Slingshot fires DVD toon shorts from ‘Net

Xena, Ace Ventura among first titles offered

Burbank-based Slingshot Entertainment is creating one of the first DVD titles featuring animated shorts originally produced for the Internet.

DVD Intl., which distributes the interactive movies “I’m Your Man” and “Tender Loving Care” and is producing the original DVD interactive movie “The Watcher,” will distribute four of Slingshot’s multipath animated titles featuring Superman, Xena, Ace Ventura and the Mummy on Sept. 12.

The programs feature several Webisodes of the six-minute toon shorts, produced by Brilliant Digital Entertainment, that are playing on Warner Bros.’ Entertaindom.com site.

Slingshot is packaging several of the episodes that have been enhanced with further computer rendering onto a single DVD with 15-20 minutes of linear programming that can translate into much more interactive viewing time as viewers choose options at various points in the programs to alter the course of the story.

The first four titles — “Superman — Menace of Metallo,” “Xena — Death in Chains,” “Ace Ventura — The Case of the Serial Shaver” and “The Curse of the Mummy” — will be followed by three more titles this fall and 14 more next year, said Slingshot Entertainment director of sales and marketing Mitch Perliss.

Direct access

DVD Intl. president David Goodman says the DVD-based PlayStation 2 videogame platform being introduced this fall will provide more direct access to the market needed for the kid-oriented interactive programs. DVD Intl.’s first two interactive pics have each sold nearly 10,000 units, Goodman says. “The Watcher” will be released in November.

Slingshot, a 2-year-old video supplier and DVD-authoring division of 16-year-old multimedia production company the Enterprise, distributed the first commercial DVD title in the U.S. and owns the largest library of giant-screen movies on DVD. Company has released 53 DVD programs and will release 20 other titles this year, including six Imax movies about extreme sports, noted older films “Spanish Earth” and “400 Million,” and a series of titles under the Scream Gems label featuring three horror pics on each DVD.

Enterprise founder and Slingshot creative director Craig Huxley says Slingshot is also pursuing the production of music-based DVD titles that might feature prominent artists in concert, musicvideos and original performances and biographical programming.

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