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Wednesday - November 21, 2001
- Samurai Jack: From Animation to Live Action
- Santa Coca-Cola Painting Animated to Life
- Top Selling Animation and FX DVDs
- News Link of the Day - Aardman to Create New TV Programs

Samurai Jack: From Animation to Live Action
(by New Line Cinema, which is releasing the first of the Lord of the Rings trilogy in December, has announced that it has acquired the movie rights to the Cartoon Networks popular animated series Samurai Jack. New Line Cinema has no plans of keeping it animated, however. The movie will be a live action adventure directed by Brett Ratner, director of the two Rush Hour films that star Jackie Chan.

"With great action and a sense of humor, Samurai Jack is tremendously entertaining to kids and grownups alike," says Toby Emmerich, New Line's president of production. "There is no greater director for this film than Brett, who is not only a tremendous talent but also a major Samurai Jack fan, and we're thrilled to continue our relationship with him on this exciting project."

Samurai Jack tells the story of a great warrior displaced to the distant future by the evil shape shifting wizard Aku. The world has become a bleak place under Aku's rule, segregated into fantastic tribes and policed by Aku's evil robot warlords. Samurai Jack travels this foreign landscape searching for the time portal that can return him to his home.

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Coca Cola SantaSanta Coca-Cola Painting Animated to Life
(by In 1931, The Coca-Cola Company commissioned artist Haddon Sundblom to create what became the first portrait of Santa Claus depicted the way we think of him today, with a long, white beard and a round belly. That portrait turns 70 this year, and to celebrate, Coca-Cola is creating the first animated commercial featuring Sundblom's version of Santa.

With the help of Academy Award-winning animator Alexandre Petrov, the original portrait created by Sundblom will be transformed into an animated television advertisement. Petrov, who directed and animated "The Old Man and the Sea," won an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film in March 2000. To create the Sundblom Santa commercial, Petrov recreated and animated more than 700 oil paintings frame-by-frame, using brushes and his hands to create the masterpiece over the course of four months. The advertisement, which was created by McCann-Erickson, will debut November 22 during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade broadcast.

Coca-Cola is also involved in developing a one hour animated special titled "Santa, Baby!," that will premier on FOX at 8p.m. on December 17. Coca-Cola and Rank/Bass Productions formed a working partnership to develop this new holiday story featuring contemporary characters in a family-oriented setting, as well as new and original holiday music. The program features the voices of Gregory Hines, Patti LaBelle, Vanessa Williams, Eartha Kitt, nationally syndicated radio personality Tom Joyner and Kianna Underwood.

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Top Selling Animation and FX DVDs
(by Here is a list of the current top selling animation and FX DVDs at Animation and FX DVDs are in 10 of the top 20 positions for sales.

Rank Title Genre Price
1 Shrek Animation $19.95
2 Planet of the Apes FX $23.95
3 Star Wars: The Phantom Menace FX $22.95
6 Tomb Raider FX $22.49
7 Pearl Harbor FX $22.49
9 The Simpsons: Complete First Season Animation $29.98
13 Jurassic Park 3 FX $20.24
14 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Animation $19.95
17 The Mummy Returns FX $19.99
19 Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within Animation $22.46

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News Link of the Day - Aardman to Create New TV Programs

According to The UK Times:

"The BBC is to challenge the dominance of imported cartoons by asking the team behind Wallace and Gromit to create a variety of animation series for children... The animations will involve cartoons, clay-mation and stop-motion productions."

Click here for the full story.

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