Disney's Chinese-themed MULAN finally opened in China today on 13 screens in Shanghai. Chinese officials had originally declined to import MULAN when it was released last year because of their dissatisfaction with Disneys release of KUNDUN, a live-action film about Chinese rule in Tibet, two years ago. The timing for MULANs debut was less than favorable, falling on the last day of school childrens winter vacation period. MULAN is scheduled to screen in other parts of China including Beijing, although dates havent been announced yet.
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Cartoon Network.com debuted two original interactive on-line cartoon series on February 22. As each cartoon unfolds, users can make choices about which direction the story will take. PINK DONKEY AND FLY, created by pop culture icon Gary Panter, is the unlikely love story between a pink donkey and a fly as they try to keep clear of The Ol' Coot and his troublesome wife, Maw. B. Happy, from renowned underground satirist Mark Newgarden, follows the bluebird of happiness, B. Happy, who wants to rid the world of misery.
Mark Simon is currently writing the 2nd edition of STORYBOARDS: MOTION IN ART, to be published by Focal Press. The author is currently looking for all examples of presentational and production boards from films, TV, commercials, videos, animations and multimedia projects to include in the textbook. In addition, conceptual art, comps and animatics may also be considered for use in the book. Additional information and release forms can be obtained from Mark Simon by e-mailing him at email@example.com or calling (407) 370-2673.
Walt Disney Home Video is re-releasing 101 DALMATIONS (1961) on video on March 9, for 101 days only. The fully restored, digitally remastered and THX Certified release also features a new 90-second MOUSEWORKS short, STREET CLEANER, featuring another Disney canine star, Pluto. In addition, the video is accompanied by an exclusive offer for a free Dalmation puppy beanbag toy. The video will be available at $26.99 (S.R.P.).
Cartoon Networks afternoon programming block Toonami will start airing the CG-animated show, REBOOT, as part of its daily Monday-Friday line-up, from 4:30 - 5:00 p.m., starting March 15. The show, which was the first entirely computer-generated cartoon, is produced by Vancouver, Canada-based Mainframe Entertainment.
On Sunday, February 21, Cartoon Network will present ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS GREATEST HITS, an 8-hour marathon from 12-8 p.m. (ET/PT) featuring 32 "hot" tunes from the 1980s. The programming stint will feature sixteen half-hour episodes along with a live-action dance party with Alvin groupees dancing to the high-pitched music. Among the songs that will be played include: "Beat It," "Born to be Wild," "Ghostbusters," "The Heat is On," "Twist and Shout," "I Love L.A.," "Celebration," "On the Road Again," "Bad to the Bone" and 23 others.
Eric Rollman has been upped to president of production for Fox Family Worldwide, a joint venture between Saban Entertainment and Fox News Corp. His new role puts him in charge of production for Fox Family Channel, Fox Kids Network and Fox Kids International, as well as continuing supervision of on-air promo material production for the various channels.
New York-based LoConte Goldman Design has promoted four-time Emmy winner Arne Jensen to Senior Designer. Jensen has worked on numerous projects since joining the company in '96, including the ABC News NIGHTLINE redesign and ESPN SPEEDWORLD and NFL DRAFT graphics packages. In addition, Kenneth Shaw has joined LoConte's team of designers. Shaw had most recently been working for Olive Jar as a composite artist. "Ken impressed us with his natural ability to bridge the creative with the technical.
PDI (Pacific Data Images) has named ANTZ Production Designer, John Bell as the division's Creative Director. Bell's new responsibilities include managing the production design staff, and overseeing the creative direction and design techniques of the rapidly growing commercial and film effects unit as it continues to broaden beyond its present size and scope. "John has contributed to some of the most significant special effects films in the last decade," said Patty Wooton, PDI's Senior VP or Production.
Former CAA agent and MGM president and CEO Mike Marcus has joined Will Vinton Studios (WVS) board of directors. According to Marcus, "Will Vinton Studios has the potential of becoming the next Pixar. It is an exciting opportunity to get involved on the ground stages of a potentially enormous company." WVS CEO and president Tom Turpin added, "Mike brings with him a wealth of knowledge of the film business, talent packaging and film industry production management."
The Writers Guild of America (WGA) has reached an agreement with Castle Rock Television for a collective bargaining contract covering the writers of DOWNTOWNERS, an animated series premiering on the primetime WB line-up this fall. The dispute had initially begun when writers on the show were unhappy with the benefits of the union that was representing them, the IATSE Cartoonists Local 839. A key point in the agreement was recognition of the WGA as the exclusive bargaining representative of primetime animation writers employed by Castle Rock Television and Downtowners Productions.
London-based Pearson Television has purchased EVA Entertainment for £2 million ($3.3 million). EVA, a five year-old pan-European venture, produces and distributes children's animation with a library of around 200 half-hours including SPOT THE DOG and BILLY THE CAT. The company was also one of four co-producers on BBC2's animated series, REX THE RUNT. Pearson's recently appointed director of animation John Bullivant will oversee EVA. However, the studio will continue to be run by EVA's managing director Mikael Shields, who'll function as chief operating officer.
PHIL ROMAN has resigned from his post as chairman of the animation studio he founded, Film Roman, the company announced on Friday, February 12. Roman founded the company in 1984 which has since produced numerous series including GARFIELD, BOBBY'S WORLD, THE SIMPSONS, KING OF THE HILL and FELIX THE CAT.
Comedian and former SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE cast member Adam Sandler (THE WATERBOY, THE WEDDING SINGER) has signed with Columbia TriStar (a division of Sony Pictures) to develop a full-length animated musical comedy featuring a character based on him. Sandler, who is producing the film with his partner, Jack Giarraputo, will also voice the title character.
On Saturday, March 6, Sothebys of New York will hold an auction selling animation artwork from Disneys MULAN. One hundred fifty-seven pieces of art (140 animation cel set-ups, 9 character models and 8 publishing illustrations) will be for sale. Since the film was painted digitally and no cels were used, the hand-painted, hand-inked cel set-ups were specially created for the auction by Disney artists and are accompanied by original backgrounds or production overlays that were used in the film.
Helium Productions has produced a complete graphics package for Fox Network in collaboration with design company Big Media Group. Helium produced 19 minutes of 3D animation which is shown in IDs for "Just One Fox," menu beds and on-air promo material including opens, closes and backgrounds for all talent IDs.
CG Animation Director, Technical Dirctor and Senior CG Animators positions available at Montreal-based Cactus Animation
Featured in the Animation World Store this week: The Aardman Collection and Special Offer on Limited Editions...
CBS has renewed three NELVANA childrens series and placed 13-episode orders for three new series to debut this fall. Returning this fall for a second season are ANATOLE, FLYING RHINO JUNIOR HIGH and MYTHIC WARRIORS: GUARDIANS OF THE LEGEND. The new Nelvana series, all of which are designed to meet the FCC mandate, are BLASTER, RESCUE HEROS and THE NEW TALES FROM THE CRYPTKEEPER. The three NELVANA series that CBS cancelled are BIRDZ, FRANKLIN and DUMB BUNNIES.
Buena Vista International Television (BVI-TV) has signed a first-time volume agreement with NELVANA Enterprises (Paris) to air their programs on Disney Channel in Spain and Italy. BVI-TV will have first rights to NELVANAs production slate for Spain and Italy, acquiring between two and four new series a year. Disney Channel currently plans to air the following NEVLANA titles: NEDS NEWT (Spain), FRANKLIN (Italy, Spain), STICKIN AROUND (Italy, Spain), SAM AND MAX (Spain), LITTLE BEAR (Italy), JAKE AND THE KID (Italy), BIRDZ (Spain) and Rupert (Spain).
Cartoons on the Bay, taking place in Positano, Italy from April 20-24, is currently accepting entries until the February 22 deadline. The festival presents the Pulcinella Awards to animated series of all lengths and animated TV movies. For entry forms, call 39 0637 4983 15, fax 39 0637 3535 21 or visit http://www.raitrade.rai.it/cartoonsbay.
The 15th Annual San Diego International Film Festival is currently accepting entries for their Animation Celebration evening in May. There is no entry fee; however, there will be a cash prize for the top film. Send video cassettes to:
Animation CelebrationSan Diego International Film FestivalDept 0078, UCSD9500 Gilman DriveLa Jolla, CA92093-0078
For further information, call 619-534-0497 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.