The upcoming mega-budget live-action monster movie VAN HELSING will be supported by an animated prequel released direct-to-DVD: VAN HELSING: THE LONDON ASSIGNMENT. Universal Pictures is also releasing another animated DVD in May – THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK: DARK FURY – which bridges the gap between the live-action film PITCH BLACK and its sequel THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK which will be released theatrically in summer ’04. I mention these two animated works to point out the larger trend of animated films being created to specifically promote and support the stories of live-action films. Other recent examples include the ANIMATRIX and the forthcoming prequel to Quentin Tarantino’s KILL BILL series. I expect we’ll be seeing quite a few more of these projects over the next couple years, although it remains to be seen whether it’s a legitimate new outlet for animation or simply a temporary fad among “hip” live-action directors like Tarantino and the Wachowski brothers.