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Tuesday - April 17, 2001
- Michael Eisner: "Disney Animators Deserve Greatest Protection!"
- Shrek Tie-Ins Begin
- DreamWorks Extends Distribution Deal with Universal Studios
- News Link of the Day - PacketVideo Juices Up Wireless Gaming

Michael Eisner: "Disney Animators Deserve Greatest Protection!"
(by digitalmediafx.com) Disney CEO Michael Eisner recently made a surprising comment. In speaking to the Washington News Bureau, Eisner commented that he believed that Disney animators deserve the greatest protection from the recently announced layoffs because they "represent the heart and soul of Disney".

While the statement was a testament to Eisner's desire to keep the animation division together, it came as a surprise because of a recent report that Disney animators were having their salaries slashed by up to 30%. The comments from Eisner brought a backlash from Disney-owned ABC Nightline anchor Ted Koppel who pointed out that some ABC news correspondents, like David Kaplan, have given their lives in the line of duty.

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ShrekShrek Tie-Ins Begin
(by digitalmediafx.com) DreamWorks Consumer Products has started to announce its initial co-marketing and promotion deals for the upcoming Shrek animated feature. Yesterday, the company announced a joint promotion with The Kroger Co. that allows shoppers to earn free movie tickets to the computer-animated film being released in theaters nationwide on May 18, 2001.

The four-week promotion will take place in more than 2,000 Kroger-owned stores nationwide (which includes Ralphs, Pay Less, Fry's, and Fred Meyer's among others). Customers who purchase $300 in groceries using their shopper's card will earn two free tickets (child admission or adult matinee) to Shrek.

The program will be supported by television commercials, radio and print ads, direct mail, heavy in-store point-of-sale and online support in most markets where Kroger-owned stores are located.

Kroger joins the lineup of multi-million dollar promotional partners including Burger King, Chevron, Heinz, Sour Punch and Baskin-Robbins to make the Shrek promotional campaign the largest to date for DreamWorks SKG.

Participating Kroger-owned stores will offer customers an exclusive assortment of "Shrek" licensed merchandise in locations nationwide, including toys from Todd McFarlane with an exclusive 3" action figure 4-pack, candy products from ToySite, digital watches and sunglasses from IMT, and a variety of hats from American Boy & Girl.

In addition, many stores will offer a variety of other Shrek-themed products and services, including Shrek cookies, cakes and cupcakes at store bakeries and the opportunity for customers to have their photos taken with Shrek standees at one-hour photo booths.

DreamWorks has become a master at marketing animated films since last year's Chicken Run, which won an Animatasia Award for Best Animated Movie Marketing.

Shrek was animated by DreamWorks subsidiary PDI.

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DreamWorks Extends Distribution Deal with Universal Studios
DreamWorks SKG
(by digitalmediafx.com) In a surprise announcement, DreamWorks SKG states that it has extended, for five years, its animated and live action movie distribution deal with Universal Studios. The move was a surprise because of industry talk that DreamWorks was going to sign a distribution contract with AOL Time Warner, which it partnered with for A.I.: Artificial Intelligence.

"We greatly value our relationship with DreamWorks and its principals," says Ron Meyer, president and chief operating officer, Universal Studios. Steven Spielberg, one of the three principals at DreamWorks added, "This alliance is particularly gratifying for me because Universal has been an important part of my life for 32 years. I look forward to five more years of a collaborative and rewarding relationship.

The agreement, which was originally established in June 1995, grants Universal international theatrical distribution rights to live action and animated DreamWorks motion pictures, and worldwide home video, as well as music distribution rights and the rights to utilize characters and concepts created by DreamWorks in Universal's theme parks (like last year's Universal Studios Chicken Run adventure).

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News Link of the Day - PacketVideo Juices Up Wireless Gaming

According to the NewsFactor Network:

"PacketVideo Corp. Thursday announced it has formed partnerships with four European wireless game providers to develop and market applications that offer streaming media, rich graphics, animation and interactivity for games on mobile devices.

PacketVideo named the four companies -- Digital Bridges, Picofun, Orchimedia and Cash-U -- but did not disclose financial terms of the partnerships..."

Click here for the full story.

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