NATPE NEWS DIC Ent., SmartVideo to Launch Mobile Toon Channel

Animated series such as Inspector Gadget, Strawberry Shortcake and Trollz will soon be popping up on cell phones all over the world. Indie animation house DIC Ent. and SmartVideo Technologies announced plans for a 24-hour cell phone animaton channel at NATPE yesterday. The new service will take advantage of DIC’s rich library of animated programming (over 3,200 half-hours and over 100 programs) and deliver the toons on cell phones and wireless devices using SmartVideo’s proprietary technology that recreates the small-screen experience, even over low-bandwidth connections.

"Partnering with SmartVideo allows us to use our programming to introduce the next generation of entertainment venues," says DIC’s CEO, Andy Heyward. "With today’s mobile family relying more and more on cell phones to provide everything from news and information to entertainment, SmartVideo provides us with the ideal tool to make our animation and family programming available to millions of people around the world every day."

SmartVideo has also announced content partnership deals with ABC News, CNBC, MSNBC, NBC Mobile and The Weather Channel in recent months. Microsoft will distribute SmartVideo’s services through its WindowMedia Mobile portal.

This new cell-phone channel launch comes right in time for DIC’s Trollz brand rollout, which has elaborate global web community and phone application components. The launch will continue with the television series, video releases, consumer products and interactive games, timed to hit shelves in conjunction with back-to-school in the U.S. The international rollout is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2005.