"LAST MINUTE BOOK REPORTS" STREAM ONTO DISNEY.COM
Classic Literature Comes to Life Online with the Humor and Animation of Jumbo Pictures, Inc.
NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (October 2, 2000) - Disney Online, a division of the Walt Disney Internet Group, in conjunction with Jumbo Pictures, Inc. today launched "Last Minute Book Reports," an online series of webisodes that introduce kids to a collection of literary classics. Available exclusively at Disney.com, "Last Minute Book Reports" combine streaming technology with an innovative and unique approach to storytelling that presents guests with thoroughly entertaining, tongue-in-cheek interpretations of timeless works from the likes of Homer, Tolstoy, and Herman Melville -- each installment covering hundreds of pages in about 60 seconds.
The first installment of the series, which can be accessed at www.Disney.com/lastminute, offers a witty and comical portrayal of "The Odyssey," summarizing the epic in just over a minute. The animated presentation takes the form of a child's hastily written book report and delivers the classic tale to kids through a vehicle that speaks their language and caters to their attention span.
"Last Minute Book Reports" is one of several recently announced Disney Online initiatives that encourage kids to use their imaginations to reinforce skills taught inside the classroom. These hilarious shorts provide kids with positive first experiences of respected selections of literature, while exposing them to basic plot and character information that they can draw upon later when the stories resurface as part of their educational curriculum.
"We love storytelling at Disney and we hold great authors in the highest regard," said Ken Goldstein, executive vice president and managing director of Disney Online. "If we are able to help create access for kids to material they might otherwise find intimidating, then we are meeting our goal of making entertainment a vehicle that complements learning."
"We're excited to be involved with this innovative form of educational entertainment designed to captivate the minds of children through animation and the Internet," said Jim Jinkins, president, Jumbo Pictures Inc. "By creatively combining the two mediums, we're able to get kids interested in learning while inspiring their creativity and imagination," added David Campbell, executive vice president, Jumbo Pictures, Inc.
"As award-winning producers of animated series, such as 'Doug' and 'PB & J Otter," for Walt Disney TV Animation, Jim and David are masters of quality storytelling and animation," said Barry Blumberg, executive vice president, Walt Disney Television Animation. "Their involvement with this project perfectly exemplifies their commitment to providing superior educational entertainment to children."
Plans for future "last minute" interpretations of some of the best stories ever written include "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," "War and Peace," and "Moby Dick". New episodes will be launched every two weeks.
For more information, or to experience the magic of "Last Minute Book Reports" firsthand, log onto www.Disney.com/lastminute. To access a complete list of all Disney Online press announcements, please visit the Disney Online press site located at www.Disney.com/press.
About Jumbo Pictures Inc. Jumbo Pictures Inc. was co-founded by partners Jim Jinkins and David Campbell in 1991. The company created and produced the award-winning animated series, Doug, and in 1996, The Walt Disney Company acquired Jumbo. This integration resulted in Jumbo producing Disney's Doug which is one of the top-rated animated series on television. Jumbo's quirky, character-driven creativity was also applied to an Emmy-nominated series adaptation of the classic 101 Dalmatians. On Disney Channel, Jumbo has produced the widely acclaimed PB&J Otter, a series that focuses on a fun lively family of otters and their creative problem solving skills. In addition to its on-air success Jumbo Pictures has developed a thriving book series, consumer product line, as well as online and interactive programming.
About Disney Online Disney Online is a division of the Walt Disney Internet Group. Founded in 1995, Disney Online produces Disney.com, the No. 1 kids and family entertainment site on the Web. Walt Disney Internet Group manages some of the Internet's most popular Web sites, including ABC.com, ABCNEWS.com, ABCSports.com, Disney.com, DisneyStore.com, DisneyTravel.com, ESPN.com, Family.com, GO.com, Movies.com, Mr. Showbiz, NASCAR Online, NBA.com, NFL.com, and Soccernet. The Internet Group also includes The Walt Disney Company's direct marketing business. Steve Bornstein is chairman of Walt Disney Internet Group, which is headquartered in North Hollywood, CA, with operations in Sunnyvale, CA; Seattle; New York; Bristol, CN; and London. For more information, visit our Web site at www.dig.com.
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