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Vicki Tracy

Monday, January 31, 2000

"Monster Rancher" Series Coming to Video
ADV Films will begin releasing the entire catalog of the BKN Network's hit cartoon series "Monster Rancher."

"We're very selective about what properties we get involved in," admits ADV Films' President John Ledford. "But this was a no-brainer. It's animated, which is the genre we're known for, so Monster Rancher fits in perfectly into our catalog."

Three episodes will appear on each video, with new videos being released every other month.

"Monster Rancher" is the story of an 11-year old video game champion who finds himself magically transported into a land of monsters (some friendly, some not so friendly).

Weekend Estimates: Toy Story 2 Back in Top 10
Weekend Box Office estimates showed that Toy Story 2 has made it back into the top 10 films, after falling out of the top 10 last weekend. Toy Story 2 is estimated to have made $2.4 million, which would bring its total to $234.4 million. Final numbers will be published in tomorrow's update.

Sunday, January 30, 2000

More on Mickey Mouse Campaign
Disney's first-ever television advertising campaign celebrating Mickey Mouse will premiere today, with personalities selected from sports, music, film and television, it was announced today by Andrew P. Mooney, president, Worldwide Consumer Products.

The campaign showcases how people of all generations and walks of life connect with the world's most famous Mouse, as seen through the eyes of today's most interesting opinion leaders. The first of over 20 spots debuts during the final 15 minutes of the Super Bowl XXXIV pre-game telecast on Sunday, Jan. 30, on ABC.

``The `Why do we love the Mouse?' campaign is a way to remind people everywhere of Mickey Mouse's special status in our lives,'' said Mooney. ``With this campaign, we get to hear his virtues extolled by a wide range of personalities. And, as we see him through their eyes, we get to see him again for the first time.''

``Mickey Mouse is a star for all time and all generations,'' said Michael Eisner, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company. ``Indeed, there aren't a lot of individuals who are loved by everyone from Shaquille O'Neal to Christina Aguilera. This highly inventive campaign is a playful way to remind Mickey's fans across the country that he is truly a mouse for all seasons.''

Each ``Why do we love the Mouse?'' spot is filmed documentary-style in black and white, and concludes with new full-color animation of Mickey created for the campaign. The performances are humorously irreverent as the celebrities describe what they love most about Mickey Mouse.

Today's Super Bowl Sunday spot features Shaquille O'Neal and Regis Philbin. Following its Super Bowl Sunday debut, the ``Why do we love the Mouse?'' campaign continues on such special event programming as the Barbara Walters Academy Awards Special, the MTV Music Awards, and the NBA Playoffs, as well as national slots in primetime, daytime and early morning.

Other talent to be featured throughout the campaign includes: Kelsey Grammer, Christina Aguilera, Drew Carey, Derek Jeter, LeAnn Rimes, Tyra Banks, LFO, Melissa Joan Hart, and others.

``Why do we love the Mouse?'' was created in-house at Disney Consumer Products by Dexter Fedor, senior vice president, Global Creative Development, under the direction of Susan Butterworth, executive vice president, creative development and marketing, worldwide. ``There's a little bit of the Mouse in everyone,'' says Fedor. ``And those connections are as unexpected as the people who share them.''

Roy E. Disney to be Honored on March 22, 2000
Roy E. Disney, nephew of the late Walt Disney, is being honored by the Publicists Guild of America on March 22, where he will receive the group's Lifetime Achievement Award as a direct result of his work with Disney animation.

Saturday, January 29, 2000

New Animated PBS Kids Show in Production
Renowned author Amy Tan's imaginative story of discovery, "Sagwa, The Chinese Siamese Cat," will premiere in fall 2001 as a daily animated television series on PBS KIDS stations. Forty half-hour episodes of the series will be produced by Lions Gate Entertainment's animation partner CineGroupe in association with the Children's Television Workshop (The Workshop) and IF/X Productions. CineGroupe and The Workshop will also distribute the series worldwide.

"Sagwa, The Chinese Siamese Cat" follows the adventures of a spirited and curious young cat named Sagwa. Amidst the time-honored culture of Ancient China, Sagwa, a spunky kitten, sets out to find her own place in an enchanting world of customs and traditions. With the soaring imagination of an eight-year-old child, she discovers that there is more than one way to view the world. Through that discovery she finds that even though the choices can be difficult, you're never too small for your own voice to be heard.

``Working with Amy Tan and Gretchen Schields and producing this innovative daily animation series with The Workshop, IF/X, and PBS, the most trusted place for pre-school television, is a major coup for CineGroupe,'' conveyed Ken Katsumoto, CineGroupe's Head of U.S. Operations. Jacques Pettigrew, President and C.E.O. of CineGroupe, added, ``This exciting alliance affirms CineGroupe's role as a major player in the world of children's programming.''

Each half-hour episode will be comprised of two 11-minute animated segments with related interstitial components. The series will combine classic animation, music, folk stories and fairytales to create a unique experience for young children.

Dancing Baby Scares Japan Officials
According to Reuters, "A dancing baby spooked Japan's government on Friday. The government, struggling to ward off repeated attacks by computer hackers, found an animated cartoon of a dancing baby on the Trade Ministry's homepage after a tip-off early on Friday by police who feared the site may have been raided. But to the relief and embarrassment of officials at the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, the cartoon had been inserted by the site's operators while they were checking for intrusion attempts. The 'Dancing Baby,' a popular computer animation character that has traveled the world via the Internet and appeared in a hallucinatory role on sitcom 'Ally McBeal,' had been used by the site operators as one of their tests."

Friday, January 28, 2000

Another Well Known Animator Passes Away
Michael Webster, a 42-year veteran of the animation industry and a respected producer/executive who established Disney's Television Animation division in 1984 and led it to great success under his leadership, passed away at his home in Port Townsend on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2000.

Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in the late '80s, he succumbed to complications from pneumonia. He was 60 years old.

During his term as senior vice president of Walt Disney Television Animation, he was responsible for creating the division and overseeing the production of such successful programs as the Emmy Award-winning "New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh," "Ducktales," "Disney's Adventures of The Gummi Bears," "Disney's Wuzzles," "Goof Troop," "Darkwing Duck," "Chip 'n' Dale's Rescue Rangers," "Disney's The Little Mermaid" and "Disney's Aladdin."

He also guided the production of the Disney theatrical releases Ducktales: The Movie, Treasure of the Lost Lamp and A Goofy Movie, as well as a variety of direct-to-video films, including the Aladdin sequel, The Return of Jafar.

Following his retirement from Walt Disney Television Animation in 1992, Webster continued to consult for the division on numerous projects over the next five years.

A native of Los Angeles and the son of vaudevillian/screenwriter Marriott Coates Webster (whose credits include films for such top Republic Pictures stars as Roy Rogers), Webster visited the Disney Studios at the age of 10 and developed a keen interest in the medium.

He began his industry career in 1957 at age 18, when legendary animator Art Babbitt became his mentor and gave him his start at Quartet Films. Rising through the ranks from cleanup to in-betweener and assistant animator, the aspiring artist worked on a variety of commercials and short films for Quartet.

Following that, Webster joined Hanna Barbera, where he animated on such programs as "The Flintstones."

In 1961, Webster joined Murakami Wolf Films, where he worked as an animator and in-house commercial producer for founder Fred Wolf. During his three-year stint there, he worked on a series of commercials featuring such well-known icons as Tony the Tiger, Charlie the Sunkist Tuna and the Jolly Green Giant.

In 1977, he joined the Los Angeles office of Leo Burnett Advertising and spent the next seven years producing commercials for many top national clients.

Among Webster's other industry achievements, he started a company called Image West, which was one of the first commercial houses to offer computer graphics. He also served in a stint as producer with the animation house Rankin Bass.

Webster is survived by his wife of 20 years, Lynne; four children -- Kathy Couturie, Stephanie Matthews, Jessica Pennington and Scott Webster; and two grandsons. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that contributions be made to the Jefferson County Fire District No. 6, 3850 Cape George Road, Port Townsend, Wash. 98368.

Thursday, January 27, 2000

TV's Voice of Lucy Looking at Jail Time
The voice of Peanuts Lucy character on TV is looking at possible six months jail time "for violating an obscure San Fernando ordinance last summer."

According to APB News, Pamelyn Ferdin, "the voice of Lucy in the Peanuts animated specials, refuses either to pay a fine or accept probation as punishment for possessing a "bull hook," an object used by elephant trainers to control the animals, while protesting a Circus Vargas performance last August.

The Los Angeles City Attorney's Office is seeking the maximum jail time, contending the defendant left no other option..."

Click here to read the full story. Then click here to read a January 11 article about Pamelyn Ferdin threatening to go on a hunger strike.

Final Fantasy VIII Released to PC
Final Fantasy VIII has been released to the PC in the U.S. with nearly an hour's worth of state-of-the-art animation accompanying the story. In September 1999, Final Fantasy VIII was released to the Sony Playstation and sold over a million copies. The PC version is enhanced to provide more lifelike characters and smoother animation.

Wednesday, January 26, 2000

Broadcasters Deceiving Viewers with Digital  Changes - Ethics Called into Question
If you watched CBS coverage of the new Millennium at Times Square on New Year's Eve, everything wasn't as it appeared. The network digitally removed an NBC logo that is prominently displayed in Times Square and replaced it with a CBS logo. The transition was so smooth that a viewer would never know. The New York Times recently made sure that viewers did know, however. The move by CBS has created a broadcasting ethics debate that is getting more media attention. For example, how would sponsors, who have signs displayed at the Super Bowl, feel if those ads were digitally replaced by the network to display network sponsors?

CNN tackled this issue yesterday in an article titled "Digital developments: Networks changing images on your TV." The article talks about a number of examples, including one from the TV show "Seven Days." There some product brands were digitally changed in a rerun to reflect new sponsors.

Click here to read the entire article.

Animated Clips Getting IMAX Treatment
Dreamworks, FOX, and Sony Pictures are all contributing to a segmented animated IMAX adventure titled Cyberworld. The movie will feature clips from some past animated TV shows and theatrical releases. This includes the 3D episode of The Simpsons, where Homer has to escape out of a 3D world. It also includes the initial meeting of Z and Princess Bala from ANTZ. Sony's contribution is Monkey Brian Sushi. The most original aspect of the film when be the 3D animated CyberHost. The film is being released in October 2000.

Tuesday, January 25, 2000

Final Weekend Box Office Number Announced
Here are the final weekend Box Office numbers for animated films still in the theater:

Toy Story 2
$2.9 Million ($1,482 per screen average)
11th at the Box Office
Total to Date: $231.2 Million

Fantasia 2000
$2 Million ($37,708 per screen average)
16th at the Box Office
Total to Date: $13.7 Million

Pokemon: The First Movie
$251,540 ($426 per screen average)
32 at the Box Office
Total to Date: $85.1 Million

Tarzan Hits Video and DVD in One Week
Next Tuesday, February 1, 2000, Disney's summer animate hit, Tarzan, will come out on
VHS and DVD. Tarzan made a strong $171 million at the Box Office to make it the sixth highest-grossing animated feature of all time. In addition to the regular VHS and DVD release, Disney will release a Special Edition of Tarzan to DVD on April 18, 2000 a detailed behind the scenes look at the film.

Monday, January 24, 2000

Toy Story 2 Wins Golden Globe Award for Best Comedy! Tarzan Takes Best Original Song.
Toy Story 2 was a big winner at the Golden Globe Awards last night, winning the award of Best Musical or Comedy. Disney scored a second hit with Tarzan, which won a Golden Globe award for Best Original Song — "You'll Be in My Heart" by Phil Collins.

Toy Story 2 Release Dates
While Toy Story 2 has been playing in the U.S. since Thanksgiving weekend 1999, it has yet to premiere in several countries. Here is a list of the next four places where Toy Story 2 will be released:

February 4, 2000
United Kingdom

February 11, 2000

Simpsons Get Star
The Simpsons have been given a star on the Walk of Fame to celebrate the show's 10-year anniversary.

"Being added to the Walk of Fame is a major feather in our caps," says Nancy Cartwright, voice of Bart Simpson, to the Cox News Service. "I always thought it would be tremendous honor, but I never thought that I would be included! How fun!''

Sunday, January 23, 2000

Toy Story 2 Fails to Make Top 10 for the First Time Since Opening
Toy Story 2 fell out of the Top 10 at the Box Office this weekend for the first time since opening on Thanksgiving weekend 1999. The Pixar animated film made an estimated $3 million (11th) to bring its total to $231 million. That's enough to make it the 20th highest grossing domestic movie ever (live-action or animation), knocking off Jurassic Park: The Lost World.

Saturday, January 22, 2000

Castle in the Sky
New English Language Version Miyazaki Film to Premiere in the U.S.
The world premiere of the english version of Castle in the Sky, by Hayao Miyazaki, will occur at the Director's Guild of America Theater during the New York International Children's Film Festival. It will be screened on Friday, February 4 and Saturday, February 5. The movie is about "A young girl with a mysterious crystal pendant falls out of the sky and into the arms and life of young Pazu. Together they search for a floating island in the sky, site of a long-dead civilization promising enormous wealth and power to those who can unlock its secrets."  Click here for more information.

Animation Mall Opens
Animation Artist Magazine has opened up an
Animation Mall, which consists of seven stores where readers can order online items. This includes animation movies, software, books, toys and music cds. To visit the mall, click here. There are also popular non-animation items you can purchase. Whenever you make a purchase through one of the Animation Artist stores, the proceeds the magazine obtains from those purchases goes to expand Animation Artist services for you.

Friday, January 21, 2000

Toy Story 2 Becomes First U.K. Digital Film
On February 4, 2000 the U.K. will experience a digital movie for the first time ever as Toy Story 2 plays digitally in London's Odeon Leicester Square. According to Daily Variety, "Buena Vista Intl. has arranged for digital projection equipment to be installed in the U.K.'s flagship theater, where the film will run exclusively for one week before going into general release."

Women in Animation Group to Meet Monthly
The Women in Animation Production Management Group will begin its regular
monthly meetings this upcoming Monday (Jan. 24), 7-9pm.  The event will be held at Nickelodeon Studios in Burbank.

For more information or questions, you may contact the coordinator of the group, Kellie-Bea Cooper, at (818) 623-0020.

Stanford Gets Animated
Immersive Design, Inc, a leader in Desktop Product Communication (DPC), today announced an agreement with Stanford University's Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) to provide over 50 seats of IPA (Interactive Product Animator) for its mechanical design department. IPA 6.0, 3D animation software and applications for mechanical product design communication, transforms CAD information into easy-to-use, product-based communication.

SLAC's investment in IPA demonstrates its commitment to providing staff and students with cutting-edge technology for engineering. IPA is particularly relevant to engineering education because of its sophisticated integration with the leading CAD packages.

"We're excited to work with Stanford University and to provide its staff and students with the means to create and learn from 3D animations," said Jeffrey A. Simon, president and CEO of Immersive Design. "Creating and communicating designs though animation is an important part of the learning experience for mechanical designers and engineering students. The experience they have at Stanford with IPA, the industry leading animation software, will provide students with a competitive edge, which is attractive to future employers."

Thursday, January 20, 2000

Grand Prize Winner Announced in
Animation Artist's "History of Animation" Contest
Animation Artist Magazine would like to congratulate Michael Crandol, who was the grand prize winner in the Animation Artist "History of Animation" Essay competition. His essay was titled "The History of Animation: Advantages and Disadvantages of the Studio System in the Production of an Art Form." As the grand prize winner, Crandol will receive a signed limited edition copy of Frank and Ollie's "The Illusion of Life" book. Animation Artist Magazine will publish Crandol's essay in February.

Animation Artist Opens Toy Store
Today Animation Artist Magazine launched a Toy Store in affiliation with eToys. The Animation Artist Toy Store includes direct links to products from many animated movies. To visit the Animation Artist Toy Store,
click here. Proceeds from all Animation Artist stores directly go to the growth of Animation Artist Magazine.

Brilliant's Cartoons Score Strong Publicity
Earlier this week the L.A. Times ran a large feature story on Brilliant Digital Entertainment's (BDE on the stock market) interactive online cartoons. The story was then sent out through the L.A. Times syndicate and picked up by many more newspapers, including the Denver Post.

"...In a new form of interactive online cartoons, you tell Superman what to do -- and he does it, at the click of a mouse," says the article. "The cartoons are the latest product of Brilliant Digital Entertainment Inc., a Woodland Hills Internet start-up that some observers say is in an excellent position to cash in on the reinvigorated push for online entertainment..."

Click here to read the full feature.

Wednesday, January 19, 2000

Final Weekend Box Office Results
Final weekend Box Office results (which includes Martin Luther King Day on Monday) have been released. Here's how animated films performed over the weekend (January 14-17, 2000):

Toy Story 2
$5 Million ($2,181 per screen average)
9th at the Box Office
Total to Date: $227.6 Million

Fantasia 2000
$3.1 Million ($58,135 per screen average)
15th at the Box Office
Total to Date: $7 Million

Pokemon: The First Movie
$371,489 ($530 per screen average)
25th at the Box Office
Total to Date: $84.8 Million

Frankenstein Movie is a Real Monster
Variety is reporting that the computer animated Frankenstein movie, originally due out this summer, hit many pitfalls, particularly when new studio executives deemed it not appropriate for kids, one of the audiences it was targeting. The movie was apparently canceled before any of the executives realized that $10 million had already been sunk into the film and a contract with ILM had been signed in the amount of $80 million for the CGI work. Universal Studios, which was making Frankenstein, has reportedly reached a settlement with ILM. There are no plans to continue the Frankenstein production.

Mark Davis Obituary Released (appears below)
Marc Davis, one of the grand masters of Disney animation and a celebrated member of Walt Disney's trusted inner circle known as the "nine old men," passed away on Wednesday (1/12) at Glendale Memorial Hospital following a short illness. He was 86 years old.

Davis was regarded as one of the top talents ever to work in the animation medium and one of Disney's all-time greatest animators and Imagineers. He earned a reputation for being Disney's "ladies' man" because of his memorable female character creations that included Cinderella, Alice, Tinker Bell, Briar Rose, Maleficent and Cruella De Vil.

A fine artist in his own right, Davis' paintings are currently being exhibited at Larry Smith Fine Arts Gallery in Los Angeles. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has conducted its annual "Marc Davis Lecture on Animation" since 1994.

During his 43-year association with the Studio, Davis was responsible for designing and bringing life to such classic characters as Bambi, Cinderella, Alice, Briar Rose and Maleficent (from "Sleeping Beauty"), and Cruella De Vil.

He went on to play a key role in the creative planning for the original Disneyland, for which he developed story and character concepts for such favorite attractions as "It's a Small World," "The Enchanted Tiki Room," "Pirates of the Caribbean," "Jungle Cruise," "Carousel of Progress" and "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln."

Commenting on Davis' passing, Roy E. Disney, vice chairman of The Walt Disney Company, said: "We have lost one of the great giants of our industry. Marc was a true renaissance man and an amazing talent who helped to define the art of animation and raise it to incredible new heights.

"His abilities as a draftsman were second to none and as a result he often took on the most complicated assignments of drawing heroines and villainesses. He also played a great role in creating some of the most innovative and popular attractions for our theme parks.

"Marc's high standards and incredible achievements serve as great inspirations to today's artists and animators, and he will be sorely missed by his Disney family and his legions of fans the world over."

The only son of Harry and Mildred Davis, Marc was born in Bakersfield, Calif. After high school, he enrolled at the Kansas City Art Institute for his first formal art training, after which he attended the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco and the Otis Art Institute of Los Angeles.

Davis went to work for Walt Disney in 1935 as an apprentice animator. He was promoted to assistant animator when Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs went into production. Following that, Davis spent six years doing character design and storyboards for Bambi.

His skills with personality animation provided a breakthrough on that film and played a key role in making that film a success. He is credited with developing the characters of young Bambi and Thumper.

Among his numerous Disney feature credits, Davis served as a directing animator for Song of the South, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty and 101 Dalmatians. He was an animator on Bambi, Fun and Fancy Free and The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad.

Additionally, Davis received credit for "cartoon story treatment" for So Dear to My Heart. He also animated on numerous shorts including "Adventures in Music: Melody" and "Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom."

Davis joined Walt Disney Imagineering in 1961 and remained there until his retirement in 1978. He developed story and character concepts for numerous attractions including the four New York World's Fair shows; "Country Bear Jamboree," "Haunted Mansion," "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln," "Jungle Cruise," "Nature's Wonderland," "The Enchanted Tiki Room," "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "America Sings."

After his retirement, he returned to Imagineering as a consultant on "World of Motion" for EPCOT Center and numerous attractions for Tokyo Disneyland.

In addition to his distinguished career as an artist, animator and imagineer, Davis taught advanced classes in drawing for 17 years at Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles.

Davis' many distinctions and awards include a 1992 salute from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In 1989, he was honored at the Annecy Film Festival and also received a Disney Legends Award from the Studio. The International Animation Society, ASIFA, also presented him with their top honor, the Winsor McCay Award.

Davis' personal paintings and drawings are currently on exhibit at the Larry Smith Fine Arts Gallery in Los Angeles. His impressive artistry included such diverse subjects as bulls and bullfighters, dancers and harlequins as well as the warriors and jungle life of New Guinea.

His evocative New Guinea paintings have been collected for a forthcoming book, "The Bite of the Crocodile." He had also completed an unpublished book on the anatomy of motion.

Davis is survived by his wife of 44 years, Alice. There will be no funeral service, and plans for a memorial service will be announced shortly. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his name to CalArts (California Institute of the Arts).

Tuesday, January 18, 2000

Disney Considers Longer Fantasia 2000 Run
Disney is considering lengthening the run of Fantasia 2000 in IMAX theaters because of the "film's success." Over the weekend, Fantasia 2000 made $2.3 million in 54 US theaters.

IMAX to Show 3D Character Animation Movie
IMAX has announced that later this year it will begin airing a new animated adventure called Cyberworld. The movie is compiled into eight different sections which feature long known animated characters in the 3D format.

Monday, January 17, 2000

Tarzan Tops $400 Million Worldwide!
Disney's Tarzan has topped $400 million in  its worldwide theatrical release. It is only the third animated movie to ever reach that milestone.

Kansas City Star Talks About Ub Iwerks
The Kansas City Star has published an article about the history of Ub Iwerks. The Iwerks family runs businesses in Kansas City. In one section, the article states:

"In 1919 18-year-old Kansas Citian Ub Iwerks was a high school dropout with a job drawing newspaper ads. One of his co-workers at the Presman-Rubin Studios was a fellow struggling artist named Walt Disney.

Laid off their jobs, the two went into business for themselves by founding the Iwerks-Disney Company (originally it was called Disney-Iwerks, but the two young entrepreneurs became frustrated because members of the public assumed theirs was an eyeglass business). Their struggling advertising firm lasted only a month; before long both had been hired by the Kansas City Slide Company to design slides projected at silent movie houses. Even more exciting was the opportunity to make brief animated movies for the company..."

To read the entire article, click here.

The Kansas City Star has also published an article on the 10-year reign of "The Simpsons" on TV. To read that article, click here .

New York Post Talks About TV Animation
The New York Post has published an article that, in part, highlights four new upcoming animated series on TV. The four are:

"God, the Devil, and Bob" (airing on NBC)
"Clerks" (airing on ABC)
"Baby Blues" (airing on WB)
"Sammy" (airing on NBC)

To read the article, which includes descriptions of each show, click here.

Sunday, January 16, 2000

John Lasseter Heads to Ireland
The Irish Times is reporting that John Lasseter will be in Dublin, Ireland, this coming Thursday.

"The Oscar-winning American animator John Lasseter will be in Dublin next Thursday for a tribute day at the IFC and to give a masterclass to animation students, which is already fully subscribed," the Times reports. "The IFC will screen A Bug's Life at 12 noon, followed by five short films directed by Lasseter, including his Oscar-winning Tin Toy, at 1:30 p.m., and Toy Story at 2 p.m."

Toy Story 2 Drops to 10th on Friday
Toy Story 2 opened the weekend in 10th place at the Box Office, bringing in $1 million on 2,325 screens for an average of $446 per screen. To date Toy Story 2 has made $222 million in the U.S.. Estimates for the entire weekend are being released this afternoon with final numbers for the weekend due tomorrow night.

Saturday, January 15, 2000

LA Times Covers Death of Marc Davis
The LA Times has written a detailed article on the life of Marc Davis. Davis passed away on Wednesday due to complications suffered from a stroke. The LA Times article begins:

"Marc Frasier Davis, one of the early Disney animators--celebrated as the 'Nine Old Men' of Disney--who animated such characters as Snow White, Tinker Bell, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Maleficent and Cruella de Vil, died Wednesday evening at Glendale Memorial Hospital after a brief illness. He was 86.

Besides working on such classic animated features as Snow White, Bamb and 101 Dalmatians, Davis helped to create and design the 'Pirates of Caribbean' and 'Haunted Mansion' attractions at Disneyland..."

To read the rest of the article, click here.

Friday, January 14, 2000

Marc Davis, a Pioneer in Animation, Dies
One of Disney's original "nine old men" animation pioneers, Marc Davis, has passed away. Davis was the lead animator of well known Disney characters like Bambi and Tinker Bell. The cause of death was complications suffered from a stroke. He died at the Glendale Memorial Hosipital.

"Davis joined Disney's animation team in 1935," says an Associated Press report. "He worked as an assistant animator on Snow White, then took the lead on developing the animals for Bambi, including the title character and Thumper."

Davis was also very active in helping Walt Disney design some of the characters for Disney attractions like Pirates of the Caribbean. Even after he retired, he continued to consult Disney on various theme park attractions.

The Associated Press quotes Ollie Johston (one of the nine old men and author of The Illusion of Life) as saying, "Davis was the best artist of the bunch. The others were excellent draftsmen, but Marc had the ability to take things and make them into fine art."

Davis was 86 years old.

New York Daily News Talks About Buzz Surrounding Dinosaur Movie Trailer
Today's New York Daily News contains an article (Entertainment section) on the buzz surrounding Disney's Dinosaur movie trailer that is playing before Toy Story 2. The article includes quotes from the publisher of Animation Artist Magazine. To read the online version of the article,
click here.

Teen Digital Issues Call for Entries
Teen Digital (, a unique venue for aspiring young movie producers and animators, is calling for entries for its Fifth Annual Teen Digital Movie-Making Competition. Over 1,000 one-minute digital films, created and produced by teens on desktop computer systems, are expected to be submitted into this year's competition. This number reflects the enormous growth in interest and use of sophisticated graphics, animation, and sound software being expertly used by a younger creative audience.

This year's competition, dubbed "Teen Digital 2000," is accepting entries until February 15, 2000. Entrants will be screened and judged by a panel consisting of film industry leaders, digital graphic artists, graphics software industry leaders, and other leaders from the creative community. Awards, prizes, scholarships, and other honors will be given in several categories, like Most Original Creative Concept, Best Actor/Actress, Best Song, and Best Animation. For a full list of categories, visit Finalists' films will be screened with winners being announced at a gala awards ceremony held on March 11, 2000, as part of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival and March Fest, which run from March 1-12, 2000. The Teen Digital awards ceremony will be held at the Riviera Theatre at 9 AM.

"The Teen Digital Movie-making Competition was created six years ago in order to encourage young people to express themselves creatively in film using state of the art technology," says John Wilczak, Executive Director of Teen Digital. "The competition also creates a forum for young artists to be recognized for excellence in their craft."

Scott Hawthorne, the Artistic Advisor for Teen Digital states, "This competition continues to prove that it is the place where young filmmakers get their start. The competition has several past winners who have gone on to rewarding work in the film industry and in other meaningful pursuits that wouldn't have happened if not for their participation in the competition."

The contest is open to teens ages 13-19. Submissions can be by individuals or groups working together. For a complete list of rules, prizes, and information on the winners being shown on the big screen, visit

Thursday, January 13, 2000

Joe Roth Resigns From Disney
Joe Roth, chairman of Disney Studios has resigned in order to form his own film company. Disney immediately named Peter Schneider to replace Joe Roth. According to Reuters, "Schneider joined Disney in 1985 as a vice president of feature animation and rose through the ranks to become president of Disney's animation and stage play groups. Over the years, he has been involved in Disney's biggest animated hits like The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast , while also overseeing the development of stage plays based on those movies."

Photorealism Animation Key to Britannic Movie
The tragic demise of Titanic continues to capture the attention of the world.
However, few people are as familiar with the story of Titanic's sister ship Britannic, which also met its fate at the bottom of the ocean during the early days of World War I. While an iceberg forever changed the course of Titanic, the disappearance of Britannic is far more perplexing. Regent

Entertainment recently featured the story of Britannic in a romantic movie thriller, which premiered on the FOX Family Channel Sunday January 9, 2000. The FOX Family Channel will be re-broadcasting the show the evening of Saturday January 15, 2000.

The artists at New Jersey-based Corbitt Design were the masterminds behind the more than nine minutes of stunning computer graphics effects in the movie. Working closely with Regent Entertainment, Corbitt created in excess of 230 photorealistically rendered scenes with the aid of BOXX Technologies' RenderBOXX rendering solution.

"Few people honestly believed we could achieve all the photorealistic 3D and special effects for the movie on time and under budget," says Pat Corbitt, CEO of Corbitt Design.

Corbitt Design incorporated four dual Pentium 500MHZ RenderBOXX systems in its production pipeline, which Corbitt claims performed flawlessly 24 hours a day, seven days a week throughout the entire six month production period.

Wednesday, January 12, 2000

Animation Artist Opens Dinosaur Movie Site
Animation Artist Magazine has opened a movie site for Disney's big animated featured titled Dinosaur. The movie site includes QuickTime versions of the original movie trailer. While most Animation Artist Movie Sites reside on the Animation Artist Website, the Dinosaur Movie Site has been given its own URL at

David Stipes Joins Rainbow Studios
Rainbow Studios™ today announced David Stipes,
former visual effects supervisor at Paramount Pictures, has joined Rainbow Studios' management staff. Stipes role will be to direct and motivate Rainbow's team of award-winning producers, designers, and artists in current and upcoming projects.

"David has created some of the most impressive visual effects in the industry," says Nicholas Napp, vice president of animation at Rainbow Studios. A seasoned veteran with more than 30 years experience and the recipient of many industry awards, Stipes brings a wealth of talent, information and inspiration to the award-winning, Phoenix-based studio.

"When a talent like David joins your organization, it strengthens every facet of your business," says Scott Novis, vice president of engineering at Rainbow Studios. "David's presence will have an immediate impact, and be a positive influence, on all aspects of creation within Rainbow Studios. Our entire team is very excited to be working with him."

Stipes joins Rainbow Studios following his role as visual effects supervisor for Paramount Pictures where he designed visual effects and supervised on-set live action, motion control, CGI, and digital compositing for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, and Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Toy Story 2 Game Coming to Sega Dreamcast
Activision, Inc, in collaboration with Disney Interactive will be releasing Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue for Sega Dreamcast  in March 2000.

"Disney/Pixar's Toy Story 2 animated film has been a huge success this holiday season, and now Sega Dreamcast owners can take the magic home," said Mitch Lasky, executive vice president, Activision Studios. "The game will take full advantage of Sega Dreamcast's advanced graphics capabilities and will truly bring Buzz Lightyear and his friends to life."

Disney/Pixar's Toy Story 2 for Sega Dreamcast is a third-person free-roaming adventure game that uses the magic of 3D animation to deliver a unique mix of gameplay elements. As the resourceful hero Buzz Lightyear, players take on five big bosses in a perilous quest to save Woody from an overzealous toy collector. Backed up by a crew of fellow toys, players travel across 15 huge levels, interacting with key characters and exploring environments from the movie.

Players can obtain special powers to complete their missions by unlocking toy accessories, which include rocket jet boots, a grappling hook, an arm laser and moon spring boots. They must enlist the assistance of their favorite toys in getting long-lasting power-ups, and let Hamm, Slinky Dog and Rex help them along to save Woody.

Tuesday, January 11, 2000

Final Weekend Box Office Results
Final weekend Box Office results have been released. Here's how animated films performed over the weekend (January 7-9, 2000):

Toy Story 2
$7.1 Million ($2,599 per screen average)
6th at the Box Office
Total to Date: $219.7 Million

Fantasia 2000
$2.6 Million ($47,958 per screen average)
14th at the Box Office
Total to Date: $7 Million

Pokemon: The First Movie
$106,643 ($358 per screen average)
43rd at the Box Office
Total to Date: $84.3 Million

Former Warner Bros. Executive Joins BDE
Brilliant Digital Entertainment, Inc. (AMEX: BDE) announced today that Patrick Barry, former Director of Affiliate Market Development for Warner Bros. Online, a Time Warner subsidiary, has been named Vice President of Business Development and Animation. Mr. Barry will focus on expanding distribution for Brilliant Digital's 3-D digitally animated interactive content on the Internet.

"We are pleased to welcome Patrick, a proven and respected entertainment and technology industry executive, to head our business development efforts for our Internet Animation division," says Kevin Bermeister, Brilliant Digital's President. "With over seven years of business development and marketing experience as well as a broad base of industry relationships, Patrick is ideally suited to help in enhancing our network distribution model for Brilliant's properties on the Internet. Through this effort, we expect to achieve significant increases in viewer advertising impressions from our content during the first half of 2000."

Prior to joining Brilliant Digital, Patrick Barry was Director of Affiliate Market Development at Warner Bros. Online, where he was responsible for distributing and syndicating online entertainment programming to traditional and new media networks.

FOX Renews Futurama
FOX has ordered episodes of the animated Futurama series to last through 2001. The deal hinges on the creators being able to deliver 22 episodes a season.

Monday, January 10, 2000

Disney Producing Sequel to The Little Mermaid
Walt Disney Home Video is bringing The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea to video and DVD in fall of 2000.The Little Mermaid II

The all-new, animated adventure marks the return of Ariel, Sebastian the Crab, Scuttle the Seabird, Flounder, King Triton, Prince Eric and many of the other favorites from the original The Little Mermaid movie. The film also introduces new characters, along with a set of enchanting new songs. Viewers will meet Ariel's daughter, Melody, and Ursula's wicked sister, Morgana, in high-seas excitement that finds Melody longing to voyage into the sea as a mermaid.

Broadway star Jodi Benson reprises her role as Ariel, the Little Mermaid, and is reunited with Buddy Hackett (Scuttle), Samuel E. Wright (Sebastian) and Pat Carroll (Morgana). The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea premieres on Sept. 5, 2000, only on VHS and DVD from Walt Disney Home Video.

The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea is the continuation of Disney's beloved animated masterpiece, The Little Mermaid. The first film adapted the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen, and, adding the Disney magic touch, became an animated smash hit. Audiences the world over have been enchanted and entertained by the original film's mix of stirring songs, beautiful animation and wondrous characters ever since its initial theatrical release in 1989.

The success of The Little Mermaid sparked a spectacular animation renaissance at the Walt Disney Co., as the animated masterpieces Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King soon followed in Ariel's wake. With The Little Mermaid leading the way, animated feature films rapidly re-established themselves as critical and commercial favorites in filmed entertainment.

The Little Mermaid  is among the top 10 animated bestsellers of all time on video. The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea is poised to continue the original film's success, as Ariel, Sebastian, Scuttle and many other enchanting characters bring a whole new adventure of romance and music to VHS and DVD.
In The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea, Ariel and Prince Eric live a happily married life on land, and the couple are blessed by a daughter, Melody. When Ariel and Eric face a new threat from Ursula's sinister sibling, Morgana, they're forced to conceal Melody's true mermaid heritage from the child. Melody, as feisty as her mother, is curious about her roots and ventures into the sea against her parents' wishes.

There she meets new friends, but in her dream to become a mermaid, she becomes a pawn in Morgana's plot against Ariel's father, King Triton. Ariel must once more "return to the sea" and reunite with her childhood friends -- Sebastian, Flounder and Scuttle -- in order to rescue her daughter and save Triton's underwater kingdom.

The returning voice cast of The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea includes Broadway star Jodi Benson (Flubber, Crazy for You) as the beautiful, golden-voiced Ariel. Samuel E. Wright (Mufassa in The Lion King on Broadway) reprises his role as Sebastian, the unselfish shellfish. Buddy Hackett returns as Scuttle, the lovable seagull, and Pat Carroll is back as Ursula's sister, the sinister Morgana.

Final Box Office Numbers Due Tomorrow
The final Box Office numbers for the weekend are due tomorrow. However estimates place Toy Story 2 sixth with a take of $7.5 million. That is a 40% drop from last weekend. Meanwhile, Fantasia 2000 is estimated to have brought in $2.7 million in 54 U.S. IMAX theaters.

Sunday, January 9, 2000

Toy Story 2 Falls to Seventh on Friday
Toy Story 2 fell to seventh on Friday as family films gave way to dramas and thrillers. On Friday, The Talented Mr. Ripley came in first place, followed by The Green Mile and Any Given Sunday. Following those were Stuart Little, Galaxy Quest, Magnolia, then Toy Story 2 , which made $1.6 million at the Box Office to bring its total to $214 million. Toy Story 2 generally does better on Saturdays and Sundays, which should raise its total weekend results. This weekend, Toy Story 2 will surpass Aladdin to become the second highest grossing animated film ever.

Steve Jobs No Logger Interim CEO of Apple
Steve Jobs announced last week that he has dropped "Interim" from his Interim CEO title for Apple. Jobs feels he has proven that he can be an effective CEO of Apple and Pixar ( Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Toy Story 2) at the same time.

"I get to come to work every day and work with the best people at Apple and at Pixar," Jobs told a crowd at last week's Macworld expo.

Since Jobs assumed the Interim CEO position of Apple, its stock has risen from $12.75 a share to $118 a share.

Warner Bros. Releases two Animated Batman Movies to DVD
Warner Bros. has releases both
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm and Batman Beyond: The Movie to DVD.

Saturday, January 8, 2000

Checkers Launches New Identity Through Japanimation Campaign
Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Inc. is launching a new identity and attitude with its latest advertising campaign showcasing the first-ever totally animated TV spot from a fast-food restaurant. The "Hi-Performance, Human Fuel" TV spots use Japanimation to break out from the competition and build a bold, innovative identity for Checkers.

In the spots, viewers are transported to an action-packed, alter-universe with Holly, a sexy heroine in pursuit of fast-food. Holly, strong and independent, is seen in her muscle-car in hot pursuit of food for fuel. The use of Japanimation, created by famed artist Peter Chung of MTV's "Aeon Flux" series, represents the growing interest among businesses to use animation in their marketing efforts.

The animated ads created by Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami, target Checkers' primary consumers: males age 16 to 34. This group makes up 38-percent of the total population and 78-percent of the fast-food volume. The ads build on interests that exist among this target audience: cars, food and women.

"We're very anxious to launch our Japanimation ad campaign in January," said Turer. "In the past year, Checkers and Rally's successfully merged, becoming the largest double drive-thru chain in the U.S., and we brought in a new management team with plans to kick off the new year in full force. We're ready to excel in the fast-food industry."

Los Angelese Daily News: Fantasia 2000 Breaks Many Disney Rules
The Los Angeles Daily News has published an article on Fantasia 2000 and how it breaks many of Disney's own rules. One section of the article states:

"In many ways, Fantasia 2000 is a high-wire act even when it is screened with a recorded score. It breaks many of the 1980s and '90s rules of Disney animation: It's being released during the winter instead of the summer and just as the holiday school break is ending; it is geared more toward adults than children; it doesn't lend itself well to plush toys or McDonald's giveaways; and it was scored by great classical composers of the recent and distant past, with nary a number by Elton John. If that weren't limiting enough, Walt Disney Pictures has chosen Fantasia 2000 for its first foray into the jumbo-screen IMAX format, restricting its opening to some 70 screens worldwide instead of thousands."

Click here to read the full article.

Friday, January 7, 2000

Disney Prepares TV Animation Series Premiere
"Disney's The Weekenders" joins ABC's "Disney's One Saturday Morning" line-up Saturday, February 26, 8:30 a.m. ET. Executive produced by Doug Langdale and directed by Steve Lyons, "Disney's The Weekenders" revolves around four friends' quest for the ultimate weekend.  This quartet - Tino, Carver, Lor and Tish - spends each weekend discovering new levels of fun, all the while negotiating the obstacles of adolescence.  Each episode follows a story from Friday afternoon to Sunday evening.  The series is designated as children's educational and informational programming.

"'Disney's The Weekenders' has humor, heart, and great characters, and we are delighted to add it to our schedule," remarked Jonathan Barzilay, senior vice president and general manager of ABC children's programming. "The series is an ideal complement to 'Recess' and 'Pepper Ann' and will further strengthen the already compelling programming that makes up 'Disney's One Saturday Morning.'"

"Disney's The Weekenders" is produced by Walt Disney Television Animation.

LA Times Interviews John Lasseter
The Los Angeles Times has intervied John Lasseter, the brains behing Pixar animated films.

"What I love doing is animating inanimate objects, giving them personality by really studying their particular purpose," says Lasseter in one part of the short interview. "If this object was alive, the purpose it was manufactured for would be the thing it would want to do more than anything else in the world. A glass, for instance, is manufactured to hold liquid. I always thought, well, it wants to be full, it wants to hold liquid more than anything else in the world. So the more you drink from it, the madder it gets at you, and the most depressed thing in the world is an empty glass. That's the philosophy we work from. I call it the integrity of the object."

Click here to read the entire interview.

Thursday, January 6, 2000

Michael Eisner Writes Stockholders
Michael Eisner wrote a letter to stockholders this week regarding the future state of Disney. In the letter, he also talks about Disney's VHS and DVD strategy, saying:

"...beginning in January, 2000, we will start sequencing into the video market all but ten of the titles that were previously held in limited availability. Separately, these ten classic animated films will comprise what we are calling The Disney Platinum Collection. One of these films will be released each fall on a ten-year cycle, starting with "Snow White" in the fall of 2001. This will allow us to build a company-wide marketing event around each release, thereby maximizing the value of these ten films and reinforcing their special appeal among consumers. We believe this strategy will also help to optimize the library as the home entertainment market transitions from the VHS format to DVD.

We will now be issuing all of our video releases simultaneously on VHS and DVD. The availability of Disney films should give consumers greater reason to add a DVD player to their home entertainment centers. There are currently four million DVD players, plus 10 million DVD-capable computers in the U.S. As DVD penetration levels increase, the potential significance for our library is considerable, since the switch from VHS to DVD could parallel the earlier switch from audiotape to CD's in the music business. We have positive research regarding the rising demand for DVD, but my gut tells me DVD will come on even more strongly than the forecasters suggest. Why? Because I find that I've finally gotten the DVD "bug" and am now back in electronic stores cruising the DVD aisles the way I did just as Beta and VHS were taking off in the `80s and as the personal computer started to explode in the `90s..."

Eisner also briefly mentioned Disney animation, saying:

"And, as always, our success 'to infinity and beyond' will be led by great product like Toy Story 2, which made our Thanksgiving more thankful and our Christmas more merry! In January, there's Fantasia 2000, which is a remarkable continuation of a completely distinct Disney legacy. For Memorial Day weekend, there's Dinosaur, which is truly like nothing you've ever seen before. Further down the road, Kingdom in the Sun and Atlantis are looking to be wonderful additions to the Disney animation legacy."

Wednesday, January 5, 2000

Final Day in History of Animation Contest
Today is the final day of the Animation Artist "History of Animation" competition where one person will win a signed copy of the sold out limited edition first printing book "The Illusion of Life." Essays for the contest will be accepted up until midnight Pacific Standard Time. Click here for contest rules.

NewTek Announces LightWave 6 for Mac
NewTek yesterday announced that LightWave 6 for the Mac would be available sometime in first quarter 2000. This is despite the promise of a Intel delivery of LightWave 6 in 1999 that never came about.  LightWave 6 for Intel is expected later this month.  NewTek has extended its beta testing to users who pay NewTek in order to beta test the product.

The suggested price for the Mac version is 2,495.

Fantasia 2000 Worldwide Totals Announced
In worldwide distribution, Fantasia 2000 brought in $3.87 million from Saturday through Monday. The Disney animated sequel to Fantasia  is playing on only 75 screens throughout the world.

"Reports from IMAX theaters all over the world indicate that Fantasia 2000 is a box office winner and a great milestone for IMAX as the first full-length theatrical film ever presented in our medium," says Richard L. Gelfond and Bradley J. Wechsler, IMAX co-chief executive officers.

Tuesday, January 4, 2000

Fantasia 2000 Opens Big for an IMAX Film
If Fantasia 2000 was a theatrical release, its weekend take of $2.2 million would be considered very poor. However, as an IMAX film it broke all records. The $2.2 million on 54 screens was enough to give Fantasia 2000 a 12th place finish in its opening weekend. It now holds the record for the biggest opening of any IMAX film. It is also the first feature-length "movie" to be presented on IMAX.

Meanwhile, Toy Story 2 did better than estimates, bringing in $12.3 million for a third place finish at the Box Office. To date, Toy Story 2 has earned $208.7 million at the Box Office. Pokemon: The First Movie is also still in theaters. It made $164,248 on 625 screens to finish 32nd at the Box Office. Its total gross to date is $84 million.

Report on Fantasia 2000 New Years Eve Gala
The Los Angeles times has published an article on the Fantasia 2000 New Years Eve gala, costing up to $2000 per person, that was held in Pasadena.

Click here to read the article.

Monday, January 3, 2000

The Irish Times Interviews Lara Croft Animator
The Irish Times has published an interview with 34-year old animator Jerr O'Carroll who had the job of animating Lara Croft for Tomb Raider IV. To read the interview, click here.

Time Warner Orders More Animated Webisodes from Brilliant Entertainment
Entertaindom, the online entertainment destination from Time
Warner Digital Media, announced that it has exercised its option with Brilliant Digital Entertainment, Inc. to add 15 additional new 5-8 minute "Webisodes" for the 3D animated Multipath Adventures of "Superman." This extends the first season of "Superman" on Entertaindom to a full 30 Webisode commitment. The Superman adventure series is one of the anchor programs of Entertaindom which premiered on the Internet at on November 29, 1999.

Entertaindom has also agreed to give distribution to Brilliant Digital's new 3D animated series based on the character "Xena: Warrior Princess," plus eight Webisodes of a new series entitled "KISS Immortals" (using original KISS music and voices), to be produced in conjunction with the legendary band's 2000 KISS-Immortals concert tour. To accommodate the additional shows, Entertaindom will be launching a new Multipath Channel within its online entertainment complex.

The Brilliant Digital Multipath Movies feature full screen, full motion, real-time 3D interactive animation produced using Brilliant Digital's B3D Studio tool set and efficient Internet delivery format Brilliant's technology allows the creation of complex animation which can be easily accessed on the Internet via streaming media. By utilizing B3D, and its complementary Digital Projector, viewers can easily and quickly enjoy the most sophisticated story telling and 3D rendering engine available via the Internet today.

"When we saw the quality of the animation Brilliant Digital delivered on 'Superman' and the show's popularity on our site, we realized that a new technology and storytelling benchmark had been established on the Internet," said Jim Moloshok, the chief executive responsible for Entertaindom. "'Superman' contains all of the excitement, pacing and special effects that until now had only been experienced in broadcast media or feature films. As a result of marketplace feedback, we are increasing our commitment to our own 'Superman' series and giving increased distribution and promotion to the BDE produced KISS and 'Xena' Internet series."

The initial order of 15 Superman Webisodes was produced for Entertaindom's debut, with new Webisodes being debuted each week. The newly ordered Webisodes will premiere on Entertaindom beginning in the first half of 2000. The "Multipath Movie Channel" will ultimately feature at least five Multipath series produced by Brilliant Digital.

Sunday, January 2, 2000

Toy Story 2 Passes $200 Million Mark!
Toy Story 2 continues to tear up the Box Office. On Saturday, Toy Story 2 became only the third animated film ever to gross more than $200 million at the Box Office. The first is The Lion King with $313 million, followed by Aladdin with $217 million.

Box Office Estimated Results
Box Office estimates are in for the weekend. While Fantasia 2000 didn't even come close to the top 10 (because of its limited screens), it did make just over $1 million in the U.S.. Toy Story 2 continued strong, coming in fourth place with an estimated $12.2 million. That brings its total to $208 million.

Saturday, January 1, 2000

Fantasia 2000 Movie Site Opens Today
Animation Artist Magazine's Fantasia 2000 Movie Site opened today to coincide with the release of the movie. To visit the movie site, click here .

Fantasia 2000, Disney's sequel to Fantasia, opened today at 72 IMAX theaters throughout the world.

A Banner Year for Animated Films
The LA Times has published an article about how the year 1999 was a banner year for animated films. It also takes a look at what the future holds. The article begins:

"This was a banner year for the animated feature, a year in which the form proved just how rich and varied it can be.  It was the year that demonstrated there are more flavors in animation than just plain Disney, the year that saw everything from the stately The Prince of Egypt to the rowdy South Park, from the wonderful The Iron Giant to Pixar's witty A Bug's Life.

With major studios in Burbank, Glendale and Sherman Oaks and the majority of animators trained at CalArts in Valencia, animation is very much a Valley art and industry. And, in a sense, 1999 was to animated films what 1939 was to features. If this year was a banquet, people in the animation business feel the future will be a feast..."

Click here to read the entire article.


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