[07/15/05 - 12:00 AM]
Cartoon Network and Production I.g Join Forces on Igpx, the First Original Series for Toonami, Set for NoV. 5 Debut

[via press release from Cartoon Network]

Cartoon Network and Production I.G Join Forces on IGPX, The First Original Series for Toonami, Set for Nov. 5 Debut

Haley Joel Osment, Michelle Rodriguez, Mark Hamill and Lance Henriksen Sign on to Voice Cast Cartoon Network has partnered with the acclaimed Japanese animation studio Production I.G and Bandai Entertainment to produce IGPX, the first-ever original series for Toonami, Cartoon Network�s action programming block that first brought anim� to wide television audiences in the U.S. Several well-known actors have signed on to voice characters for the highly anticipated new series. Haley Joel Osment stars as the voice of the leading character, Takeshi Jinno, and Michelle Rodriguez, Mark Hamill and Lance Henriksen also add their voice talents to other main characters. IGPX is set to premiere during Toonami on Saturday, November 5, at 10:30 p.m. (ET, PT)

In IGPX, the year is 2048 and the �Immortal Grand Prix has� become the world�s most-popular sport. It�s so big that an entire city was built for the racing industry, where competitions take place on a huge, 60-mile track called �The Big Eye.� In the �IGPX,� two teams of three Mechs, high-tech fighting machines driven by humans, race at speeds greater than 350 mph. Team Satomi, a crew of amateur pilots, has just won a minor-league championship, vaulting them into the sport�s highest level, the IG-1. Now, the untested rookies of Team Satomi must overcome impossible odds and beat the world�s most skilled and ruthless pilots in the planet�s biggest event, the �Immortal Grand Prix.�

IGPX will combine the talents of both Cartoon Network and Production I.G, establishing a new production paradigm. Blending the quality and style of anim� with Western storytelling, IGPX will be the first instance of a U.S. cable network working directly with a Japanese animation studio to create an original series. The new original series uses both traditional and CGI animation. Production I.G, internationally recognized for creating high-quality animation, including well-known properties like Ghost in the Shell, Neon Genesis Evangelion, FLCL and the anim� sequences in Kill Bill Vol.1, brings its stylish vision to IGPX. Cartoon Network first partnered with Production I.G in 2003 to produce five 5-minute episodes of IGPX for an on-air Toonami event in 2003.

�Toonami brought Japanese animation to a new generation of fans in the U.S., showcasing popular anim� series like Dragonball Z, The Big O and Yu Yu Hakusho,� said Jim Samples, executive vice president and general manager for Cartoon Network. �Now, Toonami is the first to team up with one of the most respected and well-known animation studios in Japan, Production I.G, setting the stage for future co-productions.�

�I am very honored for Production I.G to collaborate with Cartoon Network, and for our show to be broadcast on the world�s largest animation network, viewed in 160 countries. This co-production relationship with Cartoon Network is what truly motivated our staff to create such an amazing piece of work,� said Mitsuhisa Ishikawa, president of Production I.G. Mitsuru Hongo, director of IGPX said, �I have never been involved in anything in the past where I wished for everyone to watch it so badly. We are all trying very hard to make this the most entertaining animation ever. We will let the audience make the judgment on how different this is from anything else. The story gets more interesting as the season progresses, so I hope everyone stays tuned in to watch more IGPX!�

Bandai Entertainment has also teamed with Cartoon Network and Production I.G to produce IGPX. �This exciting collaboration between Cartoon Network and Production I.G. features an awesome array of Hollywood voice talent and stylized music from Ninja Tune. I�m truly excited that Bandai Entertainment can play a role in what is sure to be an �Anime Dream Team,�� said Ken Iyadomi, executive vice president of Bandai Entertainment. Bandai Entertainment, a long-time partner with Cartoon Network and its effort to bring Japanese animation to U.S. audiences, will serve as the licensing partner for IGPX.

Production I.G, Inc. is one of the largest and most successful Japanese animation studios. Established in 1987 by Mitsuhisa Ishikawa, the company has produced a variety of cutting edge animation titles including Ghost in the Shell, JIN-ROH, Blood: The Last Vampire, Kill Bill Vol. 1 (animation scenes), Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, and Ghost in the Shell: SAC 2nd GIG. An overseas subsidiary and a full time staff of over 200 animators and producers meet the international creative community�s demands. Production I.G provides superior quality animation to the global audience. Additional information on Production I.G is available at www.productionIG.com.

Bandai Entertainment Inc. is the premier distributor of Japanese animation on DVD home video and leading Japanese animated licensed programming for television broadcast distribution in North America. Bandai Entertainment Inc. is a subsidiary of Bandai America Inc. In addition to toys and children's entertainment, Bandai Co.'s global interests include video game software, multimedia, music and full-length feature films, vending machines, trading cards, candies, and licensed apparel. Additional company and product information is available at www.bandai-ent.com.

Cartoon Network (CartoonNetwork.com), currently seen in 88.3 million U.S. homes and 160 countries around the world, is Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.�s ad-supported cable service offering the best in original, acquired and classic animated entertainment for kids and families. Overnight from 11 p.m.-6 a.m. (ET, PT), Cartoon Network shares its channel space with Adult Swim, a late-night destination showcasing original and acquired animation for young adults 18-34.

Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, is a major producer of news and entertainment product around the world and the leading provider of programming for the basic cable industry.

  [july 2005]  

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