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Friday, April 30, 1999

Katzenberg Versus Disney Trial - Day Three
Jeffrey Katzenberg was cross examined in the third day of the Katzenberg versus Disney trial. According to the Orange County Register, the lawyers cross examining Katzenberg are trying to prove that he knew there would be consequences (including loss of his 2% bonus) if he left Disney before his contract expired. Katzenberg's contract with Disney was 22 pages long and apparently included a clause giving Katzenberg 2% of the profits from Disney films he oversaw, including The Lion King. Katzenberg's calculations show he is owed $250 million by Disney. Katzenberg left Disney two years before his contract expired over a dispute when he wasn't promoted to president after the unexpected death of Disney president Frank Wells in 1994. Katzenberg went on to help form DreamWorks, which released The Prince of Egypt. The Prince of Egypt has become the #1 grossing (US) non-Disney animated film of all time.

"Terminator 2: 3D" Adventure Opens May 6 at Universal Studios
On May 6, Universal Studios Hollywood will open its newest attraction titled "Terminator 2: 3D." The virtual film adventure incorporates high-tech special effects into a 3D environment, courtesy of Stan Winston Studios. James Cameron worked with Stan Winston and crew for the Terminator 2: 3D adventure, described as "a 21st century-style fusion of spectacular live action and cutting-edge cinematic effects that continues the celebrated 'Terminator' saga." In the adventure, "Arnold Schwarzenegger does battle with a mini-hunter killer that was created through a combination of a sculpted metallic prop and computer graphics. Directed by James Cameron, together with four time Oscar®-winner Stan Winston, and John Bruno, the 12 minute-long original film is,  frame-for-frame, the most expensive live action motion picture ever produced." The T-meg alone, in the film, is entirely computer generated by a team of 47 digital artists.

Thursday, April 29, 1999

Cinesite Acquires Effects Associates
Cinesite (Europe) Ltd. has announced that it has acquired Effects Associates, Ltd., one of largest and oldest special effects houses in Europe. Cinesite (Europe) Ltd. is part of the Professional Motion Imaging business unit of Eastman Kodak Company.

"This is a natural fit for both companies," says Cinesite CEO Aidan Foley. "It broadens the scope of our capabilities and it enables us to provide a more complete range of the services our customers need to create imaginative and seamless visual effects at affordable prices. We believe our customers will welcome this news."

Effects Associates will operate as a subsidiary of Cinesite (Europe) Ltd.

"With this alliance, we have taken an important step towards becoming a full-service visual effects studio," says Colin Brown, managing director of Cinesite. "This step enables us to offer our clients more flexibility for creating the best illusions for their projects as practically and efficiently as possible."

Katzenberg Versus Disney Trial - Day Two
Jeffrey Katzenberg took the stand yesterday in his trial against Disney for over $200 million that he is reportedly owed from a contract deal that gave him 2% of earnings from films under his leadership (including The Lion King). According to Variety, Katzenberg described a chilly encounter with Michael Eisner where he tried to give Eisner a memo confirming the 2% bonus. Katzenberg stated that Eisner refused to look at or touch the memo, physically getting up from his desk, backing up, and inviting Katzenberg to leave.  Stay tuned for more trial updates daily.

Wednesday, April 28, 1999

Tarzan Video Game To Include Animated Sequences From Movie
The upcoming Tarzan video game (being released July 20 for the Sony Playstation) will include animated sequences from the movie to help tell the story. Players of the 3D animated action game take on the role of Tarzan (and, in select levels, the role of Jane or Terk, Tarzan's ape friend), and must navigate through a variety of exotic and scenic environments, interact with an array of characters as well as challenging obstacles. The 14 different jungle environments are all brought to life through lush scenery and menacing enemies, and each level features its own unique setting and objective. As the second video game title to be released under Sony Computer Entertainment America's publishing agreement with Disney Interactive, Inc., Disney's Tarzan works towards combining the charm, emotion and drama from the movie to immediately immerse gamers into the feature film experience. Animated sequences from the feature film will be used throughout the game to help tell the story and many of the original characters' voices from the movie will be featured in the game.

Tuesday, April 27, 1999

Disney Says Katzenberg
Not Entitled To Bonuses From Animated Films
The trial on how much Walt Disney owes Jeffrey Katzenberg began yesterday with opening statements. Katzenberg, who was responsible for Disney's comeback in animated films, was in attendance at the courtroom. His contract stipulated that he was entitled to 2% of all animated films that came out under his leadership (including such successful films as The Lion King). According to Variety, Disney's opening statement said that Katzenberg was not entitled to the 2% bonus because he left Walt Disney (to help for DreamWorks) two years before his contract ended. The incentive bonus would calculate to a couple of hundred million dollars.

The Prince of Egypt Becomes Highest-Grossing
Non-Disney Animated Film Ever!
The Prince of Egypt has now passed The Rugrats Movie to become the highest-grossing non-Disney animated film ever in the United States. For the weekend, The Prince of Egypt brought in $123,000 to put its total at $100,800,804. The official release date to video for The Prince of Egypt has not yet been announced, but it is expected around September.

Monday, April 26, 1999

Rhythm & Hues Gets Call For Universal Makeover
Universal Studios in Florida is trying to get an image makeover just in time for a huge summer promotion of its multi-billion dollar theme park that competes with Disney in the Orlando, Florida area. Rhythm and Hues was hired to created an energetic new 3D animation with the new logo by the RudeHoney Design Group.  The new design was accented by using reflective highlights that simulated a liquid kaleidoscope of color in the rings surrounding the logo. The particle animation and light effects were created with Maya software. The compositing was completed on Inferno, with artist Dawn Bowery. The head of production was Ion Dawson of Rhythm & Hues. The logo remake was for both Universal Studios Florida and Hollywood. Click here to download the entire animated sequence.

Sunday, April 25, 1999

The Prince of Egypt Expected to Surpass The Rugrats Movie This Weekend as #1 Non-Disney Animated Film Ever!
Final Box Office numbers won't be in until Monday night, but it is expected that The Prince of Egypt will have earned enough money to overtake The Rugrats Movie as the #1 non-Disney animated film (US Box Office) of all time.

A Bug's Life Nears Toy Story Record
A Bug's Life has earned $162 million in domestic box office receipts to date and $190 million in international box office receipts, totaling $352 million and approaching Toy Story's global box office receipts of $354 million.

Mainframe Entertainment wins gold at Worldfest Houston Awards
Mainframe Entertainment, Inc. has won a Gold Medal in the Best Animated Production category in the 32nd Worldfest Houston Awards for the third year in a row.  The award was for the Shadowraiders episode titled "Rock and Ruin." This is the sixth award received by Mainframe Entertainment from Worldfest Houston for achievements in animation.

Sunday, April 18, 1999 - Saturday, April 24, 1999

Animation Artist Heads to Las Vegas for NAB
The Animation Artist team is headed to Las Vegas in order to bring you live coverage from the National Association of Broadcasters show floor. The editorial team will be going from booth to booth collecting all the latest animation information, mostly related to 3D animation programs like Maya, 3D Studio Max, and Electric Image, LightWave 3D. All the NAB updates have been archived directly below for your easy access:

Post Awards Honor Maya, Softimage, and LightWave 3D
The Post Awards, held Monday at NAB with hundreds of people and companies in attendance honored the best products (prefessionals´ choice award) in over a dozen different categories, including animation. The nominees for the two animation programs are listed below with the winners in bold (there was a tie for Best Animation Software over $5K):

Best Animation Software (Over $5K)
Alias/Wavefront Maya NT 1.0 (winner - tie)
Avid Softimage 3D 3.8 (winner - tie)
Play Electric Image Animation System 2.8
Side Effects Houdini 2.5

Best Animation Software (Under $5K)
Adobe After Effects 3.1
Caligari trueSpace 4.0
Kinetix 3D Studio Max 2.5
MetaCreations Bryce 3D 1.0
NewTek LightWave 3D 5.6 (winner)
Play Electric Image Broadcast 2.8

Kinetix Shows Off 3D Studio MAX R3 at NAB (Story courtesy of Post magazine)
By Randi Altman

The newest version of 3D Studio Max, an animation and modeling tool that was introduced at NAB, is the result of extensive research by its maker, Kinetix, based in San Francisco. After spending time on the road visiting users and culling responses from the Internet, via its service, Kinetix has released 3D Studio Max R3. The most extensive upgrade in a year and a half, this version lists a customizable interface, a completely redesigned renderer, nestable external references and organic modeling advances as just a few of its enhancements.

Product manager Phil Miller says by comparing information gathered during user visits with the 3,000 to 4,000 entries on their "wishlist" database, the company has developed a large pooling base of information.

According to Miller, the problem with the old renderer was that even though it offered good quality and good speed, the learning curve was high. "We took it down to the metal and re-built it, so now it has all the same capabilities as the old renderer plus more. But when we rebuilt it we took the key rendering processes and made them plug-in classes. Things like anti-aliasing, sampling, shaders and shadows are now plug-in classes, allowing us to introduce new abilities. It also allows for users to fine-tune them.

"So," continues Miller, "you can change the entire look and ability of the renderer by changing out one of these main processes. For example, anti-aliasing is one of the primary things that dictates the look of the overall rendering – whether it's soft and fuzzy or hard and crisp – and that can be changed with one click just by changing the anti-aliasing filter."

The shader language was also expanded, so very complex effects or advanced shaders can be created that give lifelike and hyper-real abilities within the renderer. "We have added Render Effects, which are completely interactive and occur directly after a rendering; you can go in and adjust all your results, so if you move the light, the lens flare and glows follow the light. You can see the results immediately, so you can fine-tune the effects much more easily."

Another significant upgrade to the software is its External References ability. This is helpful for larger projects and when artists are working on the same project. This will speed up cooperative work flow considerably.

"From within a scene you can reference other scenes or you can reference objects within those scenes," explains Miller. "You can pick and choose if you want the animation or the materials or cameras or lights. You can nest these to different levels, so you can think of building it once, reusing it many times and allowing it to permeate across different scenes and actions." In other, words it will have a ripple effect. This can shave many hours from the production schedule.

Within the External References portion of the R3 software is a new proxy system. By viewing proxy objects through the user's viewport display, the proxies allow animators to work with large files in low resolution, while rendering the files later in full resolution.

3D Studio Max R3 also includes: expanded MaxScript capabilities; new core character animation tools for skinning, secondary motion and morphing; an easier organic modeling thanks to enhancements to polygon, patch and NURBS modeling tools; and increased Bezier patch modeling with the addition of Surface Tools, a new Editable Patch object and a number of spline and patch modeling enhancements.

SynaPix Launches SynaFlex and MatchMaker
Pioneer for Visual Effects Creation
SynaPix, Inc. today announced the launch of its new products SynaFlex(TM) and MatchMaker(TM) at the 1999 National Association of Broadcasters in Las Vegas. SynaFlex is a 3D analysis, choreography and compositing system offering a combination of 2D compositing and 3D animation capabilities. Based on Visual Stream Analysis(TM) (VSA) technology, SynaFlex analyzes 2D live action sequences, then reconstructs the scenes into a 3D representation using patented camera path and depth extraction software, and patented proprietary hardware.

"Using SynaFlex' 3D workspace, artists combine, choreograph, and re-light character-generated 3D models as if on the original production set" states Curt Rawley, President and CEO. "SynaPix is excited to be the first to launch products that solve the 2D/3D integration problem as well as provide a unified system for designing truly unusual visual effects."

"Today's process for integrating 2D and 3D is time-consuming and problematic" states Scott Holmgren, Vice President of Engineering at First Edition/Splash". "With SynaFlex, the artist controls both 2D and 3D worlds, experimenting with multiple versions of an animated effect with the client or creative director present."

The product is currently in beta testing at New York sites Click 3X and First Edition/Splash as well as 525 Studios of Santa Monica. Product shipment is expected for early August. The fully integrated, rack-mounted system includes a multi-processor NT workstation, dual monitors, tablet/mouse, speakers, VSA proprietary hardware, and 135GB RAID storage. Pricing is approximately $220,000 (US) based on configuration.

SynaPix also announces the availability of its 3D-matchmoving software, MatchMaker. The product analyzes film and video sequences, extracting highly accurate camera path and scene geometry for export to SynaFlex or leading 3D animation systems.

"Matchmaker's flexibility and accuracy make it a perfect tool for matchmoving", states Ari Zohar Klingman, Data Services Manager at Tape House Digital, New York. "Film or video scenes are imported to MatchMaker, then de-rigged, stabilized and "camera pathed" following MatchMaker's fast, systematic interface. "

Rough Draft Uses Intergraph Computers
For Animated "Futurama" Series
At the National Association of Broadcasters convention (NAB), Intergraph Computer Systems today announced that Rough Draft, a premier Los Angeles based animation house, is using Intergraph's Windows NT(R)-based TDZ(R) 2000 GL2 ViZual Workstations(TM) for the production of Matt Groening's, the creator of The Simpsons, newest animated comedy series Futurama. The new series began airing on the FOX television network March 28. Rough Draft, previously an exclusive SGI UNIX-based animation house, recently added 8 new compositors and chose to integrate Intergraph's TDZ 2000 ViZual Workstations into their production workflow. The combination of Intergraph's TDZ 2000 GL2 workstation with RealiZm(TM) II 3D Graphics and Toon(TM) software from Avid's Softimage provides the studio with top graphics and processing performance, and seamlessly co-exists with their legacy SGI systems. The TDZ 2000 GL2 was selected over workstations from Dell & Compaq to create the new TV series.

"The speed of these new TDZ workstations is startling when compared to our outdated SGI boxes. In terms of 2D composite, the dual processor Intergraph workstations render as fast, if not faster than our new dual processing Octane's," said Scott Vanzo, director of computer graphics, Rough Draft. "Our compositors are able to render on one processor while they work on the other. Intensive overnight render batches are a thing of the past. The faster we're able to render, the more time we have to improve our shots. Working under episodic deadline makes this speed necessary."

"Rough Draft knows how to push the limits of creativity," said Mike Bare, executive director of Intergraph Computer Systems, Digital Media Division. "Our TDZ workstations will enable their compositors to create cutting-edge animation and meet deadlines with ease."

NewTek Shows Off LightWave 6
NewTek is giving NAB goers a sneak peek into LightWave 6, which is bound to turn some heads. Even thought LightWave 6 won´t ship until later this year, NewTek was showing off many new features that can be found

Alias/Wavefront Unveils Maya 2

Warner Brothers Selects Animo for The Iron Giant
Warner Bros. Feature Animation is using Cambridge Animation's Animo to produce all 2D animation for The Iron Giant, a feature film based on Ted Hughes' novel and play, The Iron Man. The film is scheduled for release this summer. Approximately 160 Animo systems are being used for all facets of 2D animation production for The Iron Giant , including scanning, ink and paint, rendering, special effects, pencil testing, and compositing. The title character will be modeled and animated in 3D. The fully animated film is being directed and written by Brad Bird (The Simpsons) and produced by Allison Abbate (Space Jam). The Iron Giant will be the third film in which Warner Bros. Feature Animation has used Animo exclusively for 2D animation production. Animo was used previously for Space Jam and Quest for Camelot.

Nelvana Animates Neighborly Hippos
for New George and Martha Series
Nelvana Limited is using Cambridge Animation's Animo software to bring characters from the best-selling George and Martha books to the television screen in a new animated series that debuted in April. George and Martha is a half-hour, 13-episode series based on the popular books by James Marshall. It chronicles the witty adventures of two hippos who are neighbors and best friends. The series has been licensed by HBOs new HBO Family Channel. Featuring the voices of Nathan Lane (The Birdcage and The Lion King) and Andrea Martin (Second City), George and Martha is the second production between Nelvana and Wild Thing Productions, headed by John Carls and world-renowned author/illustrator Maurice Sendak.

Saturday, April 17, 1999

Thai's Boycott The King and I
According to ABC News, Thais and Thai Americans are boycotting Warner Brothers The King and I because it perpetuates "stereotypes and bad history" and because the story "is based on a dubious memoir that Thais have found offensive for more than a century." Since hitting theaters on March 19, the animated film has performed poorly at the Box Office, but ABC News says that the boycott is not responsible for the bad performance, but rather "bad animation, bad marketing, and bad reviews."

Friday, April 16, 1999

Penalty Phase of Katzenberg Trial Open to Press
According to Variety , the penalty phase of the Katzenberg vs. Disney trial will be open to the press. The penalty phase begins today. Jeffrey Katzenberg had sued Disney stating that Disney still owes him $250 million from when he was head of production at Disney and responsible for overseeing many of Disney's hit animations (like The Lion King). Katzenberg stated that his contract called for him to receive 2% of profits from all Disney productions during his 10-year tenure. The day before the case was to go to trial in 1997, Disney conceded liability, avoiding a trial. Now the penalty phase begins to determine how much money Disney really does owe Katzenberg, who left Disney to help found DreamWorks. It is expected that some of the top people in both companies, including Katzenberg and Michael Eisener, will testify during this phase. Disney strongly opposed press being allowed to attend this phase, which caused many media outlets to file a lawsuit. A judge sided with the press, allowing today's proceedings to be open.

Thursday, April 15, 1999

FOX's Animation Tuesday Brings Strong Results
The FOX animation Tuesday prime time lineup picked up some steam on Tuesday, with much better results than a week earlier. On Tuesday, April 13, FOX came in second place, just behind ABC. The FOX Tuesday animation lineup on April 13 included a new "King of the Hill," "The PJs," a "King of the Hill" rerun, and "Futurama." Meanwhile, FOX has announced that it has picked up 22 episodes of "Futurama" for next year.

New Maya Renderer To Be Shown At NAB
Alias/Wavefront will introduce a new renderer for its Maya program at NAB. The renderer, called IPR (Interactive Photorealistic Renderer), is designed to bring the speed of on-line video editing to the world of 3D rendering, giving users the ability to match colors, edit material shaders, and adjust lighting placement on final renderings in real-time, eliminating the need for multiple test renderings.  The company plans to deliver Maya IPR as a standard component in Maya Complete 2 and Maya Unlimited 2 applications.

Wednesday, April 14, 1999

Top Visual Effects Artists Participate in Video Series
Masters of Visual Effects LLC, a newly formed company, was founded to provide essential training tools for the visual effects community.  The company announced today that NAB in Las Vegas will mark the release of the first two series in the Masters of Visual Effects training videos hosted by the industry's leading visual effects artists.  The series are highly scaleable, offering a comprehensive overview of visual effects, addressing not only the novice but also professional artists, producers and filmmakers wanting to improve their skills in an alternate visual effects craft.

Artists participating in the series include John Knoll (Industrial Light & Magic visual effects supervisor), Scott Squires (Industrial Light & Magic visual effects supervisor), Ron Brinkmann (formerly with Sony Imageworks), Eric Chauvin (digital matte artist - B5, Voyager), Forest Key (formerly with ILM), and Scott Stewart (formerly with ILM). More information on the availability of this video series will be released after NAB.

Tuesday, April 13, 1999

The Prince of Egypt Surpasses $100 million!
DreamWorks animation, The Prince of Egypt , surpassed the $100 million mark over the weekend to make it only the second non-Disney animated feature in the U.S. to make more than $100 million at the Box Office. The first was The Rugrats Movie just over a month ago. The Prince of Egypt passed $100 million domestically on Saturday, April 10, and has grossed an estimated $215 million worldwide to date.

Now The Prince of Egypt is poised to surpass The Rugrats Movie, which was pulled from theaters and released on video a few weeks ago, leaving plenty of room for The Prince of Egypt to overtake it at the Box Office within the next 2-3 weeks. That will make The Prince of Egypt the #1 grossing non-Disney animated film of all time in the U.S.

 The Prince of Egypt recently enjoyed another success when it won the Academy Award for Best Original Song — "When You Believe," written by Stephen Schwartz.

Monday, April 12, 1999

Star Wars Lines a Publicity Stunt?
News media have been covering fans of Star Wars lining up for the movie (more than a month in advance) and directing people to a Web site with live coverage. However, what the news media doesn't tell you is that most of those participating get eight hours off a day to go home and sleep and don't have to be in line on the weekends! In the original Star Wars, most people camped out without any time off except to go to the bathroom.

"Voltron: The Third Dimension" Rated #1
For the second straight quarter, the Nielsen Ratings have shown "Voltron: The Third Dimension" to be the number one rated weekly syndicated children's show in the United States. "'Voltron' is the first 3D animated series ever produced in the United States, so we are gratified by this strong audience acceptance of our new fully computer-generated animation technology," says Douglas Netter, chairman and chief executive officer of Netter Digital Entertainment, which creates the show.

Sunday, April 11, 1999

Anime Festival in Boston Just Around the Corner
The Japan Society of Boston and Museum of Fine Arts are putting the final touches on its two part anime festival. Part 1 is April 18-24 and Part II is May 1-21. The anime festival is being held at the Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave. in Boston. Dozens of anime films (including "Kiki's Delivery Service," "Jungle Emperor Leo," "Kayoko's Diary," etc.) will be shown. For more information and a complete list of films, click here.

Saturday, April 10, 1999

Fox Family Channel To Get Two New Animated Shows
Cine-Groupe, a animation subsidiary of Lion's Gate, will produce 22 half-hour episodes of "Kids From Room 402" and 14 half-hour episodes of "Bad Dog 2," which continues the previously produced "Bad Dog" series for Fox Family Channel. Both shows are scheduled to begin airing in Quarter 4 of 1999 on the Fox Family Channel.

"The concepts for the shows are original and we're extremely excited to be bringing these two animated series to Fox Family Channel," says Cine-Groupe President Jacques Pettigrew . "Both series have unique characters that kids from all over the world can relate to and laugh with."

 "Kids From Room 402" is about real kids, doing real things and suffering real consequences at Harding Elementary School in Anytown U.S.A.

"Bad Dog 2" is about a dog that is too obedient—one that never strays from his mission: to mercilessly please every human he comes in contact with, or die trying.

Friday, April 9, 1999

Futurama Bright on Sundays, But Not Tuesdays
Variety reports that FOX is fairing poorly on its "all-animation Tuesday lineup." The low network numbers come despite the new "Futurama" and the "Family Guy" special. The two Sunday showings of "Futurama" have soared in ratings, while last Tuesday's showing came in fourth place (households) out of the four networks. Tuesday is the regular timeslot for "Futurama," which enjoyed two back-to-back special Sunday previews.

The Rugrats Movie Fifth in Video Store Rentals
The Rugrats Movie, which made over $100 million in theaters to become the first non-Disney animated movie to ever reach $100 million, only managed fifth place in the rental charts for its opening week. What movies beat it? The Water Boy, Mighty Joe Young, Pleasantville, and What Dreams May Come.

Thursday, April 8, 1999

Warner Brings In The Mil-LOONEY-umWarner Brothers To Start Its Own Millennium Fun
The turn of the century and mark of the new millennium is now being celebrated by Warner Brothers, which has unveiled plans for a "Mil-LOONEY-um" marketing campaign using its animated characters. The campaign will begin third quarter of 1999.

"The Mil-LOONEY-um brings a fun, unique perspective to this milestone event," says Dan Romanelli, president of Warner Brothers Worldwide Consumer Products. "People around the world can relate to Bugs Bunny's sarcastic confidence, Daffy Duck's self-righteousness, or Sylvester's tireless efforts to catch Tweety. We've captured the characters' sensibilities and blended them with both a retrospective and futuristic look at the year 2000."

The kickoff for Warner Brothers animated Mil-LOONEY-um adventures will begin this Fall with special segments on WB Kids TV, Mil-LOONEY-um contests, special in-store events, and numerous merchandise products, including stickers. Seven promotional partners have signed up with Warner Brothers for the campaign, including Act II, Best Foods, Kraft, Skippy, Smuckers, Mott's, and First USA. Outside of the U.S., the campaign will be known as "Looney Tunes 2000."

Wednesday, April 7, 1999

TNT and TBS Get DreamWorks Films
Turner Networks (TNT and TBS) has purchased the rights to air on TV all of DreamWorks films during its first five years. However, according to Variety , DreamWorks did put a stipulation on its animated films. If DreamWorks feels that it can do a successful re-release of animated films like The Prince of Egypt and ANTZ (and other animated features in the future) then it has the right to delay when Turner Networks will receive the films, even though Turner is guaranteed to get them eventually.

CalArts Tough To Get Into
USAToday has reported that out of 400 applicants last year, only 40 made it into CalArts animation program.  The school, founded by Walt Disney in the early 60's, was originally built to train animators for Walt Disney productions. CalArts isn't interested in seeing cartoons when students send a portfolio and application. The school, instead, wants to see composition, design, life drawings, color theory, and animal studies.

Tuesday, April 6, 1999

Daffy Duck Gets Own Postage Stamp
Daffy Duck is getting a place in history when a 33-cent stamp honoring the animated character is released on April 16, which will be declared "Daffy Duck Day" by Johnny Grant, the ceremonial mayor of Hollywood and the chairman of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The ceremony honoring Daffy Duck will take place on April 16, 10AM, at the Mann's Chinese Theater. Daffy is the third Looney Tunes character to be featured on a U.S. stamp joining his animated arch-rival Bugs Bunny and the loveable cat-and-canary team of Sylvester & Tweety.

"The immortalization of Daffy Duck will be completed with this unprecedented event," said Tirso del Junco, M.D., a member of the Postal Service's Board of Governors. "As the Postal Service seeks to broaden the appeal of the stamp program, Daffy and his Looney Tunes pals have helped introduce a new generation to the entertaining and educational hobby of stamp collecting."

Monday, April 5, 1999

Tarzan Single Released To Radio Today
Listen carefully to the radio today. Phil Collin's single, "You'll Be in My Heart," from the upcoming Tarzan soundtrack and movie, was released to radio stations today. Collins wrote and performed the song, which is the emotional centerpiece of Tarzan that celebrates the bond between mother and child. It is one of five new songs written by Collins for the Tarzan soundtrack, which is being released on May 18, 1999.  Collins was a key collaborator in the making of Tarzan and his music sets the tome of the movie and underscores the film's themes.  He sings four of the songs in the movie. Tarzan is being released in theaters on June 18, 1999.

Animated Futurama Lifts FOX
It seems that FOX has another hit on its hands.  Futurama was partly responsible, last night, for lifting FOX to the #2 network for the night, beat only by CBS. Futurama received a 6.9 rating and 12 share, down from its premiere last week, but still one of the most watched shows of the night.

Sunday, April 4, 1999

The Vancouver Effects and Animation Expo Calls for Entries
The Vancouver Effects and Animation Festival (July 16-17) is seeking submissions from individual artists, production houses, and educational facilities in various categories. VEAF will showcase all types of effects work and animation during its two day celebration—everything from realistic water effects to traditional cell animation work.

Some of the categories are: Commercials (animated), Commercials (effects), Feature Film (animated), Feature Film (effects), Music Videos (animated), Music Videos (effect), Short Films, Titles, Idents, PSAs and Stings, Simulations, Education and Training video, Student work, CD-ROM, web site, and more. For a more complete description of the categories and submission guidelines visit the web site:

There is no cost to submit work. Awards will be given in different categories. The submissions deadline is May 21, 1999

Saturday, April 3, 1999

Friday's Box Office Results for Animated Films
On Friday, Disney's animated film Doug's First Movie brought in $1.27 million to place seventh while Warner Brother's animated film The King and I brought in $415,000 to place 13th at the Box Office.  Meanwhile the live action, but special effects filled, movie The Matrix brought in an astonishing $10 million on Friday alone and is expected to have a Box Office weekend of close to $30 million

Friday, April 2, 1999

Katzenberg Lawsuit Against Disney Goes Into Phase II
Variety is reporting that the second part of Jeffrey Katzenberg's breach of contract suit against Disney will begin on April 15.  Katzenberg had filed a lawsuit in 1996 against Disney claiming that Disney owed him 2% of all TV show and movie profits from when he served Disney as the head of its animation studio.  Before the lawsuit began, Disney conceded liability and now must appear on April 15 to determine how much money (in the hundreds of millions) Katzenberg is to be paid.

Pixar Movie Profits Slow
USA Today is reporting that the saturation of animated movies in the marketplace could hurt movie places like Pixar, which in a filing stated, that the market saturation "could result in the failure of [Pixar] films to achieve the extraordinary commercial success required."  Pixar expressed worry over how the upcoming Toy Story II will perform at the Box Office because "sequels rarely do as well as the original film" and costs to make Toy Story II were much higher than the original Toy Story.

Thursday, April 1, 1999

"Dr. Katz" Wins Peabody Award for Animated Series
"Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist," Comedy Central's unique animated series, has been honored with the prestigious Peabody Award in the 58th Peabody Awards competition, it was announced today. In the program, Emmy-winning Jonathan Katz portrays a psychiatrist who is routinely manipulated by everyone — his secretary, his twenty-something son who still lives at home and his bizarre patients who are played by stand-up comedians such as Joan Rivers, Jon Stewart, Garry Shandling and Rodney Dangerfield. In announcing the winning programs, the Peabody committee called "Dr. Katz" a "quirky and funny animation for adults that chronicles the off-kilter life of a hapless psychiatrist with a unique clientele."


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