Animation World News

by Amid Amidi

All of the news in this section of Animation World Magazine is published first in the Animation Flash, AWN's weekly e-mail newsletter. Read it first in the Flash! <Subscribe today.>

Business: Medialab and Cine-Groupe Team Up, Cinar's Name Change, Changes for Varga, Balmur Acquires A Couple Studios.

People: Musical Chairs: Savage Steve gets represented, Cindy Coughlin joins and Veronique Angelino is promoted at BKN, The Interface Group hires Carol Hilliard, Senator Jack Austin appointed to CINAR's Board of Directors, Radomski goes Roman, Laurie Goldberg joins Cartoon Network, Computer Café hires Beau Cameron, Merkert to PDI, Morss joins Pepper's Ghost Productions, MacFarlane's "Family Guy" Values,
Universal Exec is Ousted, Tigger's Voice Changes, Roth Resigns - Herzog Harnessed In.

Films: AWN Animated Box Office Report, Wild Brain Does A Dog Cartoon, Bunny From Blue Sky, PDI's Newest Trek Is Tusker, More Bug's Life Bloopers Are Coming, Prince Of Egypt Goes Egyptian.

Television: Home Movies on UPN, Animals on 64 Zoo Lane, November Nielsen Ratings, Varga Animates Blues, Cruikshank On HDTV, Nick Goes Cartoon Crazy, (Colossal) And Zoog Disney, Cinar Hooks Up With Shanghai TV, The Return Of Wallace And Gromit, October Nielsen Ratings, TV Tidbits: The P.J.s, Payback, The First Snow Of Winter, Batman Beyond In Primetime, The Making Of "The Rugrats Movie," An All Dogs Christmas Carol, Record-Setting Rugrats, Digitally-Remastered Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Commercials: Seeing Spots by Passion Pictures, (Colossal), J.J. Sedelmaier, Klasky-Csupo, and The Attik.

Video: A.D.V. Acquires Queen Emeraldas, Baby Huey Comes To Video.

Licensing: Little Means A Lot Between Sony And Hasbro, Burger King Big With Babies, Dates Set For Licensing 99 International.

Technology: Puffin Releases Knoll Lens Flare Pro.

Internet & Interactive: South Park Gets Interactive.

Call for Entries: Hollywood Shorts Wants Animation, Win A Golden Sheaf Award, Enter The Santa Clarita Film Fest, U.S. International Film And Video Fest Call For Entries.

Awards: MTV Character Screen Test Winners, The Kwiky Mart Is Big In Holland, Cinanima Results Are In.

Events: ASIFA-Hollywood's Animation Expo, Last Month in Animation:
Ideas in Animation, CalArts Experimental Animation Screening, Hollywood Shorts, Animazing Celebration, FFAF Film Screening, Association of Northern Animators Christmas Party, MPSC Local 839 Holiday Party, DCC Conference and Expo, Flaming Wonton Show, Encounters of the Indian Ocean Institute of the Image, Mendrisio Swiss Animated Film Fest, TIGHTROPE screening, MORE screening.



MEDIALAB And Cine-Groupe Team Up.
<MEDIALAB,> a real-time performance animation production company, and Cine-Groupe, a production house and distributor of animation, have joined forces for the first time in a co-production deal that will see two properties, Pinocchio 3001 and Sphinx@com, developed into computer-generated animated feature films and television series. These projects will be produced over the next four years using MEDIALAB's proprietary performance animation techniques. Pinocchio 3001 is a futuristic twist on the classic tale of Gepetto and his little wooden boy who must learn the difference between good and bad in order to become a real human boy. Sphinx@com is an adventure series through time and the Internet that puts a group of modern young heroes into an oppressive ancient world ruled by Egyptian gods. MEDIALAB's first foray into content creation and production was in 1996 when they launched the 3D television series, Donkey Kong Country.

Cinar's Name Change. As a follow-up to our 11/17/98 Animation Flash story, Canadian-based <CINAR Films Inc.> has changed their name to CINAR Corporation (Corporation CINAR in French) after a Special Meeting of Shareholders approved the change. The new name better reflects the diversification of the company's business activities which have expanded beyond the film industry.

Changes For Varga. The Varga Group of Companies, which includes the Hungarian animation studio Varga Studio and UK-based VARGA tvc Ltd., will conduct business under a newly formed holding company, Varga Holdings. Varga Holdings reflects Varga's worldwide expansion in the production of high quality animation and replaces Eurotoon, the previous holding company for the two animation studios. Co-founder of Varga Studio, Andras Erkel, was named Chief Executive Officer of Varga Holdings while co-founder Csaba Varga has been named Group Creative Director. Varga was founded in 1989 and formed an alliance in 1997 with John Coates, founder of the British animation studio TV Cartoons (TVC), to form VARGA tvc. Ltd.

Balmur Acquires A Couple Studios. Balmur Entertainment, a music management and publishing company owned by singer-performer Anne Murray, has acquired Evening Sky Productions and The Animation House in an effort to produce original animated series, live-action family entertainment and music-driven television specials for global distribution. Evening Sky (headed by David and Mary Corbett) and Animation House (headed by Bob Fortier) will merge to become a wholly-owned division of Balmur Entertainment and will operate as Evening Sky Productions. As a result of the acquisitions, Los Angeles-based Evening Sky will move their headquarters to the Toronto-based Animation House while maintaining a development office in LA. Corbett, who is now the President and CEO of the consolidated Evening Sky, stated, "I am extremely pleased to be part of Balmur Entertainment Ltd. Balmur has built a worldwide reputation for excellence in the world of music publishing and the production of first-class television specials. At the same time, The Animation House is highly regarded worldwide as a leader in commercial animation production. Our combined forces instantly create a company of unlimited potential in the significant family television marketplace."



Musical Chairs.
Savage Steve Holland, co-creator of Eek! the Cat, has signed on with the William Morris Agency for representation in all fields. He will be repped by Rob Wolken, Spencer Baumgarten and Greg Lipstone. He is currently creating, writing and directing DIC's Sabrina, the Animated Series. In addition, he's also written and directed live-action films including Better Off Dead (1985) and One Crazy Summer (1986). . . . . Cindy Coughlin has joined BKN as Vice President of Domestic Licensing and Merchandising. She will be responsible for developing licensing programs for current properties like Pocket Dragon Adventures and upcoming shows such as Roswell Conspiracies. BKN also promoted Veronique Angelino to Senior Vice President Worldwide Licensing and Merchandising where she will assume full responsibility for all international licensing operations. . . . The Interface Group has hired designer/animator Carol Hilliard to join their Creative Service Department. She will work closely with director of Creative Services Jeff Weingarten and the company's graphics team which includes designer John Bennett and animation director Frank Rogers. . . . . Senator Jack Austin, representing the Canadian province of British Columbia, has been appointed to CINAR Corporation's Board of Directors, increasing the number of members to nine. Senator Austin is also currently the president of the Canada China Business Council, which represents 250 Canadian companies active in Canada-China trade and investment relations. Ronald Weinberg, President and CEO of CINAR, commented, "With our recent initiation of Canada's first official Canada-China co-production for an animated series created in China, the Senator's extensive relations with China will strengthen our business ties.". . . . Producer/director Eric Radomski recently joined Film Roman as Executive Producer. His new role includes heading up the company's restructured animation development and production program, as well as taking the helm of Film Roman's expanding digital shorts program. Company president and CEO David Pritchard stated, "Film Roman is fortunate and excited that Eric has agreed to help us rebuild the new Film Roman. We see him as part of the future of this company, and will rely on him to lead our animation division into new areas including our groundbreaking efforts in our new CG department and its digital shorts program. This is an exhilarating time for Eric to be joining our company." Radomski joins Film Roman from HBO Animation where he was a supervising producer/director for Todd McFarlane's Spawn and Ralph Bakshi's Spicy City. Prior to that, he directed Freakazoid and was a producer/director on Batman: The Animated Series and the animated Batman feature Mask of Phantasm. . . . Laurie Goldberg has been named vice president of public relations at Cartoon Network. She will oversee all publicity and public relations for Cartoon Network including programming, consumer and cable affiliate marketing campaigns, Cartoon Network Online, Cartoon Network Enterprises (NASCAR and SMASH tennis) and the network's licensed promotions and merchandising. She joins the network from Pinnacle Brands, Inc., a sports trading card company in Dallas, where she also served as vice president of public relations. . . . Beau Cameron has joined Santa Maria, California-based Computer Café as a 3D character animator. His first project is animating a flock of penguins for a Mervyn's television spot. . . . Pacific Data Images (PDI) has appointed industry veteran George Merkert as Executive Producer of the Motion Picture Visual Effects division. This decision comes on the heels of PDI's announcement of their intention to grow the company's operation and core business capabilities beyond its present size and scope, and to further develop its traditional animation/visual effects support work with a new emphasis toward content creation. Merkert joins PDI from Sony Pictures Imageworks where he produced visual effects for Godzilla, James and the Giant Peach, and Starship Troopers. "I'm very pleased to join PDI, which has the talent to become a major contender in the visual effects business," Merkert said. "It's exhilarating to work with such a talented group of individuals and to help them realize their enormous potential.". . . . Richard Morss has joined UK-based digital production company, Pepper's Ghost Productions (PGP), as Executive Creative Director. Morss had been Controller of Children's Programs at United Film and Television Production prior to his appointment at PGP. This follows the hiring of Alan Marques, who joined PGP last month as head of production. PGP Managing Director Paul Michael stated that this represents a shift of focus for the company. "Richard and Alan have joined us as the company moves from its development phase to that of a production company, with several projects to bring to the market over the next year. We have recognized the need to be able to provide half-hour TV series using 3D graphics and animation at an affordable price, both for children and adult audiences."

MacFarlane's Family Guy Values. Twenty-five-year-old Seth MacFarlane, the creator of the upcoming Fox TV primetime animated series Family Guy, has signed a five-year, multi-million dollar development deal with Twentieth Century Fox Television. Under the deal, MacFarlane will develop new programming and remain the executive producer and principal voice actor on his series Family Guy. Fox has guaranteed MacFarlane $2 million to $2.5 million for the first three years and if the show continues to air after that time, he will receive large increases the final two years. MacFarlane will also receive a share of the profits if the show is successful and sells in syndication. The series, expected to premiere in early `99, possibly after the Superbowl in January, focuses on the dysfunctional Griffin family, which includes: Peter, the dimwitted father, brilliant, but homicidal, Baby Stewie, loving mother Lois, and Brian, a talking dog. On average, MacFarlane provides the voices to more than a dozen characters in each episode.

Universal Exec Is Ousted. Universal Pictures chairman Casey Silver was forced to resign after a year of consistent box office flops such as Primary Colors, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Out of Sight, Meet Joe Black, and this weekend's disastrous opening of the expensive sequel Babe: Pig in the City, which was slaughtered by two other family-oriented features, Disney's A Bug's Life and Paramount's The Rugrats Movie. Silver had been head of Universal's movie production, marketing and distribution since November 1995. Universal Studios President and Chief Operating Officer Ron Meyer will take over his duties while Silver, a well-liked exec, will stay at Universal as an independent producer. Universal's lackluster year has left them ahead of only financially struggling MGM in market share among the major studios. Universal's two other releases this year are the remake of Alfred Hitchcock's classic film, Psycho and the Robin Williams film, Patch Adams.

Tigger's Voice Changes. For over thirty years, long-time actor Paul Winchell has supplied the voice of Tigger in Walt Disney's Winnie the Pooh animated productions. However, the upcoming animated Pooh feature, Tigger's Family Tree, won't feature his distinctive voice; instead Tigger's voice will be supplied by veteran voice actor Jim Cummings, who is also the current voice of Pooh Bear. Although a Disney spokeswoman denies he was fired, Winchell was let go after only one day of work on the film. She says his day of work was an audition, and the job simply went to the actor who gave a better performance. A more likely reason is that Winchell asked for more money as Disney is paying him union scale. Many insiders are saddened by this strange voice casting decision. Mark Evanier, a veteran voice director and animation writer, commented, "Paul Winchell is one of the great creative geniuses of the entertainment industry and his talents helped make Tigger a beloved character (and lucrative property). Any producer who thinks a knock-off is just as good as the original, especially when the original is available, is fooling himself and trying to fool the public." Another viewpoint came from industry voice actor, Joe Bevilacqua, who said that, "Disney should spend the extra money on Paul because of all his years of service to the company. Having the real voice of Tigger is always preferable to an imitation, and since Paul Winchell is alive it makes no sense not to use him." Jim Cummings has previously provided the voice of Tigger but only when Paul Winchell wasn't available to perform the voice due to illness or vacation. This is the first time that Winchell has been available and not gotten the part. However, it should be noted that Paul Winchell's Tigger voice is still being used for upcoming TV specials.

Roth Resigns - Herzog Harnessed In. Fox Entertainment Group president Peter Roth resigned last week after a disappointing season for Fox Network's television shows. Comedy Central chief executive officer Doug Herzog was announced as the replacement where he'll head Fox's development, scheduling, marketing and promotion. Herzog is responsible for bringing South Park to Comedy Central and it is his intention to push the envelope content-wise at Fox as well. Certainly, a good deal of Fox's future rides on animated shows with three major primetime series premiering on the network in `99: Futurama, Family Guy, and PJs. Roth, who had been president of Fox Entertainment Group since 1996, is returning to the development and production of original programming for Fox Network.


JEFF- Pace 03 and 04 along the big box office item below.

AWN Animated Box Office Report.
December 18-20:
This year's final and quite possibly, most anticipated, animated feature, DreamWorks' The Prince of Egypt debuted this past weekend at number two with a respectable but not stellar $14.5M. While DreamWorks reps blame the impeachment proceedings, the White House affair didn't seem to have much effect on the strong $18.4M number one opening for the live-action Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan film, You've Got Mail. It is too early to make any guesses on the success of DreamWorks' Prince and the next few holiday weeks will be integral in determining the film's profitability. Disney/Pixar's A Bug's Life held strong as well, due in part to the release of additional bloopers in the end credits, taking in $10M for a one-month total of $96.3M. Warner's visual-effects film Jack Frost brought in a chilly $5.1M in fifth place accumulating $13.7M in ten days, while Paramount's The Rugrats Movie continued to bring in the kids at eighth place with $2.9M for a one-month total of $76.9M. . . . December 11-13: After two weekends at No. 1, A Bug's Life slipped to second with $11 million for the Friday-to-Sunday, December 11-13, period due to a strong opening from Star Trek: Insurrection, the ninth addition to the consistently profitable sci-fi franchise. Warner Bros.' effects-laden film Jack Frost had an acceptable but underwhelming $7 million opening. Paramount's The Rugrats Movie continued to attract little tykes taking fifth place with $4.5 million. A Bug's Life has now grossed a total of $83.3 million in 24 days of release while The Rugrats Movie has brought in $73.2 million in the same amount of time. Universal's sausage-less oinker Babe: Pig in the City took in $1.8 million to place eighth. . . . December 4-6: Disney/Pixar's A Bug's Life led the way at the box office for a second straight weekend beating out Universal's shot-by-shot remake of Alfred Hitchcock's classic Psycho. The computer-animated film dropped a respectable 48%, earning $17.4M for a total cume of $68.7M. In fourth place, Paramount's The Rugrats Movie had a heavier drop of 64% from Thanksgiving weekend adding $7.6M for a grand total of $67.5M in 17 days. Still struggling, the live-action/visual effects film, Babe: Pig in the City, placed sixth with $2.4 million tying with Universal Pictures' other underperformer Meet Joe Black. DreamWork/PDI's Antz is well out of the rankings now, dropping into the twenties for the first time after a successful and profitable run in theaters. . . . November 27-29: Disney/Pixar's A Bug's Life dominated the box office this weekend with a staggering number one debut of an estimated $33.3M over the Friday-to-Sunday period and a record-setting $45.7M over the five-day holiday frame. If the estimates hold, the computer-generated bug picture will become the largest Thanksgiving opening in history topping Disney's 1996 release 101 Dalmatians which debuted with $33.5M and $45.1M over the comparable periods. In addition, A Bug's Life is the second-best debut for an animated film ever, coming in behind Disney's The Lion King which made $40.9M when it opened in 1994. Another family animated film, Paramount's The Rugrats Movie, held up during its second week of release and landed in second place with an estimated $21M three-day weekend cume and $27.4M over the five-day holiday. The feature adaptation of Nickelodeon's popular children's program has now amassed $57.9M in only ten days of release ensuring the sequel which was already in development prior to the first film's release. With an estimated production cost of only $25M, combined with the expected revenues from merchandising, worldwide home video and overseas theatrical, Paramount has uncovered an extremely profitable franchise. Less notably, Dreamworks' Antz dropped out of the top ten for the first time in two months placing 17th with $1.2 million for a grand total of $85.7M. . . . November 20-22: Animation played a very big role in last weekend's U.S. box office which saw strong performances from three animated features. After eight weeks, Antz remained in the Top 10 at No. 8 pulling in $2.3 million for a total of $84.2 million. A Bug's Life was explosive in its one-theater debut in Hollywood, California's historic El Capitan theater, grossing an amazing $291,000 over the weekend. This opening set house records at the El Capitan topping the 1995 El Capitan opening of Toy Story, which made $274,000. The biggest story this weekend though was Paramount's The Rugrats Movie grossing a commanding $27.3 million, averaging $9,821 per theater, despite lackluster reviews and limited appeal to older audiences. This performance easily makes it the best opening for a non-Disney animated film ever, and fourth overall among feature cartoons behind The Lion King ($40.9M), Pocahontas ($29.5M), and Toy Story ($29.1M).

Wild Brain Does A Dog Cartoon. San Francisco-based Wild Brain has completed an in-house seven-minute short film called A Dog Cartoon, featuring a highly-energetic dog who faces many perils as he attempts to recover his coveted bone. Wild Brain animation director Dave Thomas, who came up with the idea for the film, credits Saturday morning TV as his inspiration for A Dog Cartoon. Says Thomas, "The dog character lived in my head for a long time...this film is my homage to the great cartoons I watched as a kid." The dog character is now being developed into a television series, Harvard's Yard. While at Wild Brain, Dave Thomas has been an animator on high profile commercials for companies such as Nike, Sprite, Nestle and KFC, and director on The New Guy, a pilot for Microsoft Network. The film will premiere with a live musical score when The Sprocket Ensemble Goes to the Dogs at a screening in Berkeley's Fine Arts Theater. See Last Month in Animation for further information on the screening.


A Bunny From Blue Sky.
Chris Wedge, one of the founders of Blue Sky Studios (now Blue Sky|VIFX), has released his personal film, Bunny. The seven-minute computer-animated film utilizes "radiosity," an advanced computer rendering technique, a relative of the ray-tracing technology, that mimics subtle properties of natural light. The three-year project was written and directed by Chris Wedge, produced by Nina Rappaport, with music by singer/songwriter Tom Waits. Bunny is the story of an old, fragile bunny-woman who receives an annoying late-night visitor in the form of a large moth whose reasons for visiting are not immediately obvious.

PDI's Newest Trek Is Tusker. Coming off their successful animated feature, Antz, Pacific Data Images (PDI) and DreamWorks have announced that their next collaboration will be Tusker, directed by Tim Johnson (co-director of Antz) and Brad Lewis (producer of Antz). The film will be PDI/DreamWorks' third project and will follow the release of Shrek, which is currently in production. Tusker follows a herd of elephants as they make a perilous trek across Southeast Asia confronting numerous dangers including a malevolent group of poachers. Says DreamWorks head, Jeffrey Katzenberg, "Tim, Brad and the entire PDI team brought an enormous amount of creativity and energy to `Antz.' It will be fun to see what they can do with bigger things - like elephants. We think Tusker has all the right ingredients to make a great movie, and PDI is just the team to make it happen."

More Bug's Life Bloopers Are Coming. Disney may not have an animated film to put up against DreamWorks' Prince of Egypt, but they've come up with an ingenious way of profiting from the November release of A Bug's Life. The company announced that starting December 18th, a completely new set of animated bloopers will accompany the closing credits of the film. As word has spread about the film, these "faux" film flubs have proven to be a hit with both filmgoers and film critics, thus making the change a perfect way to relaunch the film for the upcoming Christmas season and garner repeat viewings. Pixar came up with so many ideas for the blooper reel that they originally animated two sets and chose half of them for the initial film release. The original set of outtakes is now viewable on the movie's web site at

The Prince Of Egypt Goes Egyptian. DreamWorks' The Prince of Egypt was the inaugural film to screen at the American Cinematheque's newly restored Egyptian Theater. The Egyptian Theater was Hollywood Boulevard's first movie palace erected in 1922 and a gala grand re-opening was held on December 4 after a four year restoration project dedicated to bringing the theater back to its original splendor. Although a number of special screenings will be held at the Egyptian prior to the film's wide release date, The Prince of Egypt started a two-month run at the theater on December 18. The American Cinematheque organization has many screenings planned through 1999 at the Egyptian Theater including a retrospective screening of the works of Russian filmmaker Aleksandr Ptushko, whose stop-motion animated film The New Gulliver (1933) will be among the movies screened. The American Cinematheque can be reached at (323) 466-3456.


Home Movies On UPN.
UPN has ordered thirteen episodes of Home Movies, a new half-hour primetime animated sitcom from Tom Snyder Productions, the producers of Comedy Central's Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist and ABC's Saturday morning series, SquiggleVision (aka Science Court). The series will be done in the producer's trademark production technique, "SquiggleVision," which is also used on Snyder's other shows. Tentatively scheduled to premiere in April, comedian Paula Poundstone, Brendon Small, and H. Jon Benjamin star in the voice cast and record each episode through an improvisational voice-over process the producers have dubbed "Retroscripting." Comedian Jonathan Katz also has a recurring role in the series. Tom Snyder, Loren Bouchard, Bonnie Burns and Mary Catherine Tucker are executive producers. The show revolves around socially awkward third-grader Brendon Small, a budding filmmaker, who lives with his sister and recently divorced mom, Paula. UPN Entertainment President Tom Nunan stated, "Home Movies will bring a totally unique voice and sensibility to UPN. The improvisational nature of the `Retroscripting' process is sharp, funny and exactly the kind of alternative programming we want to offer our viewers."

Animals On 64 Zoo Lane. Germany-based ZDF Enterprises, a subsidiary of ZDF German Television Network, and French animation producer, Millimage, are set to co-produce 64 Zoo Lane, a 13x10 minute series for children ages four to ten. The show, which will be ready in August 1999, uses illustrator An Vrombault's painterly animation style to create a colorful world of animal characters. A different animal stars in each episode and recounts his or her own story to Lucy, the little girl who lives next to the zoo. Millimage will handle worldwide distribution while ZDF Enterprises will retain the distribution rights for German-speaking European territories.

06 - Jeff- Put below where it says "First Snow of Winter"

TV Tidbits.
Fox will debut the new mid-season animated sitcom, The P.J.s, on Sunday, January 10 at 8:30 p.m. following a divisional conference football playoff game. The show will start the following Tuesday in its regular 8:30 p.m. slot following King of the Hill. The "foamation" series was produced at Will Vinton Studios and is executive produced by comedian/actor Eddie Murphy. . . . Director JC Wegman has completed work on two 1-minute, 30-second animated segments for the NBC pilot Payback. The animation was produced at Acme Filmworks in Hollywood, California. Payback is the American version of the Italian show You Get What You Deserve, which targets heartless individuals in unfriendly professions and subjects them to vicious pranks. Wegman created animation for two practical jokes, "Towing Yard" and "Parking Enforcement," orchestrated by radio personality Tim Conway Jr. The special will air on NBC, January 2 from 8-9 p.m. (EST and PST). . . . Hibbert Ralph Animation's The First Snow of Winter premiered in the U.K. on BBC1 on Christmas Day, December 25, at 4:40 p.m. The half-hour animated special from director Graham Ralph features the voices of Miriam Margolyes, Sorcha Cusack, and the late Dermot Morgan. The film follows the tale of Sean, a little Irish duck who becomes separated from his parents and misses the annual migration south. Thus, he is left alone to face the hostile climate of the bitter Irish winter. The special also aired in the U.S. on the Disney Channel on December 23 at 7 p.m. (EST and PST) and December 25 at 6:30 p.m.(EST and PST). The U.S. voice cast for this film includes Ashley Johnson, Tim Curry and Carol Kane. . . . . A half-hour special, The Making Of "The Rugrats Movie" aired on November 26 at 6:00 p.m. (ET) on U.S. cable network TV Land with segments on the Rugrats' voices, the unique animation style, and the star-studded soundtrack. . . . . . On Sunday, December 6, Fox Family Channel premiered An All Dogs Christmas Carol at 6 -7:30 p.m. (ET/PT). The canine retelling of Dickens' A Christmas Carol is based on the Don Bluth film, All Dogs Go to Heaven.. . . . . Not only are the Rugrats burning up the big screen but they're also setting records on the small screen. A Thanksgiving-themed episode, "The Turkey Who Came to Dinner," which aired on November 10 garnered Nickelodeon's biggest ratings ever among the age 2-11 demographic. The special outperformed all competition, even broadcast networks, in its time period earning a 9.4/28 national rating share (3.7 million viewers) among kids 2-11. . . . . . A digitally remastered version of the animated holiday classic, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer aired on U.S. network CBS Monday, November 30 from 8-9 p.m. (ET/PT). The Rankin-Bass film about an awkward shiny-nosed reindeer will include an additional two minutes and 50 seconds of footage not seen since 1964. The extra footage comes from the reinsertion of two songs, "We Are Santa's Elves" and "We're a Couple of Misfits."

Batman Beyond In Primetime. The new, futuristic Batman Beyond animated series is set to have a special one-hour primetime sneak preview on Sunday, January 10, 1999 from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. (EST/PST). The series will officially premiere on the Kids WB! with a special one-hour debut on Saturday morning, January 16 (time to be announced). Batman Beyond will move to its regular Saturday 9:30 a.m. time slot on January 23. The show is set in the early part of the 21st century where an older and "retired" Bruce Wayne, Batman's alter ego, becomes the mentor to Terry McGinnis, a teenage crime fighter in training.

November Nielsen Ratings. By special arrangement with Nielsen Media Research, AWN publishes the Nielsen ratings for animated programs on a monthly basis in the Animation Flash. The ratings included herein are only for U.S. national network television. The following list of animated national network programs is ranked by Household Ratings. A Rating is the percentage of households that tuned into the program. This percentage can provide us with the number of households that tuned into the program on average during the month. The universe estimate for the 1997-98 television season is 98 million TV homes. Each rating point represents one percent of that universe, or 980,000 TV homes. Translation: The Simpsons, with a 8.6 rating, was viewed in just over 8.4 million (8.6 x 980,000) households. The below ranking is an average for the month of November 1998 (monthly cycle includes the last six day in October).

Rating/Program (Network, Day, First Telecast, Time)
8.6 The Simpsons (Fox, Sunday,11/08, 8:00 p.m.)
5.6 King of the Hill (Fox, Tuesday, 10/27, 8:00 p.m.)
5.4 King of the Hill 2 (Fox, Tuesday, 10/27, 8:30 p.m.)
2.9 Disney's One Saturday Morning 3 (ABC, Saturday, 10/31, 9:30 a.m.)
2.7 Disney's One Saturday Morning 2 (ABC, Saturday, 10/31, 9:00 a.m.)
2.7 Disney's One Saturday Morning 4 (ABC, Saturday, 10/31, 10:30 a.m.)
2.4 Disney's One Saturday Morning 1 (ABC, Saturday, 10/31, 8:30 a.m.)
2.0 Batman/Superman 3 (WB, Saturday, 10/31, 9:00 a.m.)
2.0 Men in Black (WB, Saturday, 10/31, 9:00 a.m.)
1.9 Godzilla (Fox, Saturday, 10/31, 9:00 a.m.)
1.9 The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (ABC, Saturday, 10/31, 10:30 a.m.)
1.9 Pinky, Elmyra & Brain (WB, Saturday, 10/31, 10:30 a.m.)
1.8 Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show 1 (ABC, Saturday, 10/31, 10:30 a.m.)
1.8 Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show 2 (ABC, Saturday, 10/31, 11:00 a.m.)
1.7 Batman/Superman 2 (WB, Saturday, 10/31, 8:30 a.m.)
1.7 Sylvester/Tweety (WB, Saturday, 10/31, 11:00 a.m.)
1.6 Spy Dogs (Fox, Saturday, 11/07, 10:30 a.m.)
1.6 Sylvester/Tweety (WB, Saturday, 10/31, 10:30 a.m.)
1.5 Disney's 101 Dalmatians (ABC, Saturday, 10/31, 11:30 a.m.)
1.5 Disney's Hercules (ABC, Saturday, 10/31, 8:00 a.m.)
1.5 Histeria (WB, Saturday, 10/31, 11:30 a.m.)
1.5 Mad Jack (Fox, Saturday, 10/31, 11:00 a.m.)
1.5 Oggy & the Cockroaches (Fox, Saturday, 11/07, 11:30 a.m.)
1.5 Spiderman (UPN, Sunday, 11/01, 10:30 a.m.)
1.5 Squigglevision (ABC, Saturday, 10/31, 11:00 a. m.)
1.4 Spider-Man (Fox, Tuesday-Friday, 10/26, 3:00 p.m.)
1.4 X-Men (UPN, Sunday, 11/01, 10:00 a.m.)
1.3 Batman/Superman 2 (WB, Saturday, 10/26, 4:30 p.m.)
1.2 Batman/Superman 1 (WB, Saturday, 10/31, 9:00 a.m.)
1.2 Hulk and Friends (UPN, Sunday, 11/01, 9:30 a.m.)
1.1 Batman/Superman 1 (WB, Monday-Friday, 10/26, 4:00 p.m.)
1.1 Mr. Potato Head (Fox, Saturday, 10/31, 8:00 a.m.)
1.0 Beetleborgs (UPN, Sunday, 11/01, 9:00 a.m.)
1.0 Life with Louie (Fox, Monday-Friday, 10/26, 7:30 a.m.)
1.0 Magic School Bus (Fox, Monday-Friday, 10/26, 7:00 a.m.)
1.0 Toonsylvania (Fox, Monday, 10/26, 3:30 p.m.)
0.9 Guardians of the Legend (CBS, Saturday, 11/07, 11:30 a.m.)
0.9 Ned's Newt (Fox, Tuesday-Thursday, 10/26, 7:30 a.m.)
0.9 Space Goofs (Fox, Monday, 10/26, 3:00 p.m.)
0.8 Anatole (CBS, Saturday, 10/31, 7:30 p.m.)
0.8 Birdz (CBS, Saturday, 10/31, 11:00 a.m.)
0.8 The Dumb Bunnies (CBS, Saturday, 10/31, 8:00 a.m.)
0.8 Flying Rhino Jr. High (CBS, Saturday, 10/31, 8:30 a.m.)
0.7 Animaniacs (WB, Monday-Friday, 10/26, 8:30 a.m.)
0.7 Franklin (CBS, Saturday, 10/31, 7:00 a.m.)
0.7 Histeria (WB, Monday-Friday, 10/26, 3:30 p.m.)
0.7 Pinky & Brain (WB, Monday-Friday, 10/26, 3:00 p.m.)
0.5 Tiny Toons (WB, Monday-Friday, 10/26, 8:00 a.m.)

Varga Animates Blues. The WB Network's prime-time animated sitcom, Baby Blues, will be produced at the Hungary-based Varga Studio. Varga has been contracted to animate the pilot episode (which they recently finished), as well as an additional seven episodes of the show's thirteen episode first season order. It should be noted that Warner Bros. is still handling the pre- and post-production on these first eight episodes while Rough Draft is picking up the remaining five episodes. The show, which is based on the comic of the same name created by Jerry Scott and Rick Kirkman, is about coping with the everyday problems that face first-time parents. Varga has previously collaborated with Warner Bros. Television on an Emmy Award-winning Animaniacs special. The creative team for Blues includes animation director Alexei Alexeiev, writers/producers Peter Ocko and Jeff Martin and creative producer Liz Holzman.

Cruikshank On HDTV. St. Louis, Missouri-based Unity Motion, the first company to offer 24-hour high-definition television (HDTV) programming via satellite, has acquired the rights to air six original animated films by independent animator Sally Cruikshank. The films in the package include Face Like a Frog and her cult hit, Quasi at the Quackadero. Through the year 2000, Unity Motion has made a commitment to spend more than $250 million on movie acquisitions. Cruikshank's work are airing in regular rotation on the channel. Sally Cruikshank is currently a commercial director on the Klasky-Csupo roster.

Sally Cruikshank's original production artwork and a video tape of her work is currently available in the <Animation World Store.>

Nick Goes Cartoon Crazy. Nickelodeon made a major announcement Tuesday, December 8 regarding their 1999 lineup. 259 original episodes of returning shows, both live-action and animated, are scheduled for the 1999 TV season. The animated shows that will have new episodes are Rugrats, featuring the addition of new family member Baby Dil Pickles, Hey Arnold!, The Wild Thornberrys, CatDog, Oh Yeah! Cartoons!, The Angry Beavers, KABLAM!, and Blue's Clues. In addition, Nickelodeon also has three new animated series that will premiere in 1999. Regarding the new shows, Nickelodeon Senior Vice President of Production, Kevin Kay said, "All of these new series share the common thread that runs through all Nickelodeon shows: they are made from a kids' point of view; they are contemporary in look and are very weird: they are unlike anything kids will see anywhere else." The new shows are as follows:

Rocket Beach (working title): Klasky-Csupo is producing 20 episodes of this new adventure series that captures the magical and extreme friendship between a group of kids in Southern California. The show follows the adventures of Otto, Reggie, Twister and Sam as they frolic in the sun and learn about life.

SpongeBob SquarePants: SpongeBob, a lovable sea sponge who lives in an underwater pineapple, will be featured in 13 episodes of this original series produced at Nicktoons. Created by former marine biologist Steve Hillenburg, the show is about the good-natured SpongeBob spending his days pursuing his dream of becoming employee of the month at The Krusty Krab fast food restaurant... although, he's rarely successful.

Little Bill: This previously announced series [AF 7/14/98] from Nick Jr. is an animated preschool series based on comedian/actor Bill Cosby's children's books. Thirteen episodes have been ordered for this show which investigates life through the eyes of a five-year-old boy on a quest to understand the world.

In addition to the returning and new series, Nickelodeon has announced that they have 50 new animated and live-action series in development for 1999. Nickelodeon has commissioned the production of the following animated pilots to be produced for 1999:

The Carmichaels: A Rugrats spin-off from Klasky-Csupo focusing on Angelica Pickles' friend and foil, Susie Carmichael. Susie moves to a new neighborhood and makes new friends while trying to make sense of her chaotic new surroundings.

Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius: Nickelodeon's first 3D, computer-animated series is about the adventures of Jimmy Neutron: one part McGyver, one part Einstein, and two parts Jim Carrey. Jimmy Neutron is always inventing stuff to help people or make the world a better place, but as cartoon rules dictate, things never turn out as planned.

Stewy the Dog Boy: Stewy is the new boy in the fourth grade class at Deerlick Park Elementary School, except he's not a real boy - he's a dog that can pass himself off as a human. His heroic adventures come courtesy of creators Dennis Messner and Mary Harrington.

The Proud Family: From creator Bruce Smith (Bebe's Kids) comes the suburban exploits of a teenage girl, focusing on the adventures of a pair of one-year-old twins, who constantly escape the confines of their house and go on exciting adventures, alluding grandma's supervision.


(Colossal) And Zoog Disney.
Zoog Disney is a new two-hour block of programming on the Disney Channel that features a companion web site signaling the network's latest attempt at converging television and the Internet. The programming block which airs on Saturday and Sunday evenings from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. works in tandem with the web site by allowing children who watch the programs to submit suggestions, vote on outcomes, play games related to the programs, and give input to the shows. The Zoog characters, created by San Francisco-based (Colossal) Pictures, accompany the on-line content helping kids make the transition between the two mediums. "We started thinking of the Zoogs as kids' ambassadors to the technological world, each character representing an aspect of the on-line experience," says Colossal's senior creative director for the project, George Evelyn. The weekly input provided by viewers from the web site required that the Zoog characters be flexible so that their actions and dialog could be easily modified. Thus, Colossal, with the help of Mondo Media, created ten main characters and a host of "extras" designed to work both on TV and on-line. The characters are modular and interchangeable allowing them to be placed in a myriad of situations with a variety of dialog. Each character has the ability for unique animated movement and stylized lip sync. "We essentially gave Disney Channel a modular animation kit," says Evelyn. "They can mix and match characters' discrete actions - like moving left or right, talking to the camera, turning flips - and quickly assemble an endless array of scenes." The characters are modeled in 3D but look like 2D - a process coined by Colossal Chief Executive Officer, Drew Takahashi as "2 1/2D." The creative group for this project included executive creative director Drew Takahashi, executive producer Jana Canellos, art director David Delpo, character designer David Fremont, CG animation art director Pete Parisi and composer/sound designer Pete Scaturro.

Cinar Hooks Up With Shanghai TV. Canadian-based CINAR Films has signed an agreement with Shanghai Animation Film Studio, a subsidiary of Shanghai TV, China's second largest broadcasting company, to co-produce 52 ten-minute episodes of an animated series called Rumble and Growl. The Chinese-developed educational series chronicles the adventures of two friends, Rumble and Growl, who are always hungry. In their quest to find food, the pair uncovers scientific wonders and never-before explained natural phenomena. This is the first-ever official Canada-China co-production for an animated series created in China. The series will air in 1999 on China's Shanghai TV while CINAR will handle the international distribution.

The Return Of Wallace And Gromit. Popular Plasticine cartoon characters Wallace and dog Gromit are returning to the screen for the first time since the Academy-Award winning 1995 short A Close Shave. The cheese-loving duo will make a cameo appearance in an episode of the new 13-part Aardman series Rex the Runt, a cartoon about the adventures of four dogs who share a suburban semi-detached home. Their brief appearance showcases them in their Close Shave role of window cleaners, except this time they face the dastardly Bad Bob. Rex the Runt also features the celebrity voices of Kathy Burke (Nil By Mouth), comedian Eddie Izzard, Antoine de Caunes, Bob Monkhouse, June Whitfield and Paul Merton. The show, created by Richard Goleszowski, will air during the Christmas season on BBC Two.

October Nielsen Ratings. By special arrangement with Nielsen Media Research, AWN publishes the Nielsen ratings for animated programs on a monthly basis in the Animation Flash. The ratings included herein are only for U.S. national network television. The following list of animated national network programs is ranked by Household Ratings. A Rating is the percentage of households that tuned into the program. This percentage can provide us with the number of households that tuned into the program on average during the month. The universe estimate for the 1997-98 television season is 98 million TV homes. Each rating point represents one percent of that universe, or 980,000 TV homes. Translation: The Simpsons, with a 8.6 rating, was viewed in just over 8.4 million (8.6 x 980,000) households. The below ranking is an average for the month of October 1998 (monthly cycle includes the last three day in September).

Rating/Program (Network, Day, First Telecast, Time)
8.6 The Simpsons (Fox, Sunday, 10/25, 8:00 p.m.)
5.4 King of the Hill (Fox, Tuesday, 10/06, 8:00 p.m.)
2.7 Disney's One Saturday Morning 3 (ABC, Saturday, 10/03, 9:30 a.m.)
2.5 Disney's One Saturday Morning 4 (ABC, Saturday, 10/03, 10:00 a.m.)
2.5 Disney's One Saturday Morning 2 (ABC, Saturday, 10/03, 9:00 a.m.)
2.2 Disney's One Saturday Morning 1 (ABC, Saturday, 10/03, 8:30 a.m.)
2.0 The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (ABC, Saturday, 10/03, 10:30 a.m.)
1.9 Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show 2 (ABC, Saturday, 10/10, 11:00 a.m.)
1.9 Godzilla (Fox, Saturday, 10/03, 9:00 a.m.)
1.6 Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show 2 (ABC, Saturday, 10/10, 10:30 a.m.)
1.6 Disney's 101 Dalmatians (ABC, Saturday, 10/03, 11:30 a.m.)
1.6 Men in Black (WB, Saturday, 10/03, 9:00 a.m.)
1.6 Batman/Superman 2 (WB, Saturday, 10/03, 8:30 a.m.)
1.6 Invasion America 1 (WB, Saturday, 10/03, 9:30 a.m.)
1.6 Spy Dogs (Fox, Saturday, 10/03, 10:30 a.m.)
1.5 Spiderman (UPN, Sunday, 10/04, 10:30 a.m.)
1.5 Squigglevision (ABC, Saturday, 10/03, 11:00 a. m.)
1.4 Invasion America 2 (WB, Saturday, 10/03, 10:00 a.m.)
1.4 Mad Jack (Fox, Saturday, 10/03, 11:00 a.m.)
1.4 Oggy & the Cockroaches (Fox, Saturday, 10/03, 11:30 a.m.)
1.4 X-Men (UPN, Sunday, 10/04, 10:00 a.m.)
1.3 Batman/Superman 2 (WB, Saturday, 10/03, 4:30 p.m.)
1.3 Disney's Hercules (ABC, Saturday, 10/03, 8:00 a.m.)
1.3 Sylvester/Tweety (WB, Saturday, 10/03, 11:00 a.m.)
1.2 Histeria (WB, Saturday, 10/03, 11:30 a.m.)
1.2 Hulk and Friends (UPN, Sunday, 10/04, 9:30 a.m.)
1.2 Pinky, Elmyra & Brain (WB, Saturday, 10/03, 10:30 a.m.)
1.2 Spider-Man (Fox, Tuesday-Friday, 09/28, 3:00 p.m.)
1.2 Toonsylvania (Fox, Monday, 09/28, 3:30 p.m.)
1.1 Batman/Superman 1 (WB, Saturday, 10/03, 8:00 a.m.)
1.1 Batman/Superman 1 (WB, Monday-Friday, 09/28, 4:00 p.m.)
1.0 Brats (WB, Saturday, 10/10, 10:00 a.m.)
1.0 Life with Louie (Fox, Monday-Friday, 09/28, 7:30 a.m.)
1.0 Mr. Potato Head (Fox, Saturday, 10/03, 8:00 a.m.)
0.9 Anatole (CBS, Saturday, 10/03, 7:30 p.m.)
0.9 Beetleborgs (UPN, Sunday, 10/04, 9:00 a.m.)
0.9 Bobby's World (Fox, Monday-Friday, 09/28, 7:00 a.m.)
0.9 Life with Louie (Fox, Monday & Friday, 10/05, 7:30 a.m.)
0.9 Space Goofs (Fox, Monday, 09/28, 3:00 p.m.)
0.8 The Dumb Bunnies (CBS, Saturday, 10/03, 8:00 a.m.)
0.8 Flying Rhino Jr. High (CBS, Saturday, 10/03, 8:30 a.m.)
0.8 Histeria (WB, Monday-Friday, 09/28, 3:30 p.m.)
0.8 Magic School Bus (Fox, Monday-Friday, 10/05, 7:00 a.m.)
0.8 Ned's Newt (Fox, Tuesday-Thursday, 10/05, 7:30 a.m.)
0.8 Pinky & Brain (WB, Monday-Friday, 09/28, 3:00 p.m.)
0.7 Birdz (CBS, Saturday, 10/03, 11:00 a.m.)
0.7 Franklin (CBS, Saturday, 10/03, 7:00 a.m.)
0.5 Animaniacs (WB, Monday-Friday, 09/28, 8:30 a.m.)
0.4 Tiny Toons (WB, Monday-Friday, 09/28, 8:00 a.m.)


08- Jeff -Goes with Passion Pictures below
09 - Jeff -Goes with (Colossal)'s Slap D. Pooch below
10 - Jeff -Goes with Weenies below
11 - Jeff -Goes with Save Chef below

Seeing Spots.
Hong Kong-born animation director and illustrator Paul Chung completed a French bubblegum spot, Rainforest, for Passion Pictures through Young and Rubicam (Paris, France). The ad takes place in a brightly colored South American jungle setting as Indian natives watch their jungle being destroyed by an army of loggers. To thwart the loggers, a native opens a pack of Malabar bubblegum and from the pack jumps a superhero, Malabar Man, who proceeds to block the bulldozers with gum. The 30-second spot, which combines traditional 2D with computer animation, will air in France starting in 1999. . . . San Francisco-based (Colossal) Pictures created a new animated Nickelodeon theatrical open, which premiered with Paramount's The Rugrats Movie, and stars Slap D. Pooch, a blue-balloon-nosed dog who was featured in his own short film as part of Nickelodeon's Oh Yeah! Cartoons! series. The 16-second open, Slap's Fleck, was directed by Colossal's Charlie Canfield, creative directed by George Evelyn, and animated by Chuck Gammage Animation based on a character created by Bill Burnett and designed by Vincent Waller. . . . (Colossal) Pictures completed two 10-second Christmas IDs for Nickelodeon. The stop-motion Yummy Winter Wonderland features gingerbread people frolicking in a set made entirely of food with white frosting substituting as snow. A Weenie New Year is a brief New Year's extravaganza hosted by a live-action puppet band leader Lawrence Weenie and his swingin' Big Band of Weenies. Jim Matison was the director/creative director for these holiday spots. . . . New York-based J.J. Sedelmaier Productions produced a series of four 30-second ink-and-paint cel style spots for Hallmark Greeting Cards through the Leo Burnett agency: The Fight, Birthday, Rowdy Party, and Romance. "This project is animation in its purest sense, giving life to inanimate objects - the alphabet," says director J.J. Sedelmaier, whose animators worked only with the signature typographical treatment of the Hallmark name and the famous crown. The campaign debuted in September. . . . J.J. Sedelmaier recently completed a simple 30-second spot, Filene's Turkey, promoting Filene's Basement annual charity Giant Turkey Giveaway. The spot used a stark black-ink-against-white-background style to feature a spokes-turkey who grows fatter and fatter each time the cash register rings until it fills up the entire screen. Director J.J. Sedelmaier commented about the ad, "Filene's Turkey is a simple spot that's stylistically reminiscent of old black-and-white cartoons where personality carries the day over artistry.". . . . CLASS-KEY CHEW-PO COMMERCIALS, the newly expanded ad division of Klasky-Csupo, recently completed the first in a series of ads for Burger King Kids Club. The 30-second spot, Sketchbook, which aired nationally in November on Spanish-speaking television networks features an artistic Latin boy, "Lingo," who is a member of the Burger King Kids Club. The spot was directed by Bonita Versh, executive produced by John Andrews and Liz Seidman and developed by San Antonio, Texas-based ad agency Bromley, Aguilar and Associates. . . . New York-based The Attik produced a pair of 30-second spots, Save Chef, to promote the new Comedy Central South Park musical offering Chef Aid: The South Park Album on American Recordings (Los Angeles)/Columbia Records (New York). The CD, which was released on November 24, is an extension of the "Chef Aid" episode, where Chef gets sent to prison and the community sponsors a "Chef Aid" concert to raise money and bail him out. The spot uses a layered collage of animation textures and color to showcase the Chef Aid album and the featured stars (Elton John, Ozzy Osbourne and Rancid) in an upbeat and energetic tempo. The Attik team was composed of group creative director James Sommerville, design director Tina Lauffer, executive producer Jim Moran and designer Stephan Burle de Figueiredo. . . . San Francisco-based (Colossal) Pictures collaborated with Blockbuster Video to create two Christmas-themed spots promoting the new Holiday GiftCards at the national U.S. video chain. The 15- and 30-second spots update Santa Claus for the 21st century utilizing an "anime" style complete with a "super heroic" Santa, ultra-modern cyber-reindeer and a futuristic cityscape. The ad's talented crew consisted of creative director/designer Mike Smith, director George Evelyn, animation director Chuck Gammage, and was created by the Doner agency in Detroit.


A.D.V. Acquires Queen Emeraldas.
A.D.V. Films has announced the acquisition of Queen Emeraldas, a new film from Leiji Matsumoto (creator of the `70s animated series Space Cruiser Yamato, a.k.a. Starblazers). The film features Matsumoto's unique sense of character design utilizing traditional and computer animation. The story takes place in the far future when humanity has expanded into space and colonized the stars. Since pirates ply the space routes preying on the weak and helpless, the rebel Emeraldas sails the Sea of Stars fighting evil using her array of futuristic weapons. The film will be released in summer of 1999 on both video and DVD.

Baby Huey Comes To Video. Columbia Tristar Home Video and the Harvey Entertainment Company will release Baby Huey's Great Easter Adventure, a live-action, feature-length musical comedy, starring the classic oversized, diapered duck in his first movie ever. The direct-to-video film, which will be released on March 2, 1999, stars Joseph Bologna, Maureen McCormick, Harvey Korman, David Lander, and David Leisure. The song-filled film also includes a bonus Baby Huey cartoon, Daycare Duckie, packaged with the film. The film is about how Baby Huey befriends a young boy, Nick, and how they must pull together to uncover some sly villains, clear Huey's name, and save the big Easter celebration. Baby Huey was created in 1950 by Marty Taras and starred in many Paramount Pictures animated theatrical shorts.


Little Means A Lot Between Sony And Hasbro.
Sony Signatures' Film and Television division has named Hasbro, Inc. as the master toy licensee for the holiday `99 Columbia Pictures live-action/visual effects film, Stuart Little. Hasbro will produce everything from plush toys to interactive software. The film is based on the classic E.B. White book of the same name about a mouse who is raised by the Littles, a human family who learns to dream big and live large when they think little. "Stuart Little is a wonderful, classic story that has all of the fun, character-rich elements necessary for success both as a film and a toy property," said Adam Klein, Hasbro's president of global marketing. Sony has also awarded HarperCollins Children's Books the publishing rights for the film. Plus, a key specialty license has been granted to developmental children's product manufacturer Learning Curve to create products such as wooden puzzles and felt play sets, targeted for upscale specialty distribution.

Burger King Big With Babies. The Burger King tie-in with Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies' The Rugrats Movie has done wonders for the fast-food chain by boosting sales and increasing traffic to near record levels in U.S. Burger Kings. In the first week of sales, Rugrats-themed Kids Meals and watches topped some of the company's greatest promotions ever, including The Lion King and Pocahontas, which ended up selling 50 and 55 million premiums respectively. If the current sale trend continues, the promotion may even surpass Toy Story, Burger King's most successful Disney related tie-in ever. It should be noted that five cents for every Rugrats wristwatch sold is being donated to the American Red Cross and United Way to help relief efforts for Hurricanes Mitch and Georges.

Dates Set For Licensing 99 International. The largest worldwide licensing event is set to take place at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City, New York on June 8-10, 1999. The convention has moved to the main exhibit hall, the premiere space in the Convention Center, to better accommodate the many companies that will exhibit there, including Universal, Warner Bros., Nickelodeon, MTV, Harvey, Jim Henson, Mattel, Hasbro, and Polygram, among others. "The Licensing Show is truly a global marketplace for the licensing industry, where anyone interested in the business has the opportunity to form partnerships that will drive licensed product sales at retail," says show director Elizabeth Favata of Advanstar Communications. For more information visit


Puffin Releases Knoll Lens Flare Pro.
Puffin Designs, the producers of the award-winning compositing system Commotion, recently introduced Knoll Lens Flare Pro Conductor for Alias|Wavefront Maya Composer. The new version, developed by John Knoll, a Visual Effects Supervisor at Industrial Light and Magic, will give users the ability to create realistic sunflares, lasers, flames, bursts, explosions, and "photon torpedoes," among other effects. The plug-in is already available for Adobe After Effects, Adobe Photoshop, ElectricImage, and Discreet Logic Flint/Flame/Inferno. The Composer version will be available this December for a suggested retail price of $499. For more information about Lens Flare Pro, call (415) 331-4560 or visit

Internet and Interactive


South Park Gets Interactive.
Acclaim Entertainment has released the highly-anticipated South Park video game for Nintendo 64 with a PC version that will be available in January 1999. The adventure game features original dialogue recorded by Matt Stone, Trey Parker, and Issac Hayes and can be played in a single or multi-player mode. The game unfolds as a mysteriously evil comet approaches South Park causing much mayhem. It is left up to Kenny, Kyle, Stan and Cartman to save the day. All the perennial South Park characters pop up throughout the game including Mr. Hankey, Chef, Terrance and Phillip, and Big Gay Al. To find out more about the game and ordering information, check out Acclaim's web site at


MTV Character Screen Test Winners.
After four months of judging and over two hundred entries, the winners have been chosen for MTV's 1998 Character Screen Test competition. The contest was designed by the MTV animation development department as a way to discover new talented artists and voice actors. MTV is now in the process of assessing the various potential development possibilities of the winning entries. The winners are as follows:

1st place - $2000:
Mitch Greenblatt (New York City, New York).

2nd Place - $1500:
Thomas Schmid (New York City, New York).

3rd Place - $1000:
Robyn Chapman (Wasilla, Alaska).

The Kwiky Mart Is Big In Holland. Sunday, November 22, marked the end of the 7th Holland Animation Film Festival 1998. Awards were presented for both the international competition for applied animation and student films. The jury for the international competition for applied animation consisted of Garri Bardin (Russia), Paul Bush (United Kingdom), Dingeman Kuilman (The Netherlands), Adriaan Lokman (The Netherlands), and Linda Simensky (United States). They chose the following films to receive the Golden Pegbar Awards:

Grand Prix: Nestea Cool Kwiky Mart by Dave Borthwick (United Kingdom).
Best Commercial: Last Order by Mamoru Oshii (United Kingdom).
Best Education Film: Invisible Ocean by Fran Hois Garnier (France).
Best Station ID: MTV Japan Papa Ga Tonda Asa by Keita Kurosaka (Japan).
Best Music Video: 4 Day Weekend by Kojii Morimoto (United Kingdom).
Best Animated Campaign: Beavis & Butt-head by Geoffrey Johnson (United States).

The jury for student films consisted of Michael Dudok de Wit (United Kingdom), Nicole Saloman (France), and Harry Schreurs (The Netherlands). They awarded the following student films:

First prize: Elastic Bombastic by Michael Schelfthout.
Second prize: L'Arme du Crocodile by Eric Blesin.
Third prize: The Big Mix by Pieter Engels and Efim Perlis.

For more information about future Holland Animation Festivals, visit the <festival's website> or e-mail

Read Menno de Nooijer's review of the festival in <"The Holland Animation Film Festival: A Vast Array of Programming.">

Cinanima Results Are In. The 22nd Cinanima International Animated Film Festival wrapped up on November 15 in Espinho, Portugal. The international jury consisted of Carlos Pinto Coelho (Portugal), Florence Henrard (Belgium), Borivoj Dovnikovic (Croatia), Georges Sifianos (France) and Georges Schwizgebel (Switzerland). Below is a complete list of winners as reported by the festival:

CLASS A (less than 6 minutes) - tie
Festival by Roberto Catani (Italy).
L'Arme du Crocodile by Eric Blesin (Belgium).

CLASS B (between 6 and 13 minutes)
Silence by Sylvie Bringas/Orly Yadin (United Kingdom).


CLASS C (between 13 and 26 minutes)
The Albatross by Paul Bush (United Kingdom).

CLASS D (between 26 and 52 minutes)
This prize was not awarded.

CLASS E (feature film)
This prize was not awarded.

CLASS F (publicity and institutional)
The Parachutists by Guionne Leroy (Belgium).

CLASS G (first film)
Un Jour by Marie Paccou (France).

CLASS H (didactic and information)
This prize was not awarded.

CLASS I (title sequences - TV/cinema)
Jardim da Celeste by Jose Miguel Ribeiro (Portugal).

CLASS J (series)
This prize was not awarded.

T.R.A.N.S.I.T. by Piet Kroon (United Kingdom).

A Viagem by Christian Boustani (Portugal).

Midnight Dance by John Macloskey (United Kingdom).

Sientje by Christa Moesker (Holland).

T.R.A.N.S.I.T. by Piet Kroon (United Kingdom).

LADO B by Alunos do curso de animacao de volumes da Fundacao Calouste Gulbenkian/CITEN.

The Albatross by Paul Bush (United Kingdom).


CLASS A (less than 6 minutes)
Hungarian Pictures Etude by Kinga Rofusz (Hungary).
El Caminante by Debra Smith (United Kingdom).

CLASS B (between 6 and 13 minutes)
Pork Park by Gunter Grossholz (Germany).
The Queen's Monastery by Emma Calder (United Kingdom).

CLASS D (between 26 and 52 minutes)
L'Enfant au Grelot by Jacques-Remy Girerd (France).

CLASS G (first film)
One Eye by Lianna Dognini (United Kingdom).
A Casa do Joao by Daniela Duarte Rui (Portugal).
Sientje by Christa Moesker (Holland).
Peaches by Chairmaine Choo (United Kingdom).

For more information about the festival visit the <Cinanima website.>

Read Don Perro's review of <Un Jour> and Guionne Leroy's article, <"Going Digital and Loving It.">

Call for Entries

Hollywood Shorts Wants Animation.
Hollywood Shorts, a monthly series designed to screen short films and introduce their directors to the Hollywood film community, is currently accepting animated entries for possible exhibition in upcoming programs. Submissions received by February 1, 1999 will be given first consideration for spring programming. Films must be under 30 minutes in length and submitted on VHS - NTSC only. For complete entry information, contact Kimberley Browning at Hollywood Shorts: or (310) 358-7634.

Win A Golden Sheaf Award. The 1999 Yorkton Short Film and Video Festival, now in its 52nd year, will take place from May 13-16, 1999 in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, Canada. Entries to compete for the festival's Golden Sheaf Awards are now being accepted until March 5, 1999. Awards will be given to Canadian film entries in a total of nineteen film categories including: Animation, Children's Production, Arts and Entertainment, Comedy, Educational and Commercials. International filmmakers can enter works in five categories including: Children's Production, Documentary and Drama. To request an entry form or further information, visit or call (306) 782-7077.

Enter The Santa Clarita Film Fest. The Santa Clarita International Film Festival (SCIFF) is now accepting entries in many categories including Feature-Animation, Short-Animation, Tele/Feature-Animation, Screenplay-Animation and Student Shorts. All entries must be postmarked by January 5, 1999. The festival takes place from February 19-26, 1999. For more information or submission guidelines, contact the SCIFF office at (805) 257-3131 or visit their web site at

U.S. International Film And Video Fest Call For Entries. The 32nd annual U.S. International Film and Video Festival is now seeking submissions in computer animation and non-computer animation categories. Entries must be received by March 1, 1999. For entry kits and additional information, contact (630) 834-7773 or visit


ASIFA-Hollywood's Animation Expo.
ASIFA-Hollywood is preparing their sixth annual Animation Expo taking place March 5-6, 1999 at the Glendale Civic Auditorium. This year the Expo will expand beyond previous Expos that dealt specifically with job opportunities and building a career in the animation industry. This year's Expo will also include: "The Showcase of Animation," special screenings of classic animated films in Glendale's historic Alex Theatre, "Digital Animation Tutorials," "The Computer Animation Theater," offering the latest product demonstrations from leading computer hardware and software manufacturers and "The Animation Art and Collectibles Marketplace," featuring animation art and collectibles available for purchase. Deadline for exhibitor registration is Friday, February 12, 1999. For further information on the Animation Expo or to request an exhibitor packet, contact Jean Wright at ASIFA-Hollywood, (818) 842-8330.

Last Month in Animation
The following is a list of events which took place since the last issue of Animation World Magazine was published. These listings are published weekly in the Animation Flash, a newsletter which is distributed by e-mail. <Subscribe now!> Are there animation events going on in your area? Share your regional event news with the international readers of the Animation Flash! Please send announcements to, at least eight days in advance.


Tuesday, December 29. Berkeley, California, U.S.A.
Ideas in Animation presented Nik Phelps and the Sprocket Ensemble Go to the Dogs - an evening of live music set to contemporary animation, as well as live performances. The animated films that premiered included Nina Paley's Cancer, Rock Ross' Stupor Mundi, Michael Rudnick's El Nino Sequence, Jason Shiga's Double Duce, Dave Clausen and Carrie Kessler's Publegg Enemy, and the cartoony and frenetic A Dog Cartoon directed by Dave Thomas of Wild Brain Animation. The show started at 7:30 p.m. at the Fine Arts Theater in Berkeley. For additional details call the Berkeley Theater at (510) 848-1038 or the Sprockets Ensemble at (415) 681-3189.

* Tuesday, December 15. Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
The downtown central Los Angeles Public Library screened a selection of the best experimental animation made at CalArts in the last 25 years at 6 p.m. The free event was open to the public and was introduced by founding director of the CalArts Experimental Animation Program, Jules Engel. Early work from Antz co-director Eric Darnell and Nightmare before Christmas director Henry Selick was among the fourteen works screened in the 90-minute program. For more information, call (805) 253-7832 or (818) 367-5507.

* Sunday, December 13. Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Hollywood Shorts, a monthly film festival dedicated to independent short films and videos, took place 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at The Joint (8771 West Pico Boulevard in West LA). The screening included the animated film Call Me Fishmael. A holiday party followed the screening. If you don't live in L.A. and would still like to still see the films, they can be seen through the Internet at

* Friday, December 11. New York, New York, U.S.A.
On December 11, the Animazing Gallery (415 West Broadway, 2nd Fl) held a party to celebrate the Disney and Warner Bros. 75th Anniversaries from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. The gallery had some holiday offers as well that should have interested animation art collectors. For more information call (212)226-7374 or e-mail

* Thursday, December 10. Stockholm, Sweden.
The Swedish Association for Animated Film (FFAF) screened all the Swedish animated films made in 1998 from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m. at the Film House in Stockholm. Before the screening, the association had its yearly meeting and a party afterwards. For more information, call 46-8 615 0882 or e-mail

* Monday, December 7. Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom.
The Association of Northern Animators (ANA) held a Christmas party called `Animate 98' at 8 p.m. at the Telegraph Hotel. Everybody was welcome. Local animators came together to meet, view each others' work, discuss and network. The evening included DJs and screenings of local animators' work. Cost £2. For more details, e-mail or ring (0191) 232 8432.

* Friday, December 4. North Hollywood, California, U.S.A.
The Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists, Local 839 IATSE, held a holiday party on December 4 from 6 p.m. to midnight and everybody was invited. The soiree was at the Grand Ballroom of the Beverly Garland Holiday Inn, 4222 Vineland (just south of the 101). Admission, food and drinks were all free. For more details, visit the <Union website.>

* Wednesday, December 2. - Friday, December 4. Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
The Digital Content Creation (DCC) Conference and Exposition took place at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The business-oriented forum brought together leading digital industry leaders from Rhythm & Hues, NewTek, SGI, Sony, and Industrial Light & Magic, along with vendors showcasing the latest state-of-the-art technology used in today's film and video productions. There were also conferences discussing the art and business of digital technologies, as well as a NewTek conference devoted to the company's software packages like Lightwave. For more information, visit

* Monday, November 30. San Francisco, California, U.S.A.
Nik Phelps and the Sprocket Ensemble presented Mike "Temple" Brady and the Flaming Won Ton Show, a performance art presentation. The event was part of the Ideas in Animation program and was billed as "an evening of animation with live original music." The West coast premiere of Publegg Enemy, a new clay animated film from Dave Clausen and Carrie Kessler, and Jason Shiga's new cartoon, Double Duce, screened at this event which cost $10 for general admission and $7 for students. Showtimes are at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. at the Minna Street Gallery. For reservations and info call (415) 681-3189.

* Monday, November 30 - Thursday, December 3. La Reunion Island, France.
The biennial 3rd Crossroads of the Image of the Indian Ocean was exceptionally well organized this year, featuring a tribute to the late animation teacher Pierre Ayma, a co-founder of the Indian Ocean Institute. Fifty European professionals met to discuss the following theme: real-time data and sound transfer for production and [long distance] training purposes.

Animation World Magazine featured a tribute to Pierre Ayma in both <English> and <French> in the May 1998 issue.

<The 3rd Crossroads of the Image of the Indian Ocean> is reviewed by AWN's General Manager Annick Teninge in this issue of Animation World Magazine.

* Tuesday, November 24 - Saturday, November 28. Mendrisio, Switzerland.
The Mendrisio Swiss International Animated Film Festival included a short, feature and animated "pilot" competition, as well as student films, 3D computer animation, retrospectives, exhibitions, conferences and more. For information call (41) 91 646 16 54.

* Monday, November 23 - Wednesday, November 25. Santa Monica, California, U.S.A.
TIGHTROPE, Digital Domain's first in-house production, premiered at the Laemmle's Monica Theatre for Academy qualification. The five minute, CG-animated short was written and directed by Daniel Robichaud. Showtimes were 12:00 PM and 12:45 PM daily. For more information, call (310)477-5581.

* Monday, November 23 - Wednesday, November 25. Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
MORE, the first fully-animated stop-motion film to be created for exhibition in the 70/15p (giant screen) format, was screened for three days at The California Science Center's IMAX Theater, in Exposition Park, adjacent to the USC campus. The six-minute short, directed by Cal Arts instructor and commercial director Mark Osborne, was shown in front of regular screenings of Everest, the live-action giant-screen feature. A.M.P.A.S. members were admitted free with valid Academy membership cards. For screening times call (213) SCIENCE, or for information about MORE call (323) 255-6119.

<Subscribe today!>
To flash subscription page

Kenyon Medialab in 9802

<CINAR Films Inc.>
Reber Family in 9812

<Animation World Store.>
to Sally Cruikshank's merchandise

<festival's website>

<"The Holland Animation Film Festival: A Vast Array of Programming.">
to Noojier Utrecht in this issue

<Cinanima website.>

<Un Jour>
Perro Un Jour 9712

<"Going Digital and Loving It.">
Leroy Camera 9708

<Subscribe now!>
To flash subscription page

<Union website.>



<The 3rd Crossroads of the Image of the Indian Ocean>
Link to Annick Reunion Island article in 9901


Pinocchio 3001 and Sphinx@com will utilize the same technology as MEDIALAB'S Donkey Kong Country series. © MEDIALAB.

George Merkert. Photo courtesy PDI.

03 Reuse 9812 Solomon Bugs 03
Tuck & Roll from Pixar's A Bug's Life. © Disney Enterprises, Inc./Pixar Animation Studios. All Rights Reserved.

04 Reuse 9810 Beck Antz 03
A wide-eyed Z and Bala discover "Insectopia" in the world of Antz. © DreamWorks LLC.

Bunny. © Blue Sky|VIFX.

The First Snow of Winter. © Link Entertainment/Hibbert Ralph Entertainment.

Zoog Disney. © (Colossal) Pictures.

The Malabar Man. © Passion Pictures.

Slap's Fleck. © (Colossal) Pictures.

A Weenie New Year. © (Colossal) Pictures.

Chef Aid: The South Park Album ad. © The Attick.

The South Park video game. © Acclaim Entertainment.

The Albatross. © Paul Bush.

Nik Phelps and the Sprockets Ensemble.

Note: Readers may contact any Animation World Magazine contributor by sending an e-mail to


News Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Past Issues

About | Help | Home | | Mail | Register


Animation World Magazine | Animation World Store | The AWN Vault 
The AWN Gallery | Animation Village | Calendar of Events | Career Connections | Forums & Chats | Home


©1999 Animation World Network