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Editor:
Vicki Tracy

Tuesday, March 30, 1999

DreamWorks Working on "Prequel" to The Prince of Egypt
DreamWorks has been hard at work for the last five months on a straight to video prequel to The Prince of Egypt titled Joseph.  Like The Prince of Egypt, it is a biblically-inspired story that takes place in Egypt, except hundreds of years earlier.  The complete production is being done by a Canadian company that DreamWorks recently partnered with. Animation Artist would like to thank "The Prince of Tips" for this tip, which has been confirmed by Animation Artist magazine. Look for the video in 2000.
 

Wednesday, March 31, 1999

FOX Preparing New Animation
Variety magazine reported yesterday that the Farrelly Brothers (the filmmakers responsible for There's Something About Mary) are preparing a new animation comedy for FOX titled "Frisco Pigeon Mambo." The animated adventure will follow three animals (a pigeon, rat, and squirrel) who live at a alcohol and tobacco research facility in New York, smoking, drinking, and hitting on lab technicians.

USA Today Strongly Criticizes Doug's First Movie
USA Today has published a scathing review of Doug's First Movie, saying in part, "
So far beneath the bottom of the barrel that it might contaminate Earth's innards, this Disney-Nickelodeon animation trifle is the final straw when it comes to peddling Saturday morning TV on big theater screens." The paper gave the movie one out of four stars.  Earlier this year, Disney debated whether to release Doug's First Movie directly to video or to the big screen and chose the later, releasing the movie one week after Warner Brother's The King and I hit theaters.  Both movies have performed poorly at the Box Office.

The Iron Giant Release Date Change
The Iron Giant release date has been moved from July 30, 1999 to August 6, 1999. Advanced word on this Warner Brothers animation is that the story is very strong and will do away with the tradition of singing in animated films.


Tuesday, March 30, 1999

The Rugrats Movie Hits Video Stores
Only once in the history of animation has a non-Disney animated film crossed the $100 million mark. That film, The Rugrats Movie, hit video stores today after making a startling $100 million at the Box Office even with strong competition from Disney's A Bug's Life and DreamWorks The Prince of Egypt.

Disneyland Closes Tree House For Tarzan Attraction
Disneyland has permanently closed its Swiss Family Tree House so that it can replace it with a Tarzan attraction to go along with Disney's summer release of its Tarzan movie. The new attraction, which will use the original tree (but rethemed) and another tree, is scheduled to open in July, roughly one month after the animated film opens.

"Futurama" Scores Big
The premiere of FOX's "Futurama" on Sunday brought in an impressive 19 million viewers, which is more than the number of people watching "The Simpsons" (15.5 million).

Play Ships Amorphium Software
Play, Inc. began shipping its
Amorphium program yesterday, which allows users to do real time 3D sculpting and painting on the PC. Priced at $149.95, Amorphium enables consumers to create custom 3D graphics for web sites, desktop publishing, school projects and personal creation.
 

Monday, March 29, 1999

Fantasia 2000 Raises IMAX Stock
According to last week's Variety, IMAX stock has soared 22% because of the exclusive deal by IMAX and Disney to have Fantasia 2000 released to IMAX screens before regular theater screens. The rise is attributed to the Goldman Sach investment firm adding IMAX to its "recommended list" after the Fantasia 2000 deal was signed.

Disney Fined For Not Promoting Comic Book Character
Walt Disney was fined $9.3 million dollars last week for failing to promote a comic book character. Disney had signed an agreement with a European company to promote a European comic book character named Marsupilami, including the production of 13 half-hour animated features on the character. The promotions never materialized and Disney was sued by Marsu, the parent company of Marsupilami, winning a $9.3 million award that was upheld last week on after Disney appealed.

Preliminary Box Office Results
Doug's First Movie did very poor at the Box Office in its opening weekend, bringing in only $4.4 million to tie for fifth place, according to preliminary results. Disney was originally planning to release Doug's First Movie , based on its Saturday morning cartoon series, straight to video, but changed its mind in January, believing the story was strong enough to warrant big screen treatment. The King and I saw a drastic decrease from its showing last weekend, coming in 11th place and losing nearly 50% of its business from last weekend.

 

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