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WIRE Buzz: Don Bluth launches new studio; IMDb TV lands Walking Dead; and more

By Josh Weiss
The Secret of NIMH

Don Bluth, the legendary animator behind The Secret of NIMH, An American Tail, and The Land Before Time, has launched a new business venture aptly named "Don Bluth Studios." The company "is going to be establishing NEW characters, NEW ideas and NEW projects," reads a Facebook announcement from Vice President Lavalle Lee. "This is incredibly exciting and I can’t wait to start showing all of you what we have cooking!" he added. "We will not be keeping projects hidden or away from the public, we will be POSTING up a storm and showing you all our progress."

One of the first endeavors is Bluth Fables, which seeks to put a fresh twist on classic fairy tales, morality tales, and nursery rhymes that Bluth will write, draw, and narrate. "The concept is pretty simple, it’s like reading a book where each page turns with narration by Don Bluth," reads Lee's official description of the project. "I will be compiling them together, coloring and desmudging the pages. Don and myself thought it would be fun to create something new and completely free for the fans to enjoy while we develop and pitch larger productions."

Congratulations to Lavalle Lee, our new Vice President! Lavalle has done an exceptional job here over the past 5 years....

Posted by Don Bluth Studios on Wednesday, September 9, 2020

You can check out Lee's Bluth Fables work on his YouTube page right here.

"We believe the public is craving another renaissance of hand-drawn animation. Our goal is to make that dream become a reality," the company said in a statement. "Our company will be VERY transparent, showcasing and updating the public with concept art, pencil tests, model sheets, animatics, and much much more. We are excited to show everyone what we have been working on. Please join us in our new adventure!"

AMC has signed a deal with IMDb TV for six new channels on the latter's free, ad-supported streaming service, Variety confirmed today. Two have already launched.

One of the six new offerings is The Walking Dead Universe Experience, a channel that features select (previously aired) episodes of The Walking Dead, its spinoff projects, Ride With Norman ReedusFriday Night in With the Morgans, and exclusive behind-the-scenes content that won't be available anywhere else. Another channel is AMC: Presents, which is set to include episodes of other network originals like Halt and Catch Fire, Into the Badlands, and more.

The remaining four channels — Absolute Reality by WE TV, Rush by AMC, IFC Films Picks, and Slightly Off by IFC — are scheduled to go live over the next few months.

Andrew Lincoln The Walking Dead

“This comprehensive, tailored content solution for IMDb makes the great shows and franchises AMC Networks is known for available to even more fans and viewers and expands our programming footprint in a compelling way on an exciting and emerging platform,” Kim Kelleher, president of advertising sales and partnerships for AMC Networks, said in a statement to Variety.

Earlier this week, AMC confirmed that The Walking Dead would end after its 11th season. The series will then spin out into a new project that follows Daryl (Reedus) and Carol (Melissa McBride).

With so many folks still stuck at home amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Disney+ is adding a feature that'll make isolation a little more bearable.

It all began when a screenshot of a "party mode" feature popped up on the streaming service's subreddit, which you can check it out here. The Mouse House confirmed to Engadget that it is testing a "GroupWatch" mode across certain regions throughout the fall. Compared to other streamers that offer similar, capabilities, "the Disney+ offering is far more limited in scope than ones on other services," writes Engadget. For comparison, Amazon's Prime Video allows you to invite up to 100 friends, while Twitch opens the virtual door for tens of thousands of viewers.

Since Disney+ is still less than a year old, however, it's still finding its footing in the marketplace.