Interview: Disney actively helping Chinese animation industry grow

Source: Xinhua| 2018-12-21 02:34:44|Editor: Yamei
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LOS ANGELES, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- Disney is playing an active role in helping the Chinese animation industry grow, top Disney executives have said, adding that the Hollywood giant is happy to share its secrets to success.

"For the past several decades, the Walt Disney Company in China has been actively supporting the development of the local creative service industry through nurturing creative local talent, exploring great Chinese stories and sharing our learnings and best practices in building a vibrant local creative ecosystem," said Dai Hua, general manager of Local Original Content at the Walt Disney Company (China) Limited, in an interview with Xinhua by email Wednesday.

"Our foundations were created in animation and we are extremely aware of the role Disney can play to share over 90 years of animation expertise with China's local animation industry," he said.

"Supported by China's National Radio and Television Administration, Disney Animators Exchange Program has run for three consecutive years since 2015. We are also working to share our best practice from Disney TV Animation Group to support the animation industry and elevate the quality of Chinese local TV Animation," said Dai.

Disney brought 20 of China's leading animators, animation company executives, writers and government officials to western U.S. state of California for a three-week training in August to learn from the very best: Disney channel's top studio executives, finest animators, directors and producers.

As part of the training program, Disney also allowed them access to an active production to get a first-hand understanding of the complex production process.

"The value Disney promotes applies to everyone and is in line with Chinese values. It's an honor and privilege to have the opportunity to share our expertise with a group of aspiring, enthusiastic and talented Chinese animation professionals," Dai added.

Disney has taken in a whopping 7 billion U.S. dollars worldwide in 2018, including more than 4 billion dollars from international box office.

As one of the most successful Hollywood studios in China, Disney has made films that appeal to Chinese audience. According to Box office Mojo, Disney's superhero film "Avengers: Infinity War" earned more than 359 million dollars in China, becoming the top grossing foreign film released in China this year by far.

"Our stories and moments resonate with every member of the family, throughout each stage of their lives. Optimism, family, friendship, fun, hope, love..." said John Hsu, general manager of Studio at the Walt Disney Company (China) Limited.

"Last year we announced that Chinese actress Liu Yifei would be cast as Disney's Mulan in the upcoming live-action remake of Disney's 1998 classic animation. Based on the Chinese folk tale, Mulan tells a story that resonates with everyone here in China. It's a great honor for us to have Liu to play the legendary warrior," Hsu said.

Hua Mulan, according to Chinese legend, lived in a tumultuous era of Chinese history more than 1,400 years ago. She disguised herself as a man so that she could serve in the army in place of her aged father.

Liu is the first Chinese actress to be cast as a Disney Princess, after a year of searching from nearly 1,000 candidates.

"Disney stories and content grow with generations by bringing countless touching moments, joys and unforgettable memories," Hsu said. "This year marks the 20th anniversary of Mulan and I'm so excited as the Chinese audiences will see the live action epic on the big screen in 2020."