Cartoon characters to get Internet portal

Warner Bros. to launch T-Works portal for Looney Tunes, Hanna-Barbera cartoon characters

Warner Bros. Entertainment, a unit of Time Warner, will launch a new, interactive Internet portal for Bugs Bunny and his friends.

Dubbed T-Works, or Toon Works, the site will make characters from all Warner Bros. units, including Looney Tunes, Hanna-Barbera and DC Comics, accessible to young and old alike, according to a statement. It's the first time all the key characters from Warner Bros., like Bugs, Daffy Duck, the Flintstones, Scooby-Doo, Speedy Gonzales, the fastest mouse in all Mexico, and even Batman, will be together on single site, the company said.

Free to consumers, the ad-supported site will allow users to watch classic cartoons as well as original animation created just for the site. They will also be able to create avatars, or online identities, based on their favorite cartoon characters and use them to explore virtual worlds. Users can customize their avatars either on the T-Works site or on other social networking Web sites such as MySpace.com and Facebook, and they can also play online games based on their animated characters, according to the statement.

"T-Works fits perfectly with our overall digital strategy of creating original content online, as well as developing compelling consumer destinations," said Bruce Rosenblum, president of Warner Bros. Television Group, in the statement. "T-Works will not only provide a great collaborative opportunity for projects that bridge a number of divisions at the company, but it will also be an invaluable resource in developing and incubating properties that may transcend their online roots and live in other media."

T-Works will also includes a video mashup maker that lets users create and share their own cartoon remixes; a reward system that allows users to earn points for participating in activities within the virtual worlds and throughout the site -- users can redeem the points for online or off-line rewards; and a place where children and their parents can engage in age-appropriate activities, according to the statement. The site will also include security features such as monitors, filters, and parental notification and controls.

The site will launch in the coming months.

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Linda Rosencrance

Computerworld
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