Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, is launching the largest expansion in its history. New attractions that will be added in the next 12 months include "Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin," an interactive film ride; "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh," a ride for youngsters which will replace "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride;" and a return of "The Main Street Electrical Parade," featuring floats of Dumbo, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, and other animated characters.
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HBO will launch its new 24-hour channel, HBO Family, in February 1999. The venture is being headed up by Sheila Nevins, senior vice president of original programming for HBO, and Dolores Morris, who left Children's Television Workshop (CTW) in June to become vice president of HBO Family [AF 6/2/98].
Humongous Entertainment has released the first two CD-Roms based on Nickelodeon's animated/live-action series, "Blue's Clues." "Blue's ABC Time Activities" is available for U.S. $19.99 and "Blue's Birthday Adventure" is $29.99. Both titles are Windows and Macintosh compatible, and feature games and educational activities aimed at 3-6 year-olds. The games are the first releases to come out of an exclusive, five-year worldwide deal with Nickelodeon.
The International Center for Gibbon Studies (ICGS) in Santa Clarita, California has agreed to host a private event for artists interested in sketching the live animals. Presented by Women In Animation Los Angeles on Saturday, September 19, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., the trip will include a lectured tour and a rare opportunity to practice life drawing of more than 30 animals. "Gibbons are fast-moving small primates that are active in the morning and slow down during the afternoon, so the day will satisfy quick sketch to intense study for all artists," said event coordinator Susan Palmer.
The Nashville Independent Film Festival (NIFF) (formerly known as Sinking Creek) is accepting submissions for its next edition, June 9-13, 1999. A first prize in the animation category at this festival will qualify your film for Academy Award consideration. Entry fees vary, and the deadline is December 4. The first 100 entries will receive a free pass to the festival. For entry forms and information, visit www.nashvillefilmfestival.org or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hollywood Shorts, a monthly short film series that presents new shorts andtheir directors to the Hollywood film community, is seeking submissions.Three shorts, including one animated film, will be featured each month; thenext screenings are October 11, November 15 and December 13, 1998. Eachfilm must be no longer than 40 minutes and the entry fee is $5 per film.The deadline for the October screening is September 15, however, lateentries will be considered for future screenings. For information, contact
By special arrangement with Nielsen Media Research, AWN publishesthe Nielsen ratings for animated programs on a monthly basis in theAnimation Flash. The ratings included herein are only for U.S. nationalnetwork television. The following list of animated national networkprograms is ranked by Household Ratings. A Rating is the percent ofhouseholds that tuned into the program. This percentage can provide us withthe number of households that tuned into the program on average during the
Animation historian John Canemaker is working on his eighth animationhistory book, titled "Walt Disney's Nine Old men and the Art of Animation"to be published by Hyperion in 2001. It will contain detailed biographicalportraits of Les Clark, Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston, Marc Davis, WardKimball, Milt Kahl, John Lounsbery, Eric Larson and Wolfgang Reitherman.The book will also discuss the early Disney animators who influenced "theNine," such as Ub Iwerks, Norman Ferguson, Fred Moore, Ham Luske, Vladimir
JIM KEESHEN has joined FILM ROMAN as a director on the animated series, "Family Guy." This spring, his company Jim Keeshen Productions produced the show's pilot with creator Seth MacFarlane.
Thursday, September 3 - Sunday, September 6. Lake Buena Vista, Florida, U.S.A.
The Disney Institute, a vacation resort, hosts "Mulan: An Animation Experience," a four-day event which gives guests a hands-on look at the making of the animated feature "Mulan." The program includes animation workshops, appearances by the film's supervising animator Mark Henn, CGI supervisor Eric Guaglione, head of special effects David Tidgwell and voice actress June Foray. For pricing and information, call (800) 496-6337. This event will be repeated September 11-14.
CRAIG ALLEN has been named general manager of JIM HENSON INTERACTIVE. He was formerly a senior producer at DISNEY INTERACTIVE.
Thursday, September 3. Melbourne, Australia.
Digital Divas, a networking group for women working in new media, hosts a meeting at Open Channel, 13 Victoria Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne. Existing members include Kathy Mueller, Kiera Poelsma and Maree Woolley. For information, contact email@example.com.
JEFF WILLIAMS has joined ANIMATION WORLD NETWORK as webmaster, replacing Ged Bauer, who has left to pursue further education.
Thursday, September 3. Studio City, California, U.S.A.
Screenmusic Studios hosts the first meeting of Women In Animation Los Angeles' new Voice Over Group from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Admission is free, but RSVP is essential. Call Muriel Whitaker at (310) 412-2719. Screenmusic Studio is located at 11700 Ventura Boulevard in Studio City. For directions, call Screenmusic directly at (818) 753-6040.
Animation editor and producer Lee Gunther passed away on August 25 following a stroke suffered the previous day. He was 63 years old. A memorial service was held on Saturday, August 29 at Forest Lawn in Burbank, California. Starting at Warner Bros. in the 1960s and then at DePatie-Freleng studios from 1964-1978, Gunther was a film editor on more than 85 animated shorts in all. At DePatie-Freleng, he also worked as an executive in charge of production in the 1970s.
Tuesday, September 8. Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Women In Animation Los Angeles hosts a mixer at Lumpy Gravy, the restaurant/gallery co-owned by Gabor Csupo of Klasky Csupo. The event is the second in a series of fundraising animation mixers that will take place on the second Tuesday of every month. The event will feature the original "napkin cartoon" drink special: draw a cartoon on a napkin, get a discount! Lumpy Gravy is located at 7311 Beverly Blvd. For information call (323) 934-9400.
CBS has made a last-minute programming decision to move the debut of its new, animated Saturday-morning line-up back to October 3, two weeks later than the previously announced date of September 19. The aim is to maximize on-air promotional opportunities, which would have been difficult during the sports programming scheduled on many of the network's local affiliates in the next few weeks. "We are very proud of our new Nelvana-produced shows," said Lucy Johnson, senior vice president of daytime/children's programming and special projects at CBS.
San Francisco-based WILD BRAIN INC. produced "Super Mom II," a sequel to their original Clio-award-winning spot, "Super Mom," for Coca-Cola. The 30-second, cel-animated commercial was directed by Mike Smith and Dave Marshall.
CURIOUS PICTURES' San Francisco studio produced 30 seconds of computer graphics and collage animation as part of a 60-second changeable promo spot called "Countdown" for HBO. It was directed by Chel White ("Photocopy Cha Cha") using a combination of photographs animated on cels and Flame software.
New York-based J.J. SEDELMAIER PRODUCTIONS created a second animated commercial for Quilted Northern Tissue, working again with illustrator/designer Bonnie Timmons ("Caroline in the City" opening credits). The new, 30-second spot, titled "Grandma Mimi" was directed by J.J. Sedelmaier, and the head animator was David Wachtenheim.
Santa Maria, California-based COMPUTER CAFÉ recreated the opening sequence of "Armageddon" for an Aerosmith video titled "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing." Digital artists Brett Paton and Mike Bozulich used Lightwave 3D and After Effects software to recreate the asteroid and planets featured in the sequence.
Toronto, Canada-based TOPIX/MAD DOG created 22 animated effects sequences for the first annual Golden Marble Awards show. Director of animation William Cameron used 3D Studio MAX for 3D, and Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and After Effects for 2D sequences, with final compositing done on Flint and Flame.
Automaker Lincoln Mercury, a major sponsor for Paramount and Nickelodeon's animated feature, "The Rugrats Movie," will spend approximately U.S. $20 million on tie-in advertising to launch a new minivan called the Mercury Villager in conjunction with the film's release in November. The campaign will include TV ads featuring the Rugrats characters in an animated version of the minivan.
PACIFIC DATA IMAGES (PDI) has licensed Alias|Wavefront's compositing software, Composer, for use in its computer animation production. This represents a significant outside purchase for the studio, which mainly uses in-house proprietary software. PDI's director of research and development, Ken Pearce explained, "It's often difficult to incorporate off-the-shelf solutions into our proprietary graphics pipeline, but the openness of Composer makes it easy to integrate."