Spring is bursting all over for the talented folks at Los Angeles-based Joe Cartoon studios. The popular Internet home of shorts such as Gerbil in a Microwave and Lump: The No-Legged Dog got a killer facelift on Tuesday (same address, new content, faster downloads at www.joecartoon.com). The company is also gearing up for the release of its first DVD collection (JoeCartoon Greatest Hits Volume One; BCI, $19.98) on April 25, which will also feature the innovative ‘Press and Splode’ menu offered on the Net. BCI plans to release a second volume in July, followed by a three-disc boxed set in November, which will include ‘a drunken commentary by Joe and his friends’ just in time for your holiday shopping needs.
The new JoeCartoon.com website, which is ad-free during its first month, will offer new content weekly, including a new episode from the Joemomma series, centering on ‘the most annoying child alive.The site is now moving to an html-based format instead of its original Flash animation, which allows for faster loading of its toons. Fans can also get their hands on cool Joe Cartoon extras such as screensavers, wave files and other new goods. Meanwhile, the eight-year-old company has kept a top-10 spot on iTunes since December of last year and is quickly setting up multi-platform and licensing deals for its familiar characters.
Joe Cartoon.com was one of the first profitable pioneers of the Internet animation boom of the late 90s. In 1999 alone, Frog in a Blender was downloaded 90,000,000 times. ‘We are a small dot.com company that has weathered the .com crash and 2006 is looking to be our best year ever,’ says Mike Tuinstra, CEO of Joe Cartoon. ‘We are in discussions about developing product for a TV series, in addition to our regular airing on G4 as part of their ‘Happy Tree Friends & Friends‘ block on Wednesday nights.’
Among the shop’s other international dealings Daydream has all European Wireless rights, MCone has DVD rights for Germany, Switzerland and Austria; RVC has DVD rights for Netherlands and Belgium; PanVision has DVD rights for Scandinavia, Revelation Films has DVD rights for U.K. and Australia and Flashman Studios in handling licensing or wireless and gaming rights globally (outside of Europe for Wireless).Not bad for a some unfortunate and bloodied gerbils, fish and frogs. For more info, visit www.joecartoon.com.