[01/13/05 - 12:00 AM]
Animal Planet Breathes Life Into Mythical Creatures in Dragons: A Fantasy Made Real

[via press release from Animal Planet]

Animal Planet Breathes Life Into Mythical Creatures in DRAGONS: A FANTASY MADE REAL

- Actor Patrick Stewart Set to Narrate Special Premiering Sunday, March 20 -

- Program Kicks Off Animal Planet's New Destination Night WHOA! SUNDAY -

SILVER SPRING, Md., Jan. 13 -- From the origins of time, people have been fascinated with the dragon, which has appeared in the myths and legends of almost every world culture -- the Inuits, the Aztecs, the Chinese. Although these people never connected, they all arrived at the same basic idea of the animal. Working with production crews from around the world and collaborating with top scientists, artists and animators, Animal Planet's new special combines scientific fact and theory, CGI animation, and cutting- edge special effects to bring dragons to life in DRAGONS: A FANTASY MADE REAL, premiering Sunday, March 20 from 8-9:30 PM (ET). A half-hour special, DRAGONS: THE MAGIC BEHIND THE SCENES, will air immediately following DRAGONS, from 9:30-10 PM (ET). The announcement was made today at the Television Critics' Association semi-annual press tour in Los Angeles, Ca.

Animal Planet is bringing a fresh, contemporary approach to the channel, expanding the brand into new areas that make for surprising and fascinating programming. DRAGONS is the network's first venture into the exploration of mythical animals.

In announcing the program, Maureen Smith, Animal Planet's executive vice president and general manager, said: "DRAGONS tells the story of one of humankind's oldest legends in a way that's never been done before! This is the natural history of a mythical creature, inspired by real nature. It's a captivating special that's perfect to launch our new destination night WHOA! SUNDAY."

Narrated by Patrick Stewart, the 90-minute Animal Planet special DRAGONS: A FANTASY MADE REAL imagines dragons as real animals. Using stunning computer-generated imagery from the same graphics company that made creatures for the Discovery Channel's Walking with Dinosaurs, Walking with Prehistoric Beasts and the Harry Potter movies, we see dragons from the inside out. The special imagines how dragons would have evolved into a number of different species through the ages and around the globe, and how each dragon species was endowed with physical adaptations and behaviors specialized for its environment. In our story, dragons find a mate, raise young, protect their territory, and struggle to survive human encroachment, just as animals have done throughout history.

Directly after the program, a 30-minute special, DRAGONS: THE MAGIC BEHIND THE SCENES, will give viewers an inside look at the making of DRAGONS. Animators, artists, scientists and producers reveal the secrets of how they created creatures so convincing, you will believe they were real.

DRAGONS: A FANTASY MADE REAL kicks off Animal Planet's new destination night WHOA! SUNDAY, an evening of the network's most engaging specials for family and friends to enjoy and talk about.

DRAGONS: A FANTASY MADE REAL is a production of Darlow Smithson for Animal Planet. For Darlow Smithson, John Smithson is executive producer and Ceri Barnes is producer. Story developed, written and produced by Animal Planet executive producers Charles Foley and Kevin Mohs.

Animal Planet, available in more than 86 million homes nationwide, is the only television network dedicated exclusively to the connection between humans and animals. The network's original programming brings together people of all ages by tapping into a fundamental fascination with animals and providing an entertaining mix of programming including original movies, adventure series, sports, drama and sitcoms. Discovery Networks, U.S., a unit of Discovery Communications, Inc., operates and manages Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Travel Channel, Discovery Health Channel, Discovery HD Theater, Discovery Kids Channel, Discovery Times Channel, The Science Channel, Discovery Home Channel, The Military Channel, Discovery en Espanol and FitTV. The unit also distributes BBC AMERICA.

For a sneak peek, go to: http://www.dragonsarecoming.com Believe.

SOURCE Animal Planet
Web Site: http://www.discovery.com

  [january 2005]  

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