Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Starz in Animation

A top-of-the-fold, front-page story from today's VARIETY tells a tale that has an impact on animation artists. (This version isn't exactly VARIETY's, but since the trade rag hides behind a subscription site, it will suffice...) Starz Media, as we've said here before, is picking up IDT Entertainment and its related companies from IDT (the telephone communications company). From VARIETY:
...Twentieth Century Fox will distribute four full-length animated reatures from IDT Entertainment under a deal concluded before John Malone's Liberty Media bought IDT. Twentieth has an output deal with HBO, which gets first refusal on those animated theatricals (although a clause in its contract allows HBO to pass on animated product)...
Word circulates that Liberty/Starz is more interested in the live-action component of their new businesses than the animation. (But hey. They have a lot of "Simpsons" working going on, don't they?) Whether a lack of ardor for cartoons impacts the size and shape of animation staff in the coming year is anyone's guess. IDT Entertainment's first theatrical animated release "Everyone's Hero" arrives in theatres this Fall. The new company will probably analyze how it performs and decide if it wants to stay heavily invested in the animated feature business.


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