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Doctors’ Group Calls for Ban on Most Vaping Products

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 20, 2019 — The American Medical Association (AMA) is calling for a ban on all e-cigarettes and vaping products not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help people quit smoking tobacco cigarettes.

The move is in response to a sharp rise in youth e-cigarette use and an outbreak of more than 2,000 illnesses and 40-plus deaths caused by vaping-related lung illness.

“The recent lung illness outbreak has alarmed physicians and the broader public health community and shined a light on the fact that we have very little evidence about the short- and long-term health consequences of e-cigarettes and vaping products,” AMA president Dr. Patrice Harris said.

“It’s simple — we must keep nicotine products out of the hands of young people and that’s why we are calling for an immediate ban on all e-cigarette and vaping products from the market,” Harris said in a news release from the group.

Besides preventing kids from ever using nicotine, Harris said it’s “critical that there is research into nicotine-addiction treatments for this population.”

The ban on e-cigarettes and vaping products was one of a number of anti-nicotine policies adopted at a recent AMA meeting in San Diego.

Doctors, residents and medical students also called for funding of research to assess the safety and effectiveness of e-cigarette and vaping products in helping people quit smoking cigarettes, and a study of drug and non-drug treatments for nicotine addiction in young people.

Pharmacies should also stop selling tobacco products, the group said.

In the past, the AMA has urged media companies to reject advertising that markets e-cigarette products to young people and supported laws making 21 the minimum age to buy tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.

“Since declaring e-cigarette use and vaping an urgent public health epidemic in 2018, the AMA has pushed for more stringent policies to help protect our nation’s young people from the harmful effects of tobacco and nicotine use,” Harris said.

“For decades, we have led the public health fight to combat the harmful effects of tobacco products, and we will continue to support policies and regulations aimed at preventing another generation from becoming dependent on nicotine,” Harris concluded.

More information

The American Lung Association has more on e-cigarettes.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: November 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Pediatric Group Issues Updated ADHD Guidelines

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Sept. 30, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is in the news a lot, and now newer research has prompted a leading pediatricians’ group to update its guidelines for diagnosing and treating the disorder for the first time since 2011.

Dr. Mark Wolraich, lead author of the guidelines, noted that there weren’t any dramatic differences between these and previous guidelines. But, he said, these latest updates keep the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines in sync with the same diagnostic and treatment criteria used by child and adolescent psychiatrists.

ADHD “is not a ‘new’ diagnosis. It’s a real diagnosis that needs treatment,” said Wolraich.

“There are two forms of treatment effective for ADHD: medications, especially stimulant medications; and behavioral treatments. Neither treatment is curative,” he said, but they can help manage the symptoms. Wolraich is an emeritus professor at the University of Oklahoma, in Oklahoma City.

More than 9% of U.S. children between the ages of 2 and 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD, according to the guideline authors. Boys are more than twice as likely as girls to be diagnosed with the disorder. Kids with ADHD often have symptoms of another mental disorder, such as depression or anxiety, and they may also have learning and language problems.

Updates to the guidelines include:

  • Changing the age at which symptoms need to have first started. Previously, symptoms needed to begin before age 7. That’s now been raised to age 12.
  • In patients older than 17, fewer problem behaviors are needed to make an ADHD diagnosis. Wolraich said as children get older, symptoms can change and behaviors such as hyperactivity usually diminish.
  • Emphasizing the need to rule out other causes of ADHD-like symptoms and to identify other conditions that may occur with ADHD, such as depression, anxiety, substance use, autism or trauma.
  • Highlighting the need for ongoing medical care and coordination within the school and community.
  • Recommending parent training in behavior management as a first-line treatment for preschoolers. Wolraich said behavior modification is an effective treatment that generally has two phases of treatment. The positive phase rewards a child for appropriate behavior, and the reward may just be praising, such as, “Johnny, I like the way you’re sitting in your chair.” The second phase includes consequences, such as “time-out.” But, he said, if you don’t have the positive side of treatment, time-out isn’t as helpful.

Continued

While the guidelines didn’t specifically recommend behavior management training for teachers and parents in high school students with ADHD, they noted that studies have found some value in this treatment for older kids.

Dr. Victor Fornari, vice chair of child and adolescent psychiatry at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, N.Y., said it’s important for pediatricians to be familiar with the up-to-date guidelines, because “as many as 10% of all kids meet the criteria for ADHD, and many children with mild to moderate symptoms can be evaluated and treated by their pediatrician.”

Fornari said if treatment doesn’t go smoothly, or there are ongoing behavior problems or other mental health concerns, pediatricians can often collaborate with a child and adolescent psychiatrist to get additional guidance.

Both Wolraich and Fornari said pediatricians play a vital role in ADHD diagnosis and treatment because they already have an established relationship with the child and family.

“People may not fully appreciate that ADHD that’s untreated can lead to adverse outcomes. Failing to treat can lead to academic and conduct disturbances, and earlier substance use disorders. Children who are identified earlier and treated are more successful,” Fornari said.

The new guidelines were published online Sept. 30 in the journal Pediatrics.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCES: Mark Wolraich, M.D., Shaun Walters emeritus professor, section of developmental and behavioral pediatrics, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City; Victor Fornari, M.D., vice chair, child and adolescent psychiatry, Zucker Hillside Hospital, Glen Oaks, N.Y., and investigator, Center for Psychiatric Neuroscience, Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, Manhasset, N.Y.; Sept. 30, 2019,Pediatrics, online

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Pagination

WebMD Health

Pediatric Group Issues Updated ADHD Guidelines

MONDAY, Sept. 30, 2019 — Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is in the news a lot, and now newer research has prompted a leading pediatricians’ group to update its guidelines for diagnosing and treating the disorder for the first time since 2011.

Dr. Mark Wolraich, lead author of the guidelines, noted that there weren’t any dramatic differences between these and previous guidelines. But, he said, these latest updates keep the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines in sync with the same diagnostic and treatment criteria used by child and adolescent psychiatrists.

ADHD “is not a ‘new’ diagnosis. It’s a real diagnosis that needs treatment,” said Wolraich.

“There are two forms of treatment effective for ADHD: medications, especially stimulant medications; and behavioral treatments. Neither treatment is curative,” he said, but they can help manage the symptoms. Wolraich is an emeritus professor at the University of Oklahoma, in Oklahoma City.

More than 9% of U.S. children between the ages of 2 and 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD, according to the guideline authors. Boys are more than twice as likely as girls to be diagnosed with the disorder. Kids with ADHD often have symptoms of another mental disorder, such as depression or anxiety, and they may also have learning and language problems.

Updates to the guidelines include:

  • Changing the age at which symptoms need to have first started. Previously, symptoms needed to begin before age 7. That’s now been raised to age 12.
  • In patients older than 17, fewer problem behaviors are needed to make an ADHD diagnosis. Wolraich said as children get older, symptoms can change and behaviors such as hyperactivity usually diminish.
  • Emphasizing the need to rule out other causes of ADHD-like symptoms and to identify other conditions that may occur with ADHD, such as depression, anxiety, substance use, autism or trauma.
  • Highlighting the need for ongoing medical care and coordination within the school and community.
  • Recommending parent training in behavior management as a first-line treatment for preschoolers. Wolraich said behavior modification is an effective treatment that generally has two phases of treatment. The positive phase rewards a child for appropriate behavior, and the reward may just be praising, such as, “Johnny, I like the way you’re sitting in your chair.” The second phase includes consequences, such as “time-out.” But, he said, if you don’t have the positive side of treatment, time-out isn’t as helpful.

While the guidelines didn’t specifically recommend behavior management training for teachers and parents in high school students with ADHD, they noted that studies have found some value in this treatment for older kids.

Dr. Victor Fornari, vice chair of child and adolescent psychiatry at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, N.Y., said it’s important for pediatricians to be familiar with the up-to-date guidelines, because “as many as 10% of all kids meet the criteria for ADHD, and many children with mild to moderate symptoms can be evaluated and treated by their pediatrician.”

Fornari said if treatment doesn’t go smoothly, or there are ongoing behavior problems or other mental health concerns, pediatricians can often collaborate with a child and adolescent psychiatrist to get additional guidance.

Both Wolraich and Fornari said pediatricians play a vital role in ADHD diagnosis and treatment because they already have an established relationship with the child and family.

“People may not fully appreciate that ADHD that’s untreated can lead to adverse outcomes. Failing to treat can lead to academic and conduct disturbances, and earlier substance use disorders. Children who are identified earlier and treated are more successful,” Fornari said.

The new guidelines were published online Sept. 30 in the journal Pediatrics.

More information

Learn more about ADHD from the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: September 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Warner Media’s Crunchyroll Invests in VIZ Media Europe Group

Two of the world’s biggest anime powerhouses have joined forces today: WarnerMedia’s Crunchyroll has invested in European anime company VIZ Media Group. The company, a division of Otter Media, has signed a deal that brings together Crunchyroll’s global platform with VIZ’s anime partners, while the Hitotusbashi Group will keep its minority stake in the operation. Closing of the transaction will occur once closing conditions have been satisfied, including the receipt of required antitrust clearances.

Crunchyroll, which was founded in 2006 as an anime-sharing platform, has grown to attract a community of more than 50 million registered users through a variety of 360° content experiences including:

  • Streaming Video – Fans can choose between subscription-video-on-demand (SVOD) and advertising-based-video-on-demand (AVOD) services; Crunchyroll’s two million paying subscribers spend an average of 85 minutes per day streaming. Crunchyroll streams more than 1000 licensed anime titles across devices, professionally translated into eight languages. Original content, largely from Crunchyroll’s studios in Tokyo and Los Angeles, will be joining the collection soon.
  • Events – Through participation in more than 180 events across 18 countries, Crunchyroll engages with an estimated 21 million anime fans globally each year. In addition, Crunchyroll hosts two marquee events annually, Crunchyroll Expo and the Anime Awards.
  • Consumer Products – Crunchyroll creates and sells a wide variety of anime products through more than 100 merchandising partners and their direct-to-consumer Crunchyroll Store. More than 2000 SKU’s are currently available online for purchase in the Crunchyroll Store.
  • Games – Crunchyroll Games is a game publisher working on a growing collection of anime-based experiences for fans; four mobile games are currently available.
  • Manga – Fans can download the Crunchyroll Manga app on mobile devices, with new titles updated regularly.

VIZ Media Europe Group, comprised of VIZ Media Europe (VME), AV Visionen, Anime Versand and VIZ Media Switzerland (VMS), is an established licensor and distributor of Japanese content for the EMEA region, bringing fans a variety of 360° experiences, including:

  • Content Distribution – VME and VMS are the content suppliers for EMEA TV broadcasters and VOD platforms. More than 40,000 hours of animation of all ages have been distributed in 100+ countries.
  • Theatrical Distribution – Regular anime rendezvous at theaters in Europe and successful event screenings (Kazé Anime Night) in German-speaking territories.
  • Consumer Products – Licensing, brand management and retail development for all categories in EMEA.
  • Manga Publishing – VME and VMS started successfully under the brand Kazé Manga in 2010 in French Speaking Europe and in 2012 in German-speaking Europe.
  • DVD Home Entertainment – VIZ Media Europe Group’s robust home video capabilities span across France (through Kazé), Germany (through AV Visionen), and German-speaking Europe including Scandinavia and Eastern Europe (through VIZ Media Switzerland).
  • Streaming Video – Anime on Demand (AoD) launched in 2007 as the first legal streaming platform in Germany for anime with nearly 5000 episodes and films available. Launched in 2013, Anime Digital Network (ADN), in partnership with Média-Participations, is a French platform dedicated to anime, with more than 6000 episodes and films available.

“Crunchyroll and VIZ Media Europe Group will bring together significant expertise, capabilities, and dedication to grow and promote our respective licensed and original content,” said Joanne Waage, general manager of Crunchyroll. “We look forward to learning from and collaborating with our new colleagues in Paris, Lausanne and Berlin, so we can continuously create the most engaging experiences for anime and manga communities around the world.”

“We have built a large network in EMEA and beyond, expanding our manga and licensing expertise through multiple skills in various business lines: TV, DVD, Digital & Merchandising,” said Kazuyoshi Takeuchi, CEO of VIZ Media Europe Group. “Over the last decade, our team has shown a deep understanding of Japanese pop culture and adaptation within local markets, and I believe this relationship will strengthen our position and future growth, adapting to changes in the dynamic Japanese animation industry and global business climate.”

“Crunchyroll has helped enable anime to become a mainstay in popular culture, and we are committed to this growing category. This transaction between Crunchyroll and VIZ Media will combine one of the major anime brands ex-Asia with a well-known and beloved manga and anime distributor,” said Tony Goncalves, CEO of Otter Media. “Together, we aim to create connections for passionate anime fans across Europe and beyond.”

Animation Magazine

Toonz Media Group Announces Imira Leadership Changes in Global Expansion

Toonz Media Group, in line with its global expansion process — and this year celebrating its 20th anniversary — announces a change in leadership at Imira Entertainment. Paul Robinson, who has been Imira’s CEO since December 2017, is resigning his post to take on a key strategic role within the Toonz Media Group; and Carlos Biern has been appointed as Toonz’s new President of Animation Productions & Co-productions.

Robinson will provide strategic advice to the Toonz Media Group and will continue to head the Canal Clan International joint venture with RTVE, Malish TV Russia and other platform initiatives worldwide, as well as strategic alliances for the group. As part of this operational and strategic restructuring, Imira’s operational matters and responsibilities will be taken over directly by Biern and his executive team.

Robinson, an international media exec with vast experience in the global kids and family entertainment industry having held senior exec positions at the BBC, The Walt Disney Company, and NBC Universal, joined Imira as interim CEO to lead the Spain-based rights management and distribution company forward and to build the distributor’s international presence and align the company from a new business perspective. He will continue to work with the Toonz group and different entertainment divisions, reporting directly to Group CEO P. Jayakumar.

Biern, a long-time kids and family exec who is President of the Spanish Federation of Animation & Visual Effects Producers (DIBOOS), has been appointed President of Animation Production and Co-production at Toonz Media Group, overseeing all international productions and co-productions of the group and its companies; and will take on an operational role within Imira from both a management perspective and to build on projects initiated under Robinson’s helm, working alongside P. Jayakumar and the Imira team, as well as Robinson, now in his new role.

“We thank Paul for his service over these past 18 months and are delighted to continue to benefit from his expertise and extensive experience as we expand across all our entertainment divisions, and welcome Carlos who brings with him a valuable knowledge and years of experience in the international as well as the Spanish arena,” commented P. Jayakumar.

Robinson added, “It has been a pleasure to lead a wonderful team of people and to contribute to help make a Spanish distribution company a little more global and worldwide in its reach and aspirations. The global market is changing rapidly, and there is an imperative for us to continue to develop new routes to market and strategically serve our customers better whilst developing new business opportunities.”

“I am delighted to be joining such a vibrant entertainment group and working with both Imira and Toonz experienced teams. I am extremely happy to take this role to build even more our presence by incorporating the best creative talent in kids and family entertainment from all over the world,” Biern said of his appointment.

Animation Magazine

Cyber Group Hosts Int’l Emmy Kids Awards Semi-Finals for 8th Year

For the eighth time, Paris-based Cyber Group Studios held the Semi-Final round of judging for the International Emmy Kids Awards, in the Kids Preschool and Kids Animation categories. The ceremony took place at the Hilton Paris Opera — the historic hotel formerly called “Grand Hotel Terminus,” which has welcomed train passengers since being built in honor of the World’s Fair 1889.

Cyber Group Studios Chairman & CEO Pierre Sissmann hosted the Semi-Final judging under the supervision of Nathaniel Brendel, Emmy Judging Director. The Jury was comprised of 30 leading TV executives, including representatives of some of the world’s biggest broadcasters:

Telidja KlaÏ – VRT (Belgium)
Nathalie Leffray – Canal + (France)
Tiphaine de Raguenel – France Télévisions (France)
Claire Heinrich – France Télévisions (France)
Lila Hannou – M6 (France)
Pierre Hergaut – Nickelodeon (France)
Daphné de Beauffort – TF1 (France)
Yann Labasque – TF1 (France)
Caterina Gonnelli-Linden – The Walt Disney Company (France)
Julien Borde – Turner Broadcasting System (France)
Françoise Emperador – TV5 MONDE
Patricia Vasapollo – HR (Germany)
Sebastian Debertin – KIKA (Germany)
Frank Dietz – Super RTL (Germany)
Brigitta Mühlenbeck WDR (Germany)
Arne Lohmann – ZDF Enterprises (Germany)
Eva Vass – MTVA (Hungary)
Massimo Bruno – De Agostini (Italy)
Luca Milano – RAI Ragazzi (Italy)
Ahmed Abdelhamid – Majid Entertainment (Middle East)
Yuliana Slashcheva – Soyuzmultfilm Studio (Russia)
Saskia Krijnen – RTS (Switzerland)
Ismihan Yilmaz– Cocuk (Turkey)
Darren Nartey – ITV (United Kingdom)
Alexi Wheeler – Netflix (United Kingdom)
Chris Rose – Nickelodeon (United Kingdom)
Claudia Dalley – Sony Pictures Entertainment / Tiny Pop (United Kingdom)
Patricia Hidalgo – Turner Broadcasting System (United Kingdom)
Cecilia Persson – Turner Broadcasting System (United Kingdom)

The jurors devoted the entire day to screening and judging prestigious programs from all over the world. All votes are to remain strictly confidential, and will be collected by the Ernst & Young independent firm. The programs with the highest score will proceed to the Final round of judging and the winner will be announced at The International Emmy® Kids Awards during the Cannes Miptv in April 2020.

“I am extremely pleased on behalf of The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and Cyber Group Studios to have welcomed in Paris, once more,

this prestigious event. It is now part of our industry milestone worldwide,” said Cyber Group’s Sissmann, Director of The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

Animation Magazine

Cyber Group Launches Gigantic Plans for Gigantosaurus

***This story originally appeared in the June-July ‘19 issue of Animation Magazine (No. 291)***

If you run into Pierre Sissmann, CEO and founder of Paris-based animation company Cyber Group Studios, at Annecy, make sure you shake his hand and congratulate him on his company’s fantastic year. The studio’s new show Gigantosaurus has been performing very well in the U.S. since it debuted on Disney Channel in December. The CG-animated 52 x 11’ show, which won the Pulcinella Award for upper preschool series at this year’s Cartoons on the Bay festival in Italy, centers on four young dinosaur friends exploring their prehistoric world and the mystery of the biggest, fiercest dinosaur of all.

The show is based on the best-selling books by Jonny Duddle, and is also broadcast on Disney Junior worldwide (excluding India, China and Taiwan), with upcoming premieres on major networks around the world, including France Télévisions, Germany’s Super RTL, RAI (Italy), SRC (Canada), as well as on Netflix in the majority of territories worldwide.

But things are just beginning to roll for the dino-centric project. “We are planning to do more episodes, of course,” says Sissmann, during a recent phone interview from this Paris office. “But the big news is that we are developing a major Gigantosaurus feature film, with screenwriter Michael J. Wilson, the creator of the Ice Age franchise. Longtime Cyber Group collaborator Olivier Lelardoux, who has worked on many of our shows (Zou, Zorro the Chronicles, Manon, etc.) will be directing the movie. We’re also working with art director Pierre-Alain Chartier (The Little Prince, Arthur and the Minimoys), so we’re very excited about our future plans.”

Prehistoric Powerhouse

Sissmann says Gigantosausus, which will be the first big feature project for the studio, will also feature lots of catchy songs, just like the TV series does. “We’re going to work with the same people who did the show’s theme song and add some major musical talent for the U.S. and U.K. version of the movie.”

According to the animation veteran, the movie will introduce several new characters, explore the world of Gigantosaurus deeply and target a slightly older audience. “I began my career at Disney, working on movies such as Tarzan, Hunchback of Notre Dame and DuckTales: The Movie,” he adds. “So for me, it’s going full circle and returning to my feature roots.”

Sissmann says he and his team began working on the film’s script last September and hope to deliver the movie by 2021-2022 after the second and third season of the series have aired internationally.

Gigantosaurus toys

Gigantosaurus toys

The show’s master toy licensee, JAKKS Pacific will launch a full range of Gigantosaurus toys including preschool playthings, figures, vehicles, playsets, outdoor seasonal, indoor furniture and Halloween costumes and accessories this fall. In addition, Outright Games is developing and publishing a video game based on the franchise that will be available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC. The game will feature the four dinosaur heroes (Rocky, Bill, Tiny and Mazu) in a new story. Geared towards kids and families, the debut game brings players directly into the world of Gigantosaurus, as they zoom through the series-inspired locations and engage with the storylines.

“We are working closely with them to develop assets for the video game at the same time as we’re producing them for the TV series,” says Sissmann. “We started our video game division about a year and a half ago so we could develop this cynergy between us. Right now, we plan to release three titles in 2020. I’ve seen the demos, and I have to admit they look pretty amazing.”

Sissmann says there are also developing over 40 different print titles, including activity books and novelizations, which will be released in the course of the next three years. Cyber Group will announce four major licensing partnerships at Licensing Expo in Las Vegas in June.

“It’s a truly massive brand-building effort for us,” he adds. “This also includes a series of high-quality digital shorts we’re producing for Disney Junior’s YouTube. It has a big promotional value. They are all completely original stories, they expand the world of the characters and offer useful facts about dinosaurs. We’re also planning a worldwide Gigantosaurus tour in 2020, which is part of our big, integrated brand-building initiative for this massive property.”

Sissmann is also excited about Cyber Group’s new ventures in China, India and Russia. “We are investing to make our brands more global,” he says. “It’s about vertical integration and producing locally in different countries. If you put yourself out there and extend your arms and legs, you have the chance to grow and learn more from all your partners.”

Wrapping up the interview, Sissmann adds, “At the heart of what we do is providing quality entertainment to kids and families all around the world in a safe environment. For me, our preschool series Zou was our first major global brand, and it was a real eye-opener. It’s the same notion with Gigantosaurus: It’s about giving kids the chance to have fun and learn something at the same time. When I get mail from audiences, it brings home the reason we create these shows in the first place. It’s about bringing happiness, education and entertainment to kids around the world.”

For more info, visit cybergroupstudios.com.

More Hits on the Way!

Gigantosaurus is only one of several hot properties happening at the studio. Here are some of Cyber Group’s other big newsmakers:

Sadie Sparks. A 52-part series about a young girl who realizes she has magical abilities and becomes a wizard-in-training, with the guidance from a grumpy ancient rabbit, Gilbert. Co-produced by Brown Bag Films in Dublin, the series is set to debut later this year on Disney Channel.

Sadie Sparks

Sadie Sparks

Taffy. The studio’s retro, slapstick show centers on a trickster racoon who disguises himself as a cat to infiltrate the comfortable home of super rich Mrs. Muchmore and her pampered dog, Bentley. After making a big splash at MIPCOM last year, the show has been performing very well on Boomerang. A second season is in the works.

Taffy

Taffy

Tom Sawyer. Based on Mark Twain’s enduring character, this 26 x 26’ 2D/CG series addresses important issues such as growing up, freedom of spirit and the importance of an inquisitive nature. Produced at Cyber Group’s new studio in Roubaix, which opened in northern France last November.

Tom Sawyer

Tom Sawyer

Droners. A new adventure series for TF1, co-produced by La Chouette Compagnie and Supamonks, which follows the adventures of a group of young drone racers who are on a mission to save the planet from global warming and ecological destruction.

Droners

Droners

Digital Girl. Created by Pierre Sissmann and Sylvain dos Santos (Droners), this 26 x 22’ CG series tells the story of 14-year-old Chrissie, the first ever digital superheroine. Alexis Briclot, renowned for his designs onCaptain MarvelThorAnt-Man and Avengers, is signing off the graphic bible. The show finds Chrissie challenged by Hack Girl, a digital supervillain, as she tries to restore ecological balance and a peaceful community life in a futuristic, yet contemporary world. Co-produced by famed Russian studio Soyuzmultfilm.

Digital Girl

Digital Girl

Magic Chess Odyssey. This 26 x 22’ CG series tells the story of a chess board with supernatural powers that can change the lives of children around the planet. While a pure entertainment piece, Magic Chess Odysseycombines storytelling with ground-breaking animation while immersing kids in the real intricacies of the great chess competitions. Co-produced by Soyuzmultfilm.

Animation Magazine

Studio 100 Group Expands International Business & Production Capabilities

Studio 100 has reported record figures for 2018 with a turnover of €179.7 million, supported by strong theme park results and stunning performance of its latest live show production, the World War II musical 40-45. This success has paved the way for further expansion of the company’s international business and creative capabilities.

New growth begins with the appointment of Barbara Stephen as CEO of Content for Studio 100 International. She will assume executive management of all development, investment and animation production across the creative businesses including Studio 100 Animation (Paris), Studio Isar Animation (Munich), Little Airplane Productions (New York) and will continue in the role of CEO for Flying Bark Productions (Sydney).

“We are extremely happy with the results of our group, feeling confirmed in the way we are developing as a corporate group within the entertainment business. To continue this path, we constantly must adapt to the changing market situations,” commented Hans Bourlon, CEO of Studio 100 Group. “We absolutely trust in Barbara to lead our content and production teams across the globe. The Board and I are very optimistic about the future, while being grateful for the hard work of our staff and what was achieved so far. And we believe that the best is yet to come!”

Studio 100 will continue to invest significantly in original independent animated movies, series and brand activities, as well as the diversification of its technical and animation services.

The company has backed the major expansion of Flying Bark’s in-house animation capabilities which now includes the new appointment of Alexia Gates-Foale as Head of Animation Production. Current projects include the feature film and television series 100% Wolf due at the end of the year, which joins successful family originals including the CG reimaginings of Maya the Bee and Blinky Bill.

“Flying Bark has worked hard to develop a strong culture of creativity and inclusiveness with a focus on delivering world-class content across hand-drawn 2D and CGI character animation. Alexia has been pivotal in shaping the modern studio and will continue to provide strong leadership and creative vision for our future direction,” said Stephen, Content CEO of Studio 100 International and CEO of Flying Bark Productions.

Studio 100 is also investing in the diversification of its Studio 100 Animation business (Paris). The company has been developing a virtual Reality service to re-invent CGI animation pipelines using real-time technologies that will reduce the overall cost-per- minute of animation. Studio 100 Animation will be launching a professional demonstration of the service at Annecy International Film Festival Market next week.

Katell France, Managing Director of Studio 100 Animation, said, “We are thrilled to offer this new virtual reality service to other productions. Directors, artists and producers immediately see the productivity, quality and cost efficiency of this innovative production tool.”

Outside of animation, Studio 100 continuously produces new live-action movies and series. This activity is based in the Belgian studios of Studio 100 (Schelle). Anja Van Mensel, CEO of Studio 100 Benelux, leads the live-action content production. This content is produced in-house, from concept to filming, right through to post-production. Series include the international rating winner House of Anubis and, more recently, the adventure series Ghost Rockers, Night Watch and Campus 12.

In 2012, Barbara Stephen joined Flying Bark Productions, which has been a part of the Studio 100 group since 2007. A decade of producing successful, award-winning titles lead to her appointment as CEO in 2014/15. The company has won the State Premier’s award for Women in International Business Award of the year (2016) and a highly commended Innovation in Export Award in 2017. Stephen leads a team of about 250 in the Sydney studio, increasing to 300 by year end.

Alexia Gates-Foale has worked in children’s animation for over 10 years, and is credited across a number of titles, including the award-winning Erky Perky, Zeke’s Pad, The Woodlies and The Adventures of Figaro Pho. Gates-Foale produced on the highly successful feature films Maya the Bee Movie, Blinky Bill: The Movie and the AACTA-nominated television series, The Wild Adventures of Blinky Bill. As Flying Bark’s recently appointed Head of Animation Production, Alexia is currently producing Flying Bark’s latest feature film 100% Wolf, along with several titles in development.

Animation Magazine

Cyber Group Sets Dino-mite Soft Lines Licensees for ‘Gigantosaurus’

The hilarious Cretaceous CG animated preschool series Gigantosaurus from Cyber Group Studios — airing daily on Disney Channel and Disney Junior — is taking a bigger bite out of retail shelves with new deals in place for apparel and soft home goods. Set to launch nationwide in Spring 2020 are new lines from American Marketing Enterprises, Centric Socks, Children’s Apparel Network and Jay Franco, following on the tail of master toy licensee JAKKS Pacific, which will being offering Gigantosaurus playthings this fall.

“We are thrilled to welcome our first group of soft lines licensees to the Gigantosaurus family, joining JAKKS and our award-winning publishing partner, Templar Publishing,” said Richard Goldsmith, President & CEO of Cyber Group Studios USA. “Each of these companies is a recognized market leader in their respective category and work with some of the biggest-name licenses in the business. All are well-suited to help us make a huge impact in the preschool space with Gigantosaurus.”

“We are delighted to have such top-tier licensing partners onboard for Gigantosaurus,” said Jason Korfine, Partner, Licensing Street LLC, licensing agency for the brand in the U.S. “We look forward to working with these standout companies to translate this series’ instantly-relatable dinosaur characters, fun-filled adventures and positive messages for preschoolers into an exciting array of offerings that will further strengthen fans’ connection to the popular show.”

The upcoming range of apparel and soft home goods for kids ages 3+ include:

  • AME – sleepwear
  • Centric – hosiery
  • Children’s Apparel Network – tees, hoodies, sportswear
  • Jay Franco – bedding, bath accessories, beach towels, travel items and room décor.

Launched on Disney Channel in January, Gigantosaurus (based on Jonny Duddle’s bestselling book of the same name) stars four fiercely-fun dinosaur friends – Rocky, Bill, Tiny and Mazu – who take preschoolers on exciting, comedy-filled adventures as they dare to be themselves and explore the world beyond their nests. In every episode, the curious young dinosaurs explore the mystery of “Gigantosaurus” – the biggest, fiercest dinosaur of all. The series is helmed by award-winning director Olivier Lelardoux.

Animation Magazine

JAKKS Named Master Toy for ‘Last Kids on Earth’ from Atomic Cartoons, Cyber Group

Atomic Cartoons, the kids and family division of Thunderbird Entertainment Group Inc., and Cyber Group Studios have entered into a Master Toy Agreement with JAKKS Pacific Inc., for The Last Kids on Earth series created by Max Brallier. The property will launch as a consumer brand at Licensing Expo in Las Vegas in June. The series will launch on Netflix later this year.

Under the terms of the new agreement, JAKKS Pacific, a world-leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of toys and consumer products, will develop and bring to market a range of merchandise inspired by the bestselling book series and upcoming Netflix production. The line will be available in all territories except China. This will include action figures, activity toys, role-play accessories, vehicles, plush items, novelty items, games, and play electronics. Cyber Group Studios brokered the deal on behalf of Atomic Cartoons.

This agreement follows a previous worldwide licensing deal between Atomic Cartoons and Cyber Group Studios, which became the sole and exclusive representative worldwide for merchandising, ancillary and second window TV rights for the series.

“We are very excited to partner with Atomic Cartoons and Cyber Group Studios to develop a line of merchandise that will bring The Last Kids on Earth to life in a new way,” notes Craig Drobis, SVP Marketing, JAKKS Pacific, Inc. “With themes of friendship, heroism and humor in the face of a monster and zombie apocalypse, it is no surprise the series has been embraced by readers around the world, and has all the ingredients for an amazing line of toys.”

Richard Goldsmith, President and CEO of Cyber Group Studios USA, adds: “When the opportunity to partner with Atomic for The Last Kids on Earth became available earlier in 2019, we jumped at the chance to contribute to, what is sure to be, an exciting new global franchise — first with the launch the upcoming animated Netflix series, and soon with an exciting line of merchandise based on the popular characters, thanks to our new partnership with JAKKS Pacific.”

The Last Kids on Earth series follows the comedic adventures of 13-year old Jack Sullivan and his gang of wise-cracking middle school friends, who live together in a decked-out treehouse after a monster apocalypse has taken place. In a world without parents, they gorge themselves on candy, play video games, invent gadgets and, of course, battle zombies and giant-sized monsters. The books, published by Viking Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House, are a New York Times and USA Today bestselling series, with over two and a half million copies in print around the world.

“When Atomic Cartoons first acquired The Last Kids on Earth to create an animated series, I was excited and honored at the possibility,” says Max Brallier. “As I watch the franchise grow, I remain humbled by how the world has embraced these characters, this world, and the story of Jack Sullivan.”

Brallier is attached to the Netflix series as creator and executive producer, along with Scott Peterson, who is the showrunner and an executive producer. Matthew Berkowitz and Jennifer Twiner McCarron, who is the CEO of Thunderbird and Atomic Cartoons, are also executive producers on the series.

“It has been such a privilege for our team to work on this series with world class creative talent like Max Brallier and showrunner Scott Peterson, and to bring these amazing books to life with a major platform in Netflix. Our partnership with Cyber Group Studios, and now JAKKS Pacific, to create toys based on this series is the cherry on top,” says Matt Berkowitz, Chief Creative Officer, Thunderbird Entertainment Group and Atomic Cartoons. “With the animated series debuting later this year, and merchandise on the horizon in early 2020, we hope that The Last Kids on Earth franchise will be delighting audiences, in multiple formats, for many years to come.”

Earlier this year, the star-studded voice cast was announced, and will feature the talents of Mark Hamill, Rosario Dawson, Catherine O’Hara, Keith David, Bruce Campbell, Garland Whitt, Montse Hernandez and Charles Demers, in addition to Nick Wolfhard as the lead character Jack Sullivan.

Animation Magazine

How to Start a Walking Group

MONDAY, April 8, 2019 — You enjoy walking and even have an exercise buddy to keep you on track. But maybe your enthusiasm has started to wane.

The answer? Expand your workout circle and form a walking group in your community. By planning walks and encouraging one another, each member will have an impact on everyone else’s health.

Createthegood.org offers simple steps to get started. First, see if there’s already a community-based organization that might join forces with you or offer ideas, information and resources. Maybe there’s a nonprofit that you’d like to support through a walk six or 12 months from now — check out its website to see if it offers planning pointers for fundraising events.

Next, decide how wide a net you want to cast to recruit members. You might keep the group to people you know or extend it to include friends of friends. Hold a kick-off meeting and work out key details like the days and times the group will meet, how long you’ll walk each time and a list of routes that will keep things interesting. Set up a system for contacting one another by text or e-mail so you can send updates and reminders before each walk.

If you’d rather join a group than start one, check out Walkwithadoc.org. Started in 2005 by David Sabgir, a cardiologist in Columbus, Ohio, it has chapters across the country. Walks are typically held on weekends for an hour and include a conversation with the local doctor who leads the chapter. It’s a great way to meet other people and get fit together.

More information

Get the details on starting a walking group at CreateTheGood.org.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: April 2019

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Cyber Group & Outright Games Team for ‘Gigantosaurus’ Game

Cyber Group Studios has teamed up with Outright Games to create a new playable title inspired by animated series Gigantosaurus, which launched in January on Disney Channel U.S. The video game will be available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC.

“Cyber Group Studios is excited to build on the television series and expand the franchise to video games with Outright Games. With their considerable expertise in the family market, we know they will deliver a game that will bring Gigantosaurus to life in a whole new way and further captivate fans around the globe,” said Pierre Sissmann, Chairman and CEO of Cyber Group Studios.

Based on the bestselling book by world-renowned author Jonny Duddle, Gigantosaurus is a full-CGI comedy-action series produced by Cyber Group Studios which brings preschoolers along on the adventures of four young dinosaur friends as they explore their prehistoric world and the mystery of Gigantosaurus — the biggest, fiercest dinosaur of them all. The series will be broadcast on Disney Junior worldwide (excluding India, China and Taiwan) and major broadcast networks around the globe, including France Télévisions, Super RTL (Germany), RAI (Italy) and SRC (Canada) as well as on Netflix in the majority of territories worldwide.

The Gigantosaurus video game, created by Outright Games in partnership with Cyber Group Studios, will feature the four dinosaur heroes — Rocky, Bill, Tiny and Mazu — in a new action-packed story. Geared towards kids and families, the debut game brings players directly into the world of Gigantosaurus as they zoom through the stunning series-inspired locations and engage with the storylines.

Established by industry veteran Terry Malham in 2016, Outright Games brings a wealth of experience in creating and publishing high-quality interactive family entertainment, including with licenses such as How to Train Your Dragon, PAW Patrol and Adventure Time.

“We are thrilled to partner with Cyber Group Studios on this exciting new IP. Their commitment to producing stories that delight and help children across the world grow is second to none,” said Malham. “We look forward to combining our expertise in producing high-quality family entertainment to create a fun game for the whole family to enjoy and play together.”

Animation Magazine

9 Story Media Group Acquires BASE Animation Studio in Indonesia

9 Story Media Group has acquired PT Bali Animation Studio and PT Bali Animasi Solusi Ekakarsa (collectively known as “BASE”), a full-service CGI animation studio located in Bali, Indonesia. Founded in 2015 by Lily Wang and Daniel Harjanto Setyawan, BASE provides high-quality animation work for clients around the world and employs 270 personnel. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Known for its full-scale creative, production and international distribution capabilities, 9 Story Media Group employs more than 800 staff with operations in Toronto, New York, Dublin and Manchester. Its award-winning animation studio, Brown Bag Films, is recognized internationally for hit children’s series such as Doc McStuffins, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Top Wing, Octonauts and The Magic School Bus: Rides Again.

Since its inception, BASE has established a solid reputation as a high quality and reliable animation studio. BASE’s production portfolio includes the popular animated television series Sonic Boom and Luna Petunia. In addition, BASE and Brown Bag Films have previously partnered together on the hit Disney series Vampirina.

The acquisition of BASE will enhance 9 Story’s production capabilities, expand its global footprint and increase its worldwide headcount to more than 1,000 personnel. Co-founders Lily Wang and Daniel Harjanto Setyawan will stay on to lead BASE going forward and will report to 9 Story’s Chief Operating Officer Cathal Gaffney.

“Our top priority has always been, and will continue to be, producing the best quality animated content across all our studios,” said Vince Commisso, President & CEO of 9 Story Media Group. “Acquiring BASE bolsters our existing studio capacity in Toronto, Dublin and Manchester and enhances our ability to meet the production needs of our clients. We have been extremely impressed with BASE’s caliber of work and are thrilled to welcome the entire BASE team into the 9 Story family.”

“We are delighted to be joining forces with 9 Story Media Group,” said Wang and Setyawan. “9 Story has established itself as a global leader in kids’ entertainment with tremendous strength in production and distribution. We are incredibly proud of the animation we have produced with our talented team in Bali. By joining forces with 9 Story and their studio Brown Bag Films we will benefit from their creative expertise and international infrastructure and continue to produce top quality programs for kids and families around the world.”

Learn more about 9 Story Media Group at www.9story.com.

Animation Magazine

Future Group, Riot Games Create AR Opening for ‘League of Legends’ Championship

The League of Legends World Championship Finals Opening Ceremony presented by Mastercard, which took place recently and was one of the most-widely viewed events in the world, included a special performance this year.

The Future Group (TFG), world leaders in interactive mixed reality integration, and Riot Games, developer and publisher of League of Legends and organizer for affiliated esports, utilized the Unreal Engine to bring a unique performance by supergroup K/DA to Incheon, South Korea’s Munhak Stadium for the 2018 World Championship Finals Opening Ceremony presented by Mastercard.

Real world artists Madison Beer, Jaira Burns, and Soyeon and Miyeon of K-Pop group (G)I-dle, united seamlessly on stage for a live performance together with their League of Legends digital counterparts Evelyn, Kai’Sa, Akali and Ahri, respectively.

“We imagined bringing our characters to life for the World Championship opening ceremony in 2013, but the technology didn’t exist at the time,” said Viranda Tantula, Creative Lead at Riot Games. “Flash forward five years later and we’re finally able to make our vision a reality, thanks to our great creative partners at TFG and Digital Domain.”

The in-house broadcast and creative teams at Riot Games collaborated with TFG throughout the production. Riot Games provided art direction and a base consumer-generated imagery model for K/DA’s lead member Ahri, and TFG transformed Ahri into her popstar counterpart and originated models for her three group mates, based on concept art designs from Riot Games.

“Riot Games’ creative vision came to life with the help of our multi-disciplined team of film VFX, real-time character, and broadcast engineering specialists,” said Oystein Larsen, Chief Creative Officer of TFG. “We are truly honored to have helped realize that dream.”

Working with the Digital Domain team, who supplied the motion-capture data for the characters, TFG brought the characters to life in real-time based on Riot concepts, complete with facial expressions, hair, FX, clothing, and realistic texturing and lighting.

“We are thrilled to have collaborated with Riot Games on the 2018 League of Legends World Championship Finals Opening Ceremony presented by Mastercard,” said Lawrence Jones, Executive Creative Director at TFG. “Collaborating with them on this stunning augmented reality experience to create hype and excitement from both esports and music loving audiences has been a tremendous success for both companies.”

Learn more at www.futureuniverse.com and www.riotgames.com/en.

Legends World Championship Finals Opening Ceremony

Legends World Championship Finals Opening Ceremony

Legends World Championship Finals Opening Ceremony

Legends World Championship Finals Opening Ceremony

Animation Magazine

Trade Group: Nevada to Collect $1B in 7 Years from Marijuana

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A report for a cannabis trade group says marijuana production, processing, and sales could reap more than $ 1 billion in tax revenue for Nevada over seven years. That’s a key finding in an economic analysis released Oct. 26, 2018, by the Nevada Dispensary Association. It projects that cannabis-friendly policies in tourist-oriented […]
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