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Friday - July 6, 2001
- Aardman Abruptly Halts Animated Feature!
- Cats & Dogs Tops Scary Movie 2
- Soundtrack Update
- News Link of the Day - Cats, Dogs, and Balance

Aardman Abruptly Halts Animated Feature!
(by Aardman Animations abruptly halted production on its Tortoise vs. Hare film, laying off 90 people in the process. Most of those laid off were stop motion animators, artists, and camera workers. The move came only days after Prince Charles visited Aardman (as written about in the July 1 edition of the dFX Animation and FX Newsletter) and praised the work of all the staff.

Aardman claims that there are major script problems with the movie and it will have to undergo a complete overhaul before production can continue. It is estimated that production will be stopped for approximately six months.

Arthur Sheriff, spokesperson for Aardman claims that the layoffs are temporary and that the company is devastated for having to do the layoffs. Sheriff also said that halting the production to fix problems is more important than putting out an average film. Aardman received high praise for last year's Chicken Run movie, which walked off with several high-profile awards, including an Animatasia Award for Best Animated Feature.

172 people were working on Tortoise vs. Hare at the time of the layoffs on Wednesday. Those left have been assigned to other projects.

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Cats & Dogs Tops Scary Movie 2
(by Both Cats & Dogs and Scary Movie 2 opened in theaters on Wednesday with Cats & Dogs coming out slightly ahead. For Wednesday, July 4, Cats & Dogs brought in $9.0 million while Scary Movie 2 brought in $8.7 million. A.I. quickly sunk to third place where it brought in $4.4 million.

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Soundtrack Update
(by Here is an update of recent and future FX movie and animated movie soundtracks:

A.I. (by John Williams - now available)
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (by Elliot Goldenthal - now available)
Atlantis: The Lost Empire (by James Newton Howard - now available)
The Best of Star Trek (various - now available)
Jurassic Park 3 (by "John Williams" - available July 10)

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News Link of the Day - Cats, Dogs, and Balance

According to The New York Times:

"...Though the summer movie season is best exemplified by the parade of special-effects popcorn adventures pitched at the insanely lucrative young-male audience, this is also the hot season for family films. In fact, DreamWorks' animated Shrek became the first $200 million hit of the summer and looks as if it might end up as the season's top box-office draw. And Disney followed with its latest animated feature, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, though that one has not yet drawn audiences at the level of previous Disney animated films…"

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