Media giant gives new lease of life to animation films

By Xu Fan ( China Daily ) Updated: 2015-11-05 08:02:32

Media giant gives new lease of life to animation films

Enlight Media plans to invest in 22 animated films including The Monkey King Havoc in Heaven and Deep Sea.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Among the 22 films, Hero Is Back director Tian Xiaopeng's two new projects, The Monkey King Havoc in Heaven and Deep Sea (Shen Hai ), were highlighted.

Since Hero Is Back received critical acclaim and huge commercial success, Tian, 40, has reportedly become a favorite of the big investors.

Tian says that despite its title, The Monkey King Havoc in Heaven has no connection with Hero Is Back.

"Monkey King is at his peak when he challenges heaven's authority, which makes it the most attractive part of the original novel (the ancient classic Journey to the West)," says Tian, adding that the upcoming film will rework the tale with modern values.

Deep Sea, which is said to be a sci-fi adventure, is an idea that Tian has had for decades.

Tian uses the online persona "a stranger in the deep sea" on Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter.

For fans of animation, another treat they can expect is the fantasy epic Big Fish & the Chinese Flowering Crabapple. The trailers are stunning.

Inspired by Taoist classic Chuang-Tzu, the tale portrays humans as big fish swimming across an ocean to experience life.

Meanwhile, Enlight Media's other projects include The Legend of the Jade Sword and Charlie IX & DoDoMo-both adapted from namesake best-selling novels.

Popular online games Dragon Nest and Fantasy of Journey to the West are also being adapted into movies.

Xia Ni, founder and chief executive officer of Beijing-based Aniany Group, says: "Golden days are ahead for China's animation industry. The rise of animated films will also give a boost to the cartoon industry."

The group has signed a 10-year contract with International Cartoon Club to take Chinese animated works abroad.

"But though the market is booming, a lack of good content may stall the development of the industry," she says.

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