Locomotion (TV channel)

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Locomotion
Locomotion logo.png
Launched 1 November 1996 (1996-11-01)
Closed 31 July 2005 (2005-07-31)
Owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment Latin America
Language Spanish and Portuguese
Broadcast area Latin America; until 2003: Spain and Portugal
Headquarters Buenos Aires, Argentina
Replaced by Animax

Locomotion was a TV channel that aired in Latin America from November 1, 1996[1] until July 31, 2005. The network, whose corporate offices were based in Miami, Florida (though the network was not available in the United States aside from a few cable systems in southern Florida) was a joint venture between the US-based Hearst Corporation[2] (50%) and Claxson Interactive Group, Inc. (a subsidiary of the Venezuelan-based Cisneros Group) (50%).[3] In May 2002, Cisneros Group sold its shares in the network to Canadian-based Corus Entertainment and in mid-2004, the channel was brought by PRAMER (a subsidiary of Liberty Media). Following its acquisition by PRAMER, the channel transmitted from its headquarters in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It was also broadcast in Portugal through Cabovisão and TVCabo (now ZON Multimédia) and Spain (by defunct satellite TV operator Vía Digital) until 2003 due to financial reasons.

Initially, Locomotion was a children's channel dedicated to classic animation for all ages, but in 1997, the channel became a youth-oriented channel, airing titles from King Features (which was Hearst's animation division) like Phantom 2040, Popeye, and The Legend of Prince Valiant, and shows like Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light, G.I. Joe, He-Man, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Galaxy Rangers, Felix the Cat, Lupin III. However, the channel did not want to face competition against the already-established Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network, so the channel began removing the children's animation in favor for alternative animation, adult series, and anime by 1998, and by 2000, they began airing more alternative and adult-oriented animation from the US, the United Kingdom, and Latin America, as well as anime series.[4][5] As the network grew, most of their programming consisted of Japanese animation titles from the likes of ADV Films, Bandai Entertainment, & Geneon and others as well as adult shows like South Park, The Critic, Crapston Villas and Duckman.

Locomotion was also dedicated to showing works of experimental animation from all over the world throughout the day on-air and online. They aired experimental programming featuring video jockeys, artists who worked with video as a medium. Some fans of the programming, particularly fans of anime, felt that these interstitials were unnecessary and pointless to the programming; however, many other fans of the channel itself appreciated the style the channel brought upon airing.

"Lokito"[edit]

One of Locomotion's VJ projects was a computer-rendered character known as "Lokito", produced by Modern Cartoons. The character, which mostly appeared during commercial breaks, made humorous comments, and did nonsensical things entertaining the viewers. The mascot disappeared as the channel changed its image.

A final, yet brief reference of "Lokito" when Animax replaced Locomotion, which is the part where the special agents sent to save Locomotion, they received a call from "Lokito" before he gets killed.

TV Blocks[edit]

The Programming of this channel was divided in thematic blocks which are:

  • 80s TV: A space dedicated to all cartoons that were a hit in the decade.
  • Anime Loving: As its name says, a space dedicated to anime lovers.
  • Japanimotion: A space dedicated to the better of Japanese animation
  • Animafilms: A space dedicated to the better of International animation
  • Fracto: A space dedicated to experimental animation and techno music.
  • Series: Eccentric series like South Park, Robin, Cuttlas and more.
  • Corto Locomotion: Short Films between each space of TV programs.
  • Love Vision: Short Films of animation and experimental music broadcast between TV programs.
  • Replay: The best of the week.
  • Kapsula: Space dedicated to the best directors of experimental animation and where the people can send their works.

Acquisition, Shutdown and Aftermath[edit]

Locomotion was bought by Sony Pictures Entertainment Latin America on January 2005 from Liberty Media.[6] During the time since the bought of the network and until the shutdown, they start to drop the non-anime shows from their programming and focus on anime shows. The network officially ceased to exist at 11:00 a.m. of July 31 of the same year (however, the broadcast of Locomotion stops on the night of July 30 and was replaced by a countdown clock). From then on, the network has been transformed into the Latin American branch of Animax. Of all the programming broadcast previously in Locomotion, only Saber Marionette J, Saber Marionette J to X, Soul Hunter/Senkai-den Hōshin Engi, Serial Experiments Lain, The Candidate for Goddess and Earth Girl Arjuna were picked and broadcast by Animax on their early programming. As of February 2006, all those series were off the air. Neon Genesis Evangelion, which has aired on Locomotion, has also aired on Animax Latin America, although 3 years after Locomotion's shutdown.

The non-anime shows produced by MTV Networks and broadcast on Locomotion (like South Park, The Ren and Stimpy Show and Æon Flux) were picked and shown on a weekend animation block by MTV Latin America, but in November 2006, this block was replaced with Animatosis (a Sic 'Em Friday-alike block) and all the shows (with the exception of South Park) were cancelled, and South Park continues to air as of present day, and recently now airs on a localized version of its home network. Bob and Margaret is shown (as of January 2006) in the now-defunct Latin American version of Adult Swim. The Critic broadcast in the Latin American version of HBO Family. Other shows, like Duckman hasn't been show again on Latin America since the Locomotion shutdown.

List of Anime titles aired by Locomotion[edit]

List of Anime movies and OAV's aired by Locomotion[edit]

List of non-anime shows aired by Locomotion[edit]

The titles above belong mainly to British and American companies, most of them come from MTV Networks channels (like MTV and Comedy Central) and Channel 4 from Great Britain.

Locomotion also had an hour block called "Locotomia" where international experimental animations where aired.

The Wallace and Gromit movies and Flatworld where also aired along with other British animated short films.

List of titles Locomotion picked up the rights to air, but couldn't broadcast because of its closure[edit]

List of titles Locomotion was intending to broadcast[edit]

The * indicates that these titles eventually aired on Animax Latin America

About Locomotion's VJ and design projects[edit]

Locomotion was not only about adult animation and anime. On the last years of being on air, Locomotion seemed to be interest also in Graphic Design and techno music (House and Lounge or Chill-Out).

Thanks to Locomotion, groups like Boeing and Miranda! began their career, today being recognized by MTV.

Locomotion had a 30 min. block, called Fracto, where they featured music and design experiments that could be considered as experimental animation.

Logo history[edit]

Locomotion's first logo resembled a red head with a "LOCO" on its face (the "O"s being in where the eyes are, the "L" being in where the left ear is, and the "C" being in where the nose is) and a "Motion" in its mouth. This was used since the launch of the channel and was phased out in 1999 as the channel began shifting towards alternative and adult animation series, such as South Park, as well as anime series.

Locomotion's second logo retained the head from the previous logo, although colored white and inside a gray circle and lacking the details the previous logo had. The "Locomotion" was shown left of the "circle" in an Italicized font. This was used from 1999 to May 2002.

Locomotion's third logo was the same as the previous logo, but the "circle" now colored (most of the time red and blue) as opposed to gray and the logo was updated. This logo was used since Claxson's sale of their stake in the channel to Corus Entertainment, all the way until the closure of the channel.

A variation of the third logo had the words "Anime Station" below the "Locomotion" of the logo since the channel ceased to broadcast in Spain and Portugal. It was used from 2003 until the closure of the channel in 2005.

About Animax Latin America[edit]

Main article: Animax

Being Sony's first attempt to offer a 24-hour anime channel in Latin America, it was planned to broadcast the series in two formats. The series containing 25 episodes or more (the majority, not all of them), would be aired at weekdays, whereas the series with a less last than 25 episodes would be shown at certain days of the week, much like it's done in Japan. In total, it is usual to find in one day a premiere episode of a series and as minimal 2 encores. Also, at the end of every series, the channel airs a section called Animedia, which shows video clips of Japanese artists' songs, extra information about anime and other themes, summaries of events dedicated to anime and presentations about future series for the channel. As of January 2007, they air a segment called Animax Nius (Nius = News), a teaser that features news related to anime and other topics.

Feeds[edit]

Animax Latin America operates with two feeds: One in Venezuela, which is projected toward Spanish-speaking countries, and one in Brazil, which features its programming with Portuguese dubs for Brazilian audiences. These feeds are currently the only ones in the entire Americas.

Programming[edit]

The netwotk's initial lineup featured some series that were broadcast previously on Locomotion, including Earth Girl Arjuna, the entire Saber Marionette series, Soul Hunter and Serial Experiments Lain; since then, newer anime series were premiered on the channel, including Gantz, Noir, Twin Spica, Mythical Sleuth Loki, Samurai 7, Hungry Heart: Wild Striker, The Prince of Tennis, Hunter × Hunter, Vandread, Burst Angel, Saikano, Excel Saga and others. About Excel Saga, although its final episode was never aired in Japan due to content reasons, Animax did air it (unedited) across its two Latin American feeds. Since May 2008, along with a renewal of the channel's image (previously announced back in 2007), new anime series (Hell Girl, Bleach (manga), Neon Genesis Evangelion) were premiered, as well as western fims from Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Translation and dubbing teams[edit]

Several dubbing studios have participated in the translation of the aforementioned series for their premiere on Animax, and are located in key countries like Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela. After Animax's arrival in 2005, numerous series have been translated and dubbed into Spanish and Portuguese languages, including Blood+, The Twelve Kingdoms, Steel Angel Kurumi, Noir, Wolf's Rain, Martian Successor Nadesico, Galaxy Angel and others.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

  • WebArchive.org (old versions from WebArchive.org)
  • [1] (article from argentinian newspaper Pagina12, in Spanish)