September 2004

Riddle me this. Riddle me that. Posted Thursday, September 30, 2004, 2:38PM by Andromaton
"Known to us animation aficionado's for his performance as the Riddler on B:TAS, John Glover has given a cel of the Riddler to Memory Walk Auctions to raise money for Alzheimer's. It was a gift from Warner. Bros Animation and previously was on display in Glovers home.

It is being auctioned off on eBay
Click ""Read More"" for the cel's eBay item description.

This unique item is a must for every collector of animated art. This is an original cel from Batman the series with John Glover as the voice of the Riddler. This framed and matted 16 X 26 size was a gift to John Glover by Warner Brothers. It will be signed by John on the mat. It has been hanging on John's wall in his house and now he is willing to part with this prize possession to raise funds for the Alzheimer's Association, Greater Maryland Chapter. Check out the other unique items we have up for bids. To help John Glover reach his goal visit www.jackglover.org. Good Luck!

Toonami Third Quarterish Ratings Posted Wednesday, September 29, 2004, 11:40PM by meteo
"Toonami's move to the weekend continues to improve ratings on Saturday nights. According to the latest Cartoon Network press release, compared to the same time period last year ""tweens 9-14 delivery (553,000) advanced by 30% and ratings (2.2) by 29%."" One factor in the ratings rise has been the third season of Teen Titans which started at the end of July. ""Kids 6-11 delivery (856,000) improved by 54% and ratings (3.6) by 57%. Tweens 9-14 delivery (825,000) mushroomed by 94% and ratings (3.4) by 100%."" Not only have both the 6-11 and 9-14 demographics both seen substantial increases, but the latter demographic has actually seen the bigger gains.

Additionally, an Atari press release promoting the new PS2 Yu Yu Hakusho game adds the following: ""According to recent Nielsen reports, Yu Yu Hakusho tied with Dragon Ball GT as the top-rated show on the Cartoon Network among males 9-14. During the same week, the series shot to the #2 spot on the Toonami Block, next to Dragon Ball GT for teens 12-17.""

Yes, the case was supposed to fall apart. Duh." Posted Saturday, September 25, 2004, 9:14PM by TylerL
Clone Wars and Samurai Jack night.
Samurai Jack Emmy Congratulations
Samurai Jack Birth of Evil Promo

It's like you can taste the emmyness.

Remember kids...it doesn't matter how hard you try and how much effort you put into your job, because nobody will notice when you make their lives 20x easier and everybody will hate you anyway because if they break something, it's your fault." Posted Friday, September 24, 2004, 5:19PM by TylerL
"LivingFruitVirus, the other Raphael of the Cartoon Network fanbase, has pulled an old Toonami Game Review out of his space cavity.
Metal Gear: VR Missions Game Review
This one's from like, 1999 or early 2000.

Citizens demand MPEG-4 Advanced Simple Profile Posted Wednesday, September 22, 2004, 2:51PM by TylerL
"Season 2 of Duel Masters started airing in Japan recently. Interestingly enough, the upcoming US Season 2 of Duel Masters will consist of Japan's Season 3, and Season 2 will probably become Season 3, but didn't I just say that? No. Vice-versa.
TDA has the Season 2 Japanese intros in the Duel Masters section.
Thanks to Show Us Your Arsenal Contest Winner Andrew Richards for the clips.

Toonami to Air Emmy Winning ''Birth of Evil'' Posted Monday, September 20, 2004, 2:52PM by meteo
"With Samurai Jack's recent Emmy win for ""Birth of Evil,"" Cartoon Network has decided to also air the acclaimed episodes this Saturday. Because this much goodness just cannot be crammed into four hours, the block will kick things off with ""Birth of Evil"" an hour earlier than usual at 6.0 PM. The rest of the previously announced schedule will follow.

[Source: Toonami Promo (Thanks to livingfruitvirus for pointing this out on the TICA Toonami Forum)]

Toonami Bolsters Cartoon Network's Tween Strategy Posted Sunday, September 19, 2004, 5:36AM by meteo
"The latest update at Broadcasting & Cable takes a look at the three way battle for tween viewers between Cartoon Network, Disney and Nickelodeon. While Nick and Disney are looked at through various angles, the section on Cartoon Network focuses solely on Toonami. For the full story click Read More.

[Source: Broadcasting & Cable (Requires Subscription).

The main three networks targeting tween viewers (commonly ages 9-14) each have a different strategy for reaching the tween demographic. Nick claims to have started it all in the early 90s with Clarissa Explains It All while Disney didn't really make serious inroads into the demographic until Lizzie McGuire. Both networks have more programming coming down the pipe, but most of it seems to be aimed at tween girls.

Cartoon Network, on the other hand, is in a sense more limited in its approach to the tween market since it airs solely animation. However, this hasn't stopped its tween viewership from increasing and coming in at number two behind Nick. As Broadcasting & Cable puts it:

""Cartoon Network came in second to Nick for the summer with 403,000 tween viewers, inching ahead 2% from last year. The growth was fueled in part by a 14% jump in August viewership for Toonami, which was moved to Saturday night in April. The four-hour block is dominated by Japanese-style anime fare, distinguished by big-eyed characters and complex storylines. The Cartoon block scores particularly well with tween boys.

Several Toonami shows are still in production, and the network's eyeing other shows to premiere there, according to General Manager Jim Samples.""

The bit about shows still in production likely refers to programs such as Teen Titans, Justice League Unlimited and Megas XLR. The jump in August ratings coincides with new episode premieres from each of those series last month. As the block is eyed as a spot for other new shows to premiere, it seems Toonami is, and will continue to be, a large part of Cartoon Network's tween strategy as the three networks battle for viewers.

Well, technically, Samurai Jack is the future and Star Wars is the past, if you consider the whole ""A long time ago"" part. But nobody would understand it and you'd spend more time explaining it than a 30 second promo would take...kinda like reading this news post." Posted Saturday, September 18, 2004, 8:39PM by TylerL
Samurai Jack Final 4 + Clone Wars Promo

Afterthought/Backburner :( Posted Friday, September 17, 2004, 6:58PM by TylerL
"The Rave Master Section has been revamped with a HQ Original Japanese Intro, the US Ending audio and correct song credits for all Intros and Endings.
I've been informed that the pizza is done.
Good day.

Dragonball GT Scheduling No Longer Presents a ''A Grand Problem'' Posted Thursday, September 16, 2004, 12:02AM by meteo
"Originally, last Saturday's Dragonball GT episodes was scheduled to be the end of Season Two and we were going to revert all the way back to episode one (under the Funimation numbering system) ""A Grand Problem."" The schedule has updated and now we will be seeing ""The Shadow Dragons"" which aired three weeks ago. For commentary click ""Read More""

[Source: Cartoon Network]

While the scheduling certainly seems odd, as we just saw this episode on August 28th, most will probably find it more appetizing than going all the way back to ""A Grand Problem"" yet again. Perhaps, instead of the lengthy delay we were expecting, this schedule change means more new episodes are right around the corner.

Two Toonami Favs score Emmys Posted Monday, September 13, 2004, 9:02PM by Andromaton
"Two shows by Genndy Tartakovsky dominated the Prime Time Emmy Awards last night, winning the trophies for Outstanding Animated Program. Samurai Jack: The Birth of Evil won in the Animated Program (For Programming Less Than One Hour) category, beating The Simpsons, Futurama, South Park and Spongebob Squarepants. Star Wars: Clone Wars beat The Powerpuff Girls: Twas the Night Before Christmas in the Animated Program (For Programming One Hour or More) category.

From Animated-News

Two more years! Two more years! Posted Friday, September 10, 2004, 3:25PM by Andromaton
"Michael Eisner will step down as chief executive officer of Walt Disney Co. in 2006 after more than two decades in which he boosted sales almost 18-fold, added seven new theme parks and faced calls for his ouster.

Eisner, 62, said in a letter to the board of the second- largest media company he will retire as CEO after helping the company select a successor. The letter was received by e-mail from Disney's London-based spokeswoman Joyce Lorigan.

Click Read More for the rest of Bloombergs article.

Thank you: Everyone who wanted to save Disney.
Source: Bloomberg.com and CounterParadox

``We are and should be proud of how we have managed and strengthened the company during difficult times,'' Eisner said. He praised the company's employees for remaining focused ``amidst the distractions that have taken a huge chunks of time during the past several years.''

Eisner has come under pressure from former Disney directors Roy Disney and Stanley Gold, who resigned from the board in November to wage a campaign for his ouster. Comcast Corp. in February made a $54.1 billion unsolicited bid for Disney, which was withdrawn in April. Eisner in March relinquished his role as chairman to Disney director and former U.S. Senator George Mitchell after investors withheld 45 percent of shares voted for Eisner's re-election to the board.

`Good News'

``It's good news, Disney without Eisner is much better than Disney with Eisner. But what is disappointing is that he's not going for another two years,'' said Antony Gifford, who helps manage about $2 billion of U.S. stocks at Henderson Global Investors in London. ``We believe that Disney has some attractive assets that are worth more than the share price suggests. But Eisner wasn't the man to unlock that value.''

Gifford said he owns Disney shares.

Eisner told the Wall Street Journal in an interview that he didn't make the decision to step down because of pressure from Roy Disney and Gold, who have accused him of mismanaging the company, or Comcast's takeover bid. The Journal earlier reported Eisner's plans to step down.Roy Disney, the 74-year-old nephew of founder Walt Disney, said yesterday he would press ahead with efforts to oust Eisner because he is doing ``an awful job'' running the company.

Disney shares have fallen 2 percent this year, after gaining 43 percent in 2003. The shares yesterday declined 3 cents to $22.86 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading.

Eisner said in an interview last week with the Los Angeles Times that he wants Disney President and Chief Operating Officer Robert Iger to succeed him. Eisner has told the board that Iger is his ``preferred choice,'' the newspaper reported on Sept. 5.

Possible Successors

Eisner didn't mention Iger in his letter.

Other possible successors include News Corp. President and Chief Operating Officer Peter Chernin; Jeffrey Bewkes, chairman of Time Warner Inc.'s entertainment and networks group; and former Disney executives such as EBay Inc. CEO Meg Whitman and Gap Inc. President and CEO Paul Pressler, the Journal said.

Iger, 53, joined Disney following the company's $19 billion acquisition of Capital Cities/ABC Inc. in 1996. Disney named Iger to his present job in January 2000 after he held positions running ABC and Walt Disney International.

Born in Mount Kisco, New York, on March 7, 1942, Eisner got his start in the entertainment industry as a page at the NBC television network in 1963, according to Who's Who. He moved to CBS in the mid-1960s, working in the programming department and later became a manager of talent and specials at ABC.

As president of Paramount Pictures in the 1970s, he worked with Barry Diller, helping produce such hit movies as ``Saturday Night Fever'' and ``Grease.''

Katzenberg, Ovitz

Eisner brought the thrift he learned under Diller to moviemaking when he joined Disney in 1984, helping lead a turnaround after sales slumped and the company became the target of corporate raider Saul Steinberg. In the 1980s, Eisner and former studio chief Jeffrey Katzenberg produced low-budget films such as ``Down and Out in Beverly Hills.''

Katzenberg, 53, who sued Disney after being passed over for president in 1994 and later won more than $117 million, is now poised to become a larger threat to Disney's animated film unit. Katzenberg helped start Glendale, California-based DreamWorks SKG in October 1994. In July, Katzenberg said DreamWorks would raise as much as $650 million in an initial share sale of its animation unit that will let the company double film production.

Investors have blamed Eisner for hiring Michael Ovitz, a former Hollywood agent, as Disney president in a handshake deal in August 1995 without consulting Disney's board. Ovitz was given a $140 million severance package when he was ousted 15 months later, which some investors are trying to recoup.

Pay Lawsuit

Disney shareholders contend in a lawsuit that Ovitz violated his legal obligations to the company by changing the terms of his compensation and severance packages after he joined the company in October 1995. A trial in the case is set for next month. The suit, which also accuses Disney directors of not fulfilling their board duties when they approved Ovitz's pay and severance plans, has provided ammunition to Eisner's opponents.

Eisner received another blow in January when Pixar Animation Studios Chief Executive Steven Jobs ended talks to extend a film distribution agreement with Disney.

Emeryville, California-based Pixar has produced five successful films since 1995, including two versions of ``Toy Story'' and the 2003 blockbuster ``Finding Nemo.'' The current distribution accord continues for Pixar's next two films, the November release of ``The Incredibles'' and next year's ``Cars.''

DreamWorks

During the 1990s, after Katzenberg left Disney and co-founded DreamWorks SKG, Disney shifted to making more expensive movies. Eisner told investors in November that he had strayed from his strategy. Low-cost films such as ``Freaky Friday'' and ``Bringing Down the House'' helped boost results last year.

The company's film studios, including Miramax Films, rank third this year in domestic box-office market share with $860.5 million through Sept. 6. Last year they were No. 1, with sales of $2.22 billion.

The company last month said third quarter profit climbed 20 percent because more tourists visited parks such as Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and advertisers spent more on cable- television channels including the ESPN sports network.

Sales for the quarter ended June 30 increased 17 percent to $7.47 billion.

Eisner has invested $11.4 billion in Disney's resorts over the past decade, adding parks such as California Adventure, next to Disneyland, in 2001. He added rides such as ``Mission: Space'' in Florida and the ``Tower of Terror'' in California during the past year.

ABC

Disney's ABC broadcast network is ranked fourth among the top four networks, while Viacom Inc.'s CBS is No. 1. ABC lost 8.2 percent of its prime-time viewers for the September-June TV season, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Disney has said ABC will be profitable in fiscal 2005. Ratings have fallen since the 1994-95 season, when it was the most- watched network.

JBCJ-9005 Posted Thursday, September 9, 2004, 6:36PM by TylerL
"More Kenshin intros and endings for you all.
Today, it's the third arc of Kenshin known as the Christian Arc or ""Tales of the Meiji"". It probably won't see the light of day on Cartoon Network. ...wouldn't mind though...
Rurouni Kenshin Intro 3
Rurouni Kenshin Ending 6
Rurouni Kenshin Ending 7

That's it for Kenshin, everything else is next.

And then there was one. RIP Frank Thomas Posted Thursday, September 9, 2004, 1:57PM by Andromaton
"Frank Thomas, the second-to-last surviving member of Disney's ""Nine Old Men"" group of supervising animators, passed away on September 8, four days shy of his ninety-second birthday. He had been in declining health for several years.

Read more for excerpts from the official Disney announcement.

From CartoonBrew.com

Frank Thomas, one of the most talented, inventive and influential animators in the history of the art form, a member of Walt Disney’s elite ""Nine Old Men,"" and a pioneering animator who worked on many classic shorts and features during his 43-year career at the Disney Studios, passed away on Wednesday (9/8) at his home in Flintridge, California. He was 92 years old. Thomas had been in declining health following a cerebral hemorrhage earlier this year.

In addition to his achievements as an animator and directing animator, Thomas (in collaboration with his lifelong friend and colleague Ollie Johnston) authored four landmark books: Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life, Too Funny for Words, Bambi: The Story and the Film, and The Disney Villain. Thomas and Johnston were also the title subjects of a heartfelt 1995 feature-length documentary entitled ""Frank and Ollie,"" written and directed by Frank’s son, Theodore (Ted) Thomas.

In a career filled with milestones, Thomas’ remarkable animation included such indelible moments as the first date and spaghetti dinner in ""Lady and the Tramp,"" Thumper teaching Bambi how to ice-skate, Baloo the bear telling the man-cub Mowgli that he can’t stay in the jungle in ""The Jungle Book,"" Pinocchio trapped in the birdcage by the evil puppeteer Stromboli, the lovesick squirrel whose heart is broken in ""Sword in the Stone,"" Captain Hook playing the piano in ""Peter Pan,"" the dancing penguins in ""Mary Poppins,"" among others. He also animated several of Mickey Mouse’s most impressive scenes in such films as ""The Pointer,"" and ""Brave Little Tailor."" Noted animation historian/author/filmmaker John Canemaker, described Thomas’ special talents in his book, Walt Disney’s Nine Old Men. ""Thomas is particularly known and admired for his ability to animate emotionally sensitive material; the saddest scenes, the most romantic, most deeply felt sequences, the sincerest heart-tuggers usually found their way to his drawing board.""

John Lasseter (head of creative for Pixar Animation Studios and director of the ""Toy Story"" films and ""A Bug’s Life"") said, ""Frank was a giant in our field and he meant everything to me and to all of us who love the art of animation. Besides being one of the key guys to help elevate animation from a novelty to an incredible art form, he was so generous in passing along his knowledge and experiences to the generations that followed. The books that he wrote with Ollie had a big impact on so many of us working in animation today. Frank was one of my main mentors and a tremendous influence on me. I feel very privileged to have known him."" Leonard Maltin, animation historian, film critic, and author, observed, ""Frank helped to invent animation as an art form and took it to incredible new heights through his work at Disney over four and a half decades. He and his lifelong friend and colleague, Ollie Johnston, had a remarkable gift for explaining and articulating how they did what they did. That’s a rare quality in an artist. Even in his nineties, Frank retained a youthful spirit and indomitable sense of humor.""

Thomas retired from animation in January, 1978. Over the next five years, Thomas and Johnston devoted full time to researching and writing the definitive book on their craft, Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life. The book distilled forty years of knowledge and experience into what many consider the finest book ever written about animation. Too Funny for Words was published six years later and explored the gags, humor and story elements that went into the features and shorts. Walt Disney’s Bambi: The Story and the Film (1990) told the behind the scenes story of the creation of one of the greatest animated films of all-time. Their final collaboration, The Disney Villain (1993), explored the richest and most colorful rogue’s gallery in film history.

In addition to his career as a top animator, Thomas also expressed his musical talents as the piano player in the popular jazz group, The Firehouse Five Plus Two. Formed in 1940s, the group consisted of other Disney employees, and achieved success with their numerous Dixieland jazz recordings and personal appearances. They officially disbanded in 1971. In 1995, Thomas was the subject of a feature length documentary, ""Frank and Ollie,"" released by Walt Disney Pictures. Written, produced, and directed by Frank’s son, Theodore (Ted) Thomas, and produced by Ted’s wife, Kuniko Okubo, the film played film festivals around the world and received acclaim for its insightful look at the lives, careers and extraordinary friendship of the two legendary animators.

No funeral is planned but details regarding a life celebration will be announced shortly. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations be made in Frank’s name to the Character Animation Program at CalArts (California Institute of the Arts) in Santa Clarita, California.

Jeez, Sean...I hope these last few weeks didn't get anyone fired..." Posted Thursday, September 2, 2004, 8:03PM by TylerL
"Today, I have all three endings for Rurouni Kenshin's Kyoto Arc.
Three of my favorite anime endings. Great music and great visuals.
Rurouni Kenshin Third Ending
Rurouni Kenshin Fourth Ending
Rurouni Kenshin Fifth Ending

Enjoy. Two more later.