New York-based production company, Babelfish Productions, will be attending MIPCOM with their partners, the U.K.s Channel 5 & Channel 5 International and Klik Animation of Canada, to promote ALIENS AMONG US. The 65-part show tells the story of a renegade alien kid, Cosnok, from the planet Gontop, who gets inside the minds of children from all over planet earth to find out what he should do about a variety of issues -- from best friends and school bullies to moving house and first love. ALIENS AMONG US blends 3D animation with live-action docu-drama to create a unique new hybrid.
The Splash! Group will make its international debut as a television program distributor at this year's MIPCOM market. In addition to the successful pre-school animated series LITTLE MONSTERS, Splash! is producing and distributing several new and established properties, some of which will be offered to the international television market for the first time. The second series of LITTLE MONSTERS will commence production in fall of 2001, with an expected delivery of fall 2002.
Egmont Imagination is planning to bring its stop-frame animation special HAMILTON MATTRESS to MIPCOM 2001. HAMILTON MATTRESS tells the story of Sludger, a slovenly aardvark who longs for a more exciting life. With the help of his caterpillar friend Feldwick, he becomes the titular famous drummer and is thrust into the limelight. However, Sludger learns that some people dont believe that talent is everything and he must discover his own inner beauty and substance. The half-hour family special is already scheduled to be broadcast on the BBC over the Christmas programming period.
BKN Internationals holiday film RUDOLPH THE RED NOSED REINDEER AND THE ISLAND OF MISFIT TOYS is coming to MIPCOM. Featuring the voice talent of Rick Moranis and Jamie Lee Curtis and seven new holiday songs, the 3D animated sequel capitalizes on one of the favorite scenes from the classic RUDOLPH animated special. The 90-minute film is already scheduled to air during the 2001 holiday season on CBS in the U.S. and has video and DVD distribution in the U.K., Scandinavia and Spain.
Fox Family Channel will air an award-winning episode of KAMPUNG BOY Friday, September 28, 2001 (7:00 AM ET/PT). This will be the U.S. debut of the series, which garnered the Best Animated Television Series award at the 1999 Annecy International Film Festival. From a traditional village tucked away in the lush jungle of Malaysia, KAMPUNG BOY tells about the adventures of Mat, a nine year old boy, his family and his friends as they struggle to maintain traditional family values in an ever-changing technology-obsessed world.
Decode Entertainment has acquired worldwide distribution rights to OLLIE, a digitally animated 13 x 21 series targeted at kids aged 7 to 11. The show has already been sold to Teletoon in Canada and is set to premiere on that channel in fall 2002. Episodes will be available for the international market at MIPCOM 2001.
4Kids Entertainment's YU-GI-OH!, which has already begun airing in the U.S. on Kids' WB!, will be introduced to international broadcasters at this year's MIPCOM. The Japanese anime series follows the adventures of a young boy named Yugi, who morphs into a monster-fighting hero after piecing together the "millennium puzzle" given to him by his grandfather. Additional 4Kids series that will be presented at MIPCOM 2001 include 52 new POKEMON episodes featuring all new POKEMON characters.
Fox Family Channel is scheduled to debut its new half-hour animated series WHAT'S WITH ANDY? on Saturday, September 22, 2001 and will premiere new episodes daily from September 22-29. The show, inspired by the book series JUST KIDDING, by Andy Griffiths, revolves around Andy Larkin, a kid who is determined to be the greatest practical joker in the world. Cinegroupe is producing 26 episodes of the show for Fox Family.
Animation Studio has created several animated segments for the new comedic series, LET'S BOWL, which began airing August 19, 2001 on Comedy Central. The segments were created using USAnimation and feature a bowling pin character created by Realworks named "Pinny." The program's producers approached Reelworks in the early stages of development about the show's concept: The airing and resolving of personal grievances at a bowling alley.
Due to the terrorist attacks suffered by the United States on September 11, 2001, the 53rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards presentation has been rescheduled for Sunday, October 7, 2001. However, the Emmys for animation and visual effects have already been awarded on September 8, 2001 as previously published here. The winners for individual achievement in animation were Rodney Clouden for FUTURAMA; Curt Enderle and Brad Schiff for GARY & MIKE; and Kyle Menke for INVADER ZIM. The winners in the voiceover performance category were Hank Azaria in THE SIMPSONS and Ja' Net DuBois in THE PJS.
In France, Cartoon Network joins the top 10 most popular cable and satellite channels in the country and stands out as the number one channel for kids ages 4 to 10 in CanalSatellite homes (reaching 68.8% of this age group during one week). Findings from Mediacabsat, the cable and satellite channel survey by Médiamétrie, is promising news for the channel that went on air less than two years ago. Cartoon Network now has an 8.9% audience share of 4 to 10 year olds watching CanalSatellite.
Fox aired a special animation night on Wednesday, September 5, 2001 starting at 8 pm featuring two episodes of THE SIMPSONS alternating with THE KING OF THE HILL and FAMILY GUY. The special episodes of THE SIMPSONS airing at 8:00 and 9:00 pm drew the most viewers finishing 64th and 66th with a 4.4 rating/7 share and 4.2 rating/7 share respectively. KING managed to garner a 4.0 rating/7share in its 8:30 time slot placing 67th, and FAMILY GUY, airing at 9:30pm fared the worst of the three shows in the 72nd spot with a 3.8 rating/6 share.
Santa Monica-based R!OT provided visual effects and post-production services for Days of the Week, the latest music video from the Stone Temple Pilots. The studio provided on-set visual effects supervision, telecine, digital matte painting, visual effects production and compositing services for the video, which was directed by Kevin Kerslake of Satellite Films. In the video, Scott Weiland and his band mates play identically dressed, door-to-door salesmen who escape their mundane lives when their car morphs into a space shuttle.
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.