), POTATOES & DRAGONS (78 x 8'), DELTA STATE (26 x 26') and RALPH THE RECORD RAT (104 x 1').
Alphanim's Julie Fox visited MILIA 2001 to report on the shifting sands of the Internet animation economy.
Defiance Distribution and Screen Ventures are bringing their new childrens animated series MUCHIKKO - KID BUGS to NATPE 2002. The series is produced by POKEMON creator Shogakukan, SME and New Kids. Featuring 88 characters, such as Hanako the ladybug, inchworm brothers Tanaka and Endo, Yabe the water bug, Hamada the honeybee and 83 others, the MUCHIKKO characters use special skills and teamwork to overcome obstacles. Already popular with television audiences in Japan, the show has been supported by a successful merchandising campaign.
Animated pre-schooler WHY? has been awarded a production loan by the Irish Film Board, who is co-financing the series with Monster Distributes and Brown Bag Films. The new series goes into production in January 2002 and will be presented at NATPE. Monster Distributes will also be introducing new animated Christmas specials, THE LEGEND OF THE CANDY CANE and THE LEGEND OF THE THREE TREES, as well as selling its 13 x 30 award-winning series STORYKEEPERS, directed by Jimmy Murakami. STORYKEEPERS presents stories from the life of Jesus within an adventure story context.
Egmont Imagination will bring its interactive mystery series, SOLVE THE MYSTERY WITH INSPECTOR MCCLUE, to NATPE 2002. This 2D Flash animated family series is a television and Internet based crime-puzzle where the viewer watches a mystery unfold on television, and must then try and solve the mystery themselves by going online and using the clues provided. Created by Werner Wejp-Olsen, SOLVE THE MYSTERY WITH INSPECTOR MCCLUE combines interactivity with engaging stories.
Another Japanese import comes to NATPE via Nelvana. BEYBLADE is a 51-episode animé series acquired from D-Rights, Inc. BEYBLADE tells the story of a boy who learns to harness the power of his ancestors to perfect his technique in the sport of Beyblade. The heroes bond as they battle their way to the world championship. Nelvana will be located in Booth #3025.
4Kids Entertainment will launch the Japanese animated series KINNIKUMAN at NATPE 2002. The 52-episode series combines comedy and super hero action with the flair of pro-wrestling. As a baby, Kinnikuman was accidentally displaced as prince of his home planet. Now, to prove himself worthy as heir to the throne of Kinniku, he must compete in the ultimate intergalactic tournaments. As a result, Kinnikuman confronts hundreds of the most diverse and powerful superhero wrestlers that the world has to offer.
The hour-long documentary MILL TIMES, premiering on PBS January 2, 2002 at 8:00 pm, uses four animated sequences to tell the story of a small New England community where the first textile mill in America was established. The program is hosted by author and illustrator David Macaulay (THE WAY THINGS WORK) and is based on his book MILL.
Baby Blues has been added to Cartoon Network's line up as part of its "Adult Swim" block of programming. Aimed at adults ages 18-34, the animated block airs Sunday and Thursday nights from 10 pm-1 am (ET/PT). Adult Swim's rotating line-up includes SPACE GHOST COAST TO COAST, THE BRAK SHOW, HARVEY BIRDMAN, ATTORNEY-AT-LAW, AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE and SEALAB 2021, as well as the animé series COWBOY BEBOP.
RTV Family Entertainment has recently signed licensing deals with German broadcasters Super RTL and ORF. ORF will be picking up THE COUNTRY MOUSE AND THE CITY MOUSE ADVENTURES, the second season of Rolf Kaukas FIX & FOXI AND FRIENDS as well as the series ROTTEN RALPH, which was successfully introduced to Germany in the branded block "Ravensburger TV" on Super RTL. Super RTL acquired the TV licenses for RTVs new animation series GNARFS.