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Studio Ghibli Severs Ties with Parent Company

Nausicaa.net is reporting that Studio Ghibli is separating from its parent company Tokuma Shoten by the end of March. It is not yet known how this will affect existing distribution rights and contracts or the output of the studio.

Coke Adopts Anime for Ad

In an article about February advertising, The New York Times notes that the Coca-Cola Company will air a 60-second Japanese anime styled advertisement during the Daytona 500 broadcast on Fox. The print edition of the paper includes a still photo from the ad which is not available in the on-line version.

"Batman: The Man Who Laughs" According to Brubaker

Writer Ed Brubaker has been interviewed by Comicon.com’s PULSE News about Batman: The Man Who Laughs, a prestige-format comic drawn by Doug Mahnke that details the first encounter between Batman and the Joker. Batman: The Man Who Laughs was released to comic shops last Wednesday with a cover price of $6.95.

Miyazaki to Receive Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at Venice Fest

Nausicaa.net is reporting that director Hayao Miyazaki will receive the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at this year’s Venice International Film Festival in August. The director of the festival declared that September 9 will be “Miyazaki Day,” commemorated with screenings of his films.

Floyd Norman on "Song of the South"

Veteran animator Floyd Norman has written another column for Jim Hill Media about his difficulties trying to write a comic strip using characters from Disney’s Song of the South. Norman also comments on recent rumors that the movie will finally be released on DVD. (via Mark Evanier’s weblog)

Viz Launches "Shojo Beat" Magazine

Viz Comics has announced the launch of Shojo Beat magazine, a sister publication to the company’s successful Shonen Jump magazine. The new magazine, aimed at the burgeoning young female manga audience, will hit newsstands in June 2005 with a cover price of $5.99.

Toon Boom Studio Express Update Adds QuickTime Export

Toon Boom Animation has MacCentral.com. The $19.95 update to the stripped down animation software package adds QuickTime export functionality and compatibility with Mac OS X 10.3, among other features. (via MacCentral.com)

White Castle Seeking Kumar Cast in "Superman Returns"

Director Mira Nair has confirmed that Kal Penn has been cast in Superman Returns. Penn most recently played Kumar in Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, and is currently filming Namesake with Nair. According to Nair, Penn will play “Superman’s best friend.”

Central Park Media Manga Division Lays Off Employees, Cancels Books

Central Park Media has laid off several employees in its comic book and sales departments recently and cancelled several pending books. The stated reason for the staff reduction was CPM’s recent distribution deal made with WEA. It is not currently known whether the cuts will affect the anime divisions of the company.

Film Recalls and Laments Disney Animation Division

The Los Angeles Times covers Dream On Silly Dreamer, a 40-minute documentary about the closing of Disney’s hand-drawn animation department after 75 years of service (free registration required). The film, made by former Disney animator Dan Lund, will be shown in Minneapolis the day before the next annual shareholders meeting. Roy Disney has already praised […]

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