At the government level, animation is generally regarded as a growth industry, initially approached like any other domestic manufacturing endeavor, but now viewed as a means of extending China’s soft power internationally,” says Kevin Geiger, a former Disney CG supervisor and co-founder of Beijing-based Magic Dumpling and who has advised the Chinese government on its toon policy. “At the investor level, there is a ‘gold rush’ mentality towards animation.”
Magic Dumpling is working on “Dr. Sun,” an animated feature about historical icon Sun Yat-sen, that’s a Taiwan-China co-production. The company is also developing the “Tofu Boy” transmedia franchise, centered on a feature-length toon that is part Pinocchio and part SpongeBob…
Tag Archives: Variety
As reported by Clifford Coonan in Variety…
HONG KONG — China’s growing economic might is attracting a lot of interest from Hollywood and the rise of the country is one of the top themes at Filmart, the annual Hong Kong Intl. Film and TV Market.
One exec who has been fielding questions is producer Kevin Geiger, a former CG supervisor at Walt Disney and co-founder of Magic Dumpling, a Beijing-based animation company.
“In the last few years the fact that we work in China has made us a subject of interest. People want to talk further,” he said.
With B.O. gross passing $2 billion for the first time last year and forecast to top $5 billion by 2015, China will soon become the world’s second largest movie market.
“Hollywood needs to tell the same story in new and unusual ways and right now China is hot, it’s interesting and most people in the West don’t know very much about it,” Glenn Berger, DreamWorks Animation producer and scribe of the “Kung Fu Panda” movies, told a Filmart panel on Tuesday.
Producer Tracey Trench said, “I know studio executives and even chairmen of studios who’ve never been to China, who are now saying: I need to go, I need to meet people.”
Some of the biggest names in Hollywood have a significant presence in China, including the big studios and prominent indies including Legendary, Relativity and Village Roadshow.
Asia is also attractive because of its low costs.
“You already know (filming) is costing you a ton of money, so you try to figure out every way possible to hedge that financial risk,” Trench said.
The four-day Filmart event at the Hong Kong convention center closes Thursday.
As reported in Variety, Magic Dumpling Entertainment has attached “Legend of a Rabbit” helmer Sun Lijun to direct the animated 3D film “Tofu Boy”, a Chinese-themed spin on the Pinocchio tale set in modern-day Shanghai.
Magic Dumpling is developing the project from a screenplay by writers Yi Yan & Wen Feng with producer Kevin Geiger, formerly of the Walt Disney Company.
“Tofu Boy” is planned for a holiday 2013 release.
As reported by Clifford Coonan in Variety:
Mainland Chinese shingle Tianjin North Film Studio has signed a landmark deal with Cartoon Network for the TV rights to the stereoscopic 3D chopsocky toon “Legend of a Rabbit” for Australia, New Zealand, India and Taiwan.
The $12-million “Rabbit” is scheduled to have a day-and-date release in all major Asian markets in late July and will air on Cartoon Network six to eight months after its theatrical release.
“I believe this is the first time that Cartoon Network has acquired a Chinese animated film and it’s the perfect platform for our film,” said Elliot Tong, Tianjin’s head of international distribution.
Animation is experiencing renewed vigor in China, with toons such as “Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf” and “McDull” doing boffo B.O.
Pic is helmed by Sun Lijun, head of the animation school at Beijing Film Academy, which co-produced along with Beijing Century Butterfly.
“We hope having ‘Legend of a Rabbit’ on Cartoon Network will be a springboard for the life of ‘Rabbit’ on TV,” Tong said.
Magic Dumpling Entertainment President & CEO Kevin Geiger treated German audiences to a teaser of “Legend of a Rabbit” in his “China’s Next 90 Minutes” talk in the “Focus on Chinese Animation” program of the FMX 2011 conference.