Animation & Games & more...

  Disney In China

"Walt Disney Internet Group and Shanda to Bring Disney Content to China's Online Game Market
Shanda to Develop and Distribute First Disney-Branded Online Casual Game for China, Based on Popular Disney Characters
Shanghai, China and North Hollywood, Calif. - May 23, 2006 - Walt Disney Internet Group and Shanda Interactive Entertainment (NASDAQ: SNDA) announced today that the two companies have entered into an agreement to bring Disney's premier branded entertainment content to China's online game industry via Shanda's online game operating platform. The agreement calls for Shanda to develop, distribute and operate an online casual game based on the magical worlds of Disney and featuring some of Disney's most popular animated characters.

The game, which will be developed for a broader demographic than traditional online games, as well as China's burgeoning segment of female online gamers, will be available in China for open beta in the spring of 2007.

“The market for online games in China is large and growing, and it was important for us to find the right partner. We're pleased to have found that in Shanda,” said Mark Handler, executive vice president and managing director, International, Walt Disney Internet Group. “Disney's rich content library, combined with Shanda's capabilities as a leading online game operator, will bring a new, unique and fun experience for the online game consumer. We actively look to bring more of our content to the online interactive entertainment market in China.”

“The Disney brand and its lineup of animated characters are already popular in China, and through this agreement we bring this well-known content to China's online game community in the form of an exciting new casual game. We remain firmly committed to providing our users with new and compelling entertainment content that will keep their online experience fresh and enjoyable, and we believe the addition of Disney's wholesome content will further broaden our user demographic, thus making a significant contribution to the implementation of our home strategy,” Tianqiao Chen, Chairman and CEO of Shanda, commented. “We look forward to a successful collaboration with the Walt Disney Internet Group and are excited about bringing Disney's content to China's online game community.”

The agreement with Shanda marks Disney's entrance into China's online game market..."

For more...

  Oscar Goes To Students

" Academy Announces 2006 Student Academy Award Winners

Beverly Hills, CA — Thirteen students from nine different colleges and universities have been named winners in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 33rd annual Student Academy Awards competition. They will participate in a week of industry-related activities and social events culminating June 10 with the awards presentation ceremony at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater. One film student from South Africa also has been selected to receive this year's Honorary Foreign Student Film Award.

The winners are (listed alphabetically by film title within category):

"6 a.m.," Carmen Vidal Balanzat, City College of New York
"Perspective," Travis Hatfield and Samuel Day, Ball State University, Indiana
* Only gold and silver medals will be awarded in the Alternative category.

"The Dancing Thief," Meng Vue, Ringling School of Art and Design, Sarasota, Florida
"The Possum," Chris Choy, California Institute of the Arts
"Turtles," Thomas Leavitt, Brigham Young University

"Reporter Zero," Carrie Lozano, University of California, Berkeley
"Three Beauties," Mak Hossain, Purdue University
"The Women’s Kingdom," Xiaoli Zhou, University of California, Berkeley

"Christmas Wish List," Sean Overbeeke, University of North Carolina
"El Viaje" ("One Day Trip"), Cady Abarca-Benavides, Columbia University
"Pop Foul," Moon Molson and Jennifer Handorf, Columbia University

Honorary Foreign Student Film Award
"Elalini," Tristan Holmes, The South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance (AFDA).

While the U.S. winners know they will each receive an award, the level of that award – gold, silver or bronze – will not be revealed until the June 10 ceremony. Besides trophies, gold medalists receive $5,000, silver medalists are awarded $3,000 and bronze medal recipients are presented with $2,000. The Honorary Foreign Film winner receives $1,000 in addition to the trophy.

The U.S. students first competed in one of three regional competitions. Each of those regions was permitted to nominate as many as three finalists in each of the four award categories. Academy members then screened these finalists' films and voted to select the winners.

"Elalini" by Honorary Foreign Film winner Tristan Holmes, was selected from an original pool of 29 submissions from 22 countries. Holmes is the first student from South Africa to win this award.

The Student Academy Awards were established by the Academy in 1972 to support and encourage excellence in filmmaking at the collegiate level. Among past winners who have gone on to prominent careers as filmmakers are Spike Lee, Robert Zemeckis, John Lasseter and Trey Parker. Three of last year’s winners received Oscar nominations earlier this year: Dan Krauss for his documentary, "The Death of Kevin Carter: Casualty of the Bang Bang Club," Shane Acker for his animated short film, "9," and Honorary Foreign Film winner Ulrike Grote for her live action short "The Runaway" ("Ausreisser"). Overall, 33 past Student Academy Award winners have garnered Oscar nominations over the years.

The June 10 Student Academy Awards presentation ceremony begins at 6 p.m. It is free and open to the public. Clips from the bronze and silver medal films will be shown, and the gold medal films and Honorary Foreign film will be screened in their entirety. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis only, and early arrival is suggested as once capacity is reached even ticket holders will be turned away. To request up to a maximum of four tickets, call the Academy at (310) 247-3000, ext. 130. The Academy is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills."

Academy Awards Official Site

  IDT Calls Sheepish

"IDT has unveiled plans for a $40 million-budgeted animated feature titled Sheepish. The film follows a wolf who violates the code of his species and is cursed to become a sheep. Saul Blinkoff and Elliott Bour have been tapped to direct the project. Blinkoff was an animator on Tarzan and Mulan , and Bour was an animator on Mulan, The Lion King and Aladdin. The duo co-helmed Kronk's New Groove for Buena Vista Home Video. Scheduled to head into production next year, Sheepish is based on an original script by Bart Coughlin, a character technical director on Shrek.


  The Movies: Stunts and Effects

Here is The Movies: Stunts and Effects E3 Interview, by FiringSquad.

The Movies: Stunts and Effects official site


Quoted from Nintendo:

"Wii will break down that wall that separates video game players from everybody else.

Wii will put people more in touch with their games … and each other. But you’re probably asking: What does the name mean?

Wii sounds like “we,” which emphasizes this console is for everyone.

Wii can easily be remembered by people around the world, no matter what language they speak. No confusion. No need to abbreviate. Just Wii. "

Visit Wii site, or Nintendo site, and see what is up and coming for games...


  Activision to Open Studio Facility on DreamWorks Animation Campus

"Move Establishes Unprecedented Level of Collaboration Between Video Game Company and a Hollywood Studio

SANTA MONICA, Calif. and GLENDALE, Calif., May 10, 2006 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ -- Following on the heels of their multi-year strategic alliance, Activision, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) and DreamWorks Animation SKG (NYSE: DWA) announced today that Activision will be opening a dedicated studio facility on the DreamWorks campus. The move, which establishes an unprecedented level of collaboration between a Hollywood studio and a video game company, will facilitate simultaneous co-development between DreamWorks' CG feature films and Activision games based on those films.

"This announcement marks an unparalleled step in the convergence between Hollywood and video games," stated Robert Kotick, Chairman and CEO, Activision, Inc. "For the first time, we will be able to align our games' production schedules with the movies' from the pre-production phase onward. This will allow us to fully leverage the movie assets and storylines, in addition to collaborating closely with the talented production teams at DreamWorks to develop storylines that expand the movie experience in new and compelling ways."

"We're excited to have the game designers and film creators exchanging ideas on a daily basis," said Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation. "We hope to create an immersive atmosphere that will help us continue to produce the finest in cutting-edge video games with Activision."

In November 2005, Activision signed a multi-year agreement with DreamWorks Animation for the exclusive video game rights to all current and future console platforms, PC, and handheld devices for DreamWorks' upcoming feature films -- "Bee Movie," "Kung Fu Panda," "Rex Havoc" and "How to Train Your Dragon." The deal also extended Activision's rights beyond "Shrek the Third" to include potential future films in the "Shrek" franchise. The company's alliance with DreamWorks has resulted in more than $300 million in video game sales worldwide..."

Full Release

  The Man Who Could Save Animation

Entertainment Weekly posted an article about John Lasseter, "the creative engine behind the Pixar hit machine".

"...Lasseter's Pixar colleagues attest that his appetite for information is insatiable, and they feel it's part of why his films are good. Says Finding Nemo director Andrew Stanton: ''John was born with microscopes on his eyes. Once he's interested in something, he becomes an authority. That's just who he is. He can come on a project I've been doing research on for years, and in one meeting I'll feel like I don't know anything and he knows everything. Everybody benefits from that intensity.''..."

Read the full article here.
Imdb John Lasseter here

  For the Honor of Grayskull!

"Entertainment Rights Plc ("ER"), one of the UK's leading independent media groups specialising in the ownership of children's and family programming, characters and brands announces today an agreement with Kidtoon Films which will see global brand
She-Ra, Princess of Power® appear in US movie theatres, in the feature length animated movie She-Ra, Princess of Power®, 'The Secret of the Sword'.

Kidtoon Films is a leading US children's film distributor and She-Ra®'s 'The Secret of the Sword' will be screened throughout the US during May 2006 targeted at weekend children's matinee slots. The screenings will be supported by a comprehensive marketing campaign in 25 cities throughout the country including New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston and Washington DC.

Today's announcement follows the appointment of BCI Navarre as ER's DVD distributor for She-Ra® in the US. BCI will release the first ever She-Ra® DVD into the US market in Summer 2006. BCI also successfully distributes ER's He-Man and the Masters of the Universe® on DVD in the US. In excess of 410,000 DVD units have been sold since the first He-Man® DVD was released in July 2005..."

more on Official Site of Entertainment Rights Plc...


  Darfur Is Dying

If you haven't played the game, or visited the site, I strongly suggest it right now. mtvU.com is publishing a Flash game, emphasizing the Darfur facts. Successful game implementation, and emotional message... Take action...

Darfur Is Dying

  WorldFest Gives The Highest To Magic Cellar

Magic Cellar, the first animated series to be based on African culture, has been awarded the Platinum REMI Award as the top entry in the Animated Category at Worldfest in Houston, Texas. The award to Magic Cellar was presented on April 29, 2006.

Magic Cellar was commissioned by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). The other partners in this project are Morula Pictures from Johannesburg, South Africa, and Chocolate Moose Media Inc from Ottawa, Canada. Present to receive the award were the Canadian Director and Executive Producer, Firdaus Kharas, and the Producer, Adeelah Carrim, from Johannesburg.

Magic Cellar is Africa's first 3D animated series. Beautifully produced entirely in Maya software, the series marks the first time Africa's children will see themselves reflected in an animated series. The series celebrates Africa's culture and traditions while promoting reading as being exciting and adventurous. The series is based on African folktales, partially collected from interviews conducted with elders in villages across South Africa. Each episode is broken up into three sections: a brief introduction and set-up; the African story and a wrap-up with the lessons learnt. Each episode is a self-contained, animated short. WorldFest is the largest film and video competition in the world, with more than 4,500 total category entries received in 2006. Winners came from 33 countries this year. The competition has already made awards to George Lucas, David Lynch, Spike Lee, Ang Lee, Ridley Scott, Steven Spielberg and Oliver Stone, down the years.

official site of Magic Cellar

official site of WorldFest

  Art of The Video Game

"A total of 16 pieces of video game art have been selected for inclusion in the third annual “Into the Pixel” exhibition, which will be on display during the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles next month. A panel of judges from E3, the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS) and the Prints & Drawings Council of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) chose to recognize artwork from such titles as
Monster House from THQ, God of War from Sony Computer Entertainment America, The Godfather from Electronic Arts, Stranglehold from Midway Games and The Witcher, an upcoming game from CD Projekt..."

more on Animation Magazine...

Official Into the Pixel 2006 Collection Site
Web framestrip.blogspot.com

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