The Walt Disney Studios and Shanghai Media Group Pictures (SMG Pictures) today announced a multi-year partnership agreement aimed at co-developing Disney-branded movies for US-China co-productions.
Under the deal, US-based action, adventure and fantasy writers will team with locally-based Chinese writers and filmmakers to develop stories and scripts that bear all the hallmarks of Disney films and feature authentic Chinese elements fit for local co-production and aimed at the international market.
"For over 90 years Disney has built a rich legacy of entertaining families with high-quality storytelling and compelling characters," said Mr. Alan Bergman, President, The Walt Disney Studios. "Disney's collaboration with SMG adds an exciting chapter of new stories for the next generation of global Disney fans."
"SMG is proud to work with Disney to create a new era of classic content featuring uniquely Chinese storytelling elements for audiences around the world," said Mr. Su Xiao, Chief Executive Officer, SMG Pictures. "The combination of our media coverage and understanding of the China market and Disney's long-standing success in telling magical stories will surely spark a brand new chemistry that transcends age and borders."
"It's incredibly exciting to expand our relationship with SMG to find unique and rich stories with Chinese elements for studio audiences around the world," Stanley Cheung, Managing Director, The Walt Disney Company, China.
The cross-cultural exchange will expand training opportunities between Chinese and American writers and filmmakers. Previously, in 2012 Disney joined with the Ministry of Culture's China Animation Group to be named founding partner of a National Chinese Animation Creative Research and Development Project. The initiative, now in its third year, aims to advance China's animation industry and train local talent and promote the development of Chinese content and franchises.
Tony To, Executive Vice President, Production, The Walt Disney Studios, will oversee the co-development program.