August Issue News Section

Time Warner-Turner Merger Approved and Fox to Take Over New World. The recent merger/takeover mania in the American entertainment industry continues apace as the Federal Trade Commission finally gave its approval of the merger of Time Warner and Turner. The combination, besides creating the world's largest entertainment company, will also include a host of animation units that include Warner Bros. Feature Animation, Turner Feature Animation, Warner Bros. TV Animation, Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, Warner Bros. Classic Animation, Fil-Cartoons and the Cartoon Network. In addition, there is Warner's distribution deal with Chuck Jones and Turner Feature Animation's development deal with Colossal Pictures. The merger also makes the Warner Bros. animation library whole, as the rights to the pre-1948 cartoon are held by Turner.

At the same time as the FTC made its announcement, News Corp., which owns Fox, announced a $2.5 billion takeover of New World Entertainment, whose assets include New World Animation and Marvel Films Animation. The deal gives Fox an in-house television animation capability (it already has a feature animation unit); Fox is the most successful terrestrial broadcaster of animation, with its Fox Children's Network and The Simpsons in prime time. (Although Fox has an interest in The Simpsons, its actual production is handled by Film Roman.)

Disney Will Distribute Japanese Animation. Walt Disney Studios and Japan's Tokuma Shoten Publishing Co. have formed and alliance for the international distribution of animated product from Tokuma's Studio Ghibli. The catalog will include eight animated features by Hayao Miyazaki, whose films include Kiki's Delivery Service and My Neighbor Totoro (which had considerable success in the US in its video release), as well as rights to distribute his next film, Princess Mononoke. One of Japan's most famous directors, Miyazaki's films regularly outdraw such Disney films as Aladdin and The Lion King at the box office. Disney organization has long admired his work, but Miyazaki had previously shunned the studio's offers and said that recent Disney films lacked "decency." He has also been approached by Fox and Warner Bros., but in the past has shunned efforts to promote his films abroad, as he was wary of changes that might be made by foreign distributors. At a news conference in Tokyo, Miyazaki said he agreed to the deal to help Tokuma, which had backed him from his early days.

Prime Time Emmy Nominations Announced. The nominees for best "Animated Program (for Programming One Hour or Less)" were: Cow and Chicken in No Smoking (Pilar Feiss, director, for Hanna-Barbera/Cartoon Network), Dexter's Laboratory (the series) (Gennedy Tartovsky, executive producer, and Craig McCracken and Paul Rudish directors, for Hanna-Barbera/Cartoon Network), Duckman (Klasky Csupo/USA Network), A Pinky & the Brain Christmas Special (Rusty Mills for Warner Bros. TV Animation/Amblin) and The Simpsons (Bob Anderson, director, for Film Roman/Gracie Films). The nominees for "Individual Achievement in Graphic Design and Title Sequences" are: Caroline in the City (NBC), Central Park West (CBS) and Discovery Journal (Discovery Channel). In addition, Peter and the Wolf, an animated special made for ABC which utilized character designs by Chuck Jones, was nominated in the category of "Children's Program (Area Award).

Also, a bit belatedly, we would like to report that Lynn Smith: Method, one of six episodes in the documentary series, Animated Women won a regional Emmy for San Francisco/Northern California area, in the category of "Cultural Affairs: Single Program from a Series." The series was directed by animation historian Sybil Del Gaudio.

First Asia Computer Animation Festival (ACAF) to Debut in November. The festival, to be staged at the Funan Centre, in Singapore, will be held from November 22 to December 8, 1996. The sponsors anticipate some 600,000 people will attend the 17-day event. The objectives of the festivals include: Providing a forum to display state-of-the-art technology; help build a computer animation industry in Asia; and increase Asia's animation standards through competition. For more information about the festival, which hopes to be an annual event, contact Raymond Neoh, the event's organizer, at

CST Entertainment To Buy Toon Unit. CST has signed a letter of intent to acquire the production services division of Hollywood's USAnimation which does digital ink-and-paint work(The Simpsons, Ren and Stimpy, The New Adventures of Jonny Quest )and has developed software tools for various types of animation work. CST does colorization, color correction for a number of studio and production clients.

Saban Signs Deal With Germany's ARD TV Network. A three year, $50 million co-production and library program licensing agreement has been signed. ARD will co-produce 6 children's series amounting to 182 half-hours with Saban Entertainment, of which two shows are new--Jim Button and Night of the Wishes--from renowned German author Michael Ende. In addition, ARD will acquire 390 half-hour episodes of exisiting children's TV programs and 30 telefilms.

Betty Boop: The Definitive Collection Arrives In Stores This Fall. Produced by animation historian Jerry Beck and distributed by Republic Pictures, this 8 volume set features a collector's edition library case with a special introduction from Richard Fleischer, the son of animation pioneer Max Fleischer. Betty, who has delighted audiences for over 65 years, has enjoyed many adventures included in this special collection of 115 original cartoon shorts.

Overview Of Manga Sheds New Light On Japanese Culture. Acknowledged Western expert, Frederick Schodt, explains just how pervasive Japanese comics are in Japan and how influential they are in his new book, Dreamland Japan: Writings on Modern Manga. In this tome about this Japanese obsession, Schodt ponders the future of manga drawn with computer and discusses the influence of manga on US comics. Available in stores now for $16.95. from Stone Bridge Press.

ANIMHA 96 Celebrated Throughout The Year In The UK. ANIMHA 96 is a community-based animation film project taking place in the Northern Arts Region as part of the centennial celebrations of the birth of the movies. It's aim is to celebrate this by uniting people through animation. It plans to link the region through a series of film production workshops, in which many communities are involved in animation process. Two key films are in production: The Lambton Worm, a modern interpretation of a traditional North East folktale, and Tales from the Pit, produced in Seaham, Co. Durham, in the heart of the famous East Durham Coal field, in which retired miners have created a new world of colliery characters. For further information, contact Mike Booth, at

AnimAction Announces Second Annual Animation 500. On November 2, 1996, in Los Angeles, California, AnimAction will host this fundraising event for BRIDGES, their animation and interactive multimedia training program dedicated to helping artists realize their dreams in a career in animation. Animation 500 is an animation "production race" in which teams work together with interns for up to 9 nine hours to produce 20 seconds of an animated short. By day's end, the team's animation is projected at a Gala Screening. For more information call (310) 260-4891.

The following items are from AWM's July 7, 1996 Email News Flash:

Marvel Super Heroics To Continue On Fox Kids Network. In the deal, Fox is believed to have secured the rights to major Marvel comic book characters including Caption America, Daredevil and Silver Surfer, who is already slated to have a series on the Fox Children's Network in September 1997. Fox, who currently airs X-Men by Saban Entertainment and Spider-Man from Marvel Entertainment Group, has guaranteed Marvel it will produce a minimum of 52 episodes of programs based on at least four Marvel properties during the 7-year term of the deal.

Cartoon Network Will Have "Cow" With H-B Premiere. Cow and Chicken, the Cartoon Network's second animated series will premiere on the next year. Thirteen half-hour programs have been ordered of the show, which follows the antics of a surreal pair of siblings of different species; the first half hour,"I Am Weasel," will be animated by David Fiess. The series follows the first "World Premiere Toons" show, Dexter's Laboratory, which was launched in April. The network will also introduce the new Real Adventures of Johnny Quest this August.

Hearst Establishes Entertainment Licensing Unit. William Jemas, Jr. to head this new unite that will concentrate on merchandising and consumer product licensing related to Hearst's television programming and feature films. Among the Entertainment Licensing unit initial activities will be the merchandising and licensing of Paramount's recently-released The Phantom and the upcoming Prince Valiant, as well as for the animated TV series Flash Gordon, which makes its debut this fall in national syndication.

Turner, Subway Tango On Cat's Don't Dance. Turner Home Entertainment has locked up a licensing deal with Subway Sandwiches and Salads for Turner's first animated feature Cats Don't Dance, produced by David Kirshner and Paul Gertz. Subway will be launching a 4 to 6 week kids meal program to coincide with the film's debut in March 1997. The promotion will appear in up to 12,000 restaurants worldwide with a yet-to-be-determined premium offer.

Sarandon, Class6 Interactive Ink For CD-ROM. Academy Award winner Susan Sarandon, will be involved with TechToons Ltd. to narrate the upcoming CD-ROM release, Cosmo's Rocket. The disc, slated for fall release, tells an original story of a boy, his dog and his inventions. Class6 Interactive has also signed an exclusive production deal with former Ren and Stimpy animators, Ted and John Mathot. The pair is wrapping up work on an upcoming Class6 game, Creature Crunch, due out next month.

Interactive CD-ROM Teaches How To Draw Cartoons. Diamar Interactive's new CD-ROM, How to Draw Cartoons, is based on the book Everything You Ever Wanted To Know about Cartooning But Were Afraid To Draw, by cartoonist Christopher Hart. Aimed at teenagers and adults who always wanted to draw, it is designed to teach users the techniques of perspective, character development, scene design, and color. The lessons include more than 800 illustrations and Hart cartoons. Christopher Hart has worked on the Blondie comic strip and is a regular contributor to Mad Magazine. For more information in the US, call 1-800-234-2627.

The following items are from AWM's July 21, 1996 Email News Flash:

Welter New President In Saban's Overhaul. Michael Welter has been named president of Saban Enterprises International, a new division of Saban formed to manage the company's international licensing, merchandising and promotional activities. Also, as part of the restructuring, Oliver Spiner, senior vice president of Saban International, will now handle Welter's previous operational duties out of the Saban Paris office. In addition, Eric Rollman, previously senior vice president production, has been named executive vice president of Saban Animation.

Cinar Production Help Increase Profits. Cinar reported profit of C$3.3 million for the six months ending May 31, 1996, up from C$2.3 million a year earlier. Production has brought Cinar's library to 750 half-hours by year end. The new series include City Mouse, Country Mouse and Ivanhoe (co-produced with France Animation for broadcast on the state-run France 2 and TVOntario, the Ontario government' educational channel).

Fine-Tooning Global Animation Festival. The Animation Celebration, scheduled for March 23-30, 1997 in Pasadena, California, will serve as an umbrella event for two existing events: The Los Angeles International Animation Competition (LAIAC) and ASIFA Hollywood's Animation Opportunities Expo, as well as a new Animation Technology Trade Show and a slate of seminars, exhibitions and symposiums.

The Real Adventures Of Jonny Quest Premieres In August On Cartoon Network. Based on the 1960s prime time series, the new Hanna-Barbera animated series, purportedly updated to the 1990s, will air in a Monday-Friday strip on all three Turner Networks--the Cartoon Network, TNT and TBS.

Tracer And Holy Grail Games Ships. The latest CD-ROM title published by 7th Level and developed by Future Endeavors of Canada, is now shipping in the US for Window 95 at the suggested retail price of $29.99. Players can choose from four "lifelike characters" to escape the Tracer virus that's in hot pursuit. You must strategically place stepping stones of like colors to create a path to the computer's inner sanctum--the data core. You can go it alone or have up to eight players. Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail, based on the classic movie, is also shipping and is available in stores now.

Sierra On-Line New Strategic War Game Now Available. MissionForce: Cyberstorm, is a new simulation game which is said to be constantly creating new battlefields, terrain and missions every time the game is played, is now available for Windows 95 on 2 CD-ROMs for $59.95.

The following announcements were made at the recent VSDA (Video Software Dealers Association) in Los Angeles, California:

Aladdin And The King Of Thieves Releases Direct To Video. Robin Williams once again brings life to "the big blue guy", will be available on August 13, and is the final chapter of the Walt Disney Video trilogy that began with the 1992 box office hit Aladdin. In this movie, Aladdin and Jasmine are finally married, but before they take their vows, he embarks on a quest to find his long-lost father. Running time is 82 minutes and it is priced at $24.99.

Paramount Launches Nickelodeon Partnership With New Rugrats. Two new-to-video titles, Rugrats Phil and Lil Double Trouble and Rugrats Tommy Troubles each contain four cartoons; each video retails for $12.95 and are due on stores this October.

MGM/UA Acquires Rights To Pee-Wee's Playhouse. The first installment of Pee-Wee's Playhouse volume sets will be released fourth quarter this year. This Emmy award winning show includes such animated shorts as "Penny" by Craig Barlett. MGM/UA will also release Pee-Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special, in addition to four volumes of Pee-Wee's Playhouse episodes. Some show titles are "Open House," Pee-wee Catches A Cold" and "To Tell The Tooth."

Sony Music Video And MTV Release Beavis And Butt-Head Do Christmas. Featuring America's favorite morons in their own twisted versions of two holiday classics along with viewer letters to Santa Butt-Head. In "Huh-Huh Humbug" a Scrooge-like Beavis is visited by the ghost of Christmas past, present, and future. In "It's a Miserable Lie," Charlie the Angel is sent down from heaven to show Butt-Head how much better life would be without him. Beavis and Butt-Head Do Christmas arrives in stores this October.

Brøderbund Software Announces Next Generation Of Carmen Sandiego. Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? and Where in the USA is Carmen Sandiego?, will feature 360 degree panoramas from over 50 countries and 50 states as walking tours and extensive electronic databases that include videos, photographs and short essays from National Geographic as well as flags and geopolitical maps. This next generation will ship this Fall for approximately $45 - $50.

Mr. Bill's Christmas Special Releases On Video For Holiday Season. Anchor Bay Entertainment and Sluggo Broadcasting System offers this clay animated holiday special, written, directed, and produced by Mr. Bill's creator Walter Williams. This 30 minute video features all his friends set in the Play-Doh patriarch's home on Christmas Eve while taking on all the Yuletide standards. Suggested retail price is $9.99.

Back to the Table of Contents
Past Issues
[about | help | home | | mail | register]

© 1996 Animation World Network