Friday, June 03, 2011

Panda Envy

The Middle Kingdom casts longing eyes toward:

... Kung Fu Panda 2. It's been grabbing all the headlines in China this week, dominating the box office while stirring up a little bit on controversy at the same time.

And almost lost in all the hype has been an announcement - most likely a direct result of the figures that Panda 2 and its ilk have been recording - that China itself is about to get serious about its own cartoons.

Paramount-DreamWorks Animation's latest animated blockbuster scooped more than 120 million yuan (12.8 million euros) over its opening, two-day weekend in China - a mark the studio claims is a record for an international release there. ...

Kevin Geiger, now an animation executive in Beijing, explained to me that China is developing "animation bases" around the country, in the same way they develop manufacturing centers in different cities. As Kevin explained that the Chinese treat animation the way they do electronics: Build a center, install computers and projection equipment, and they will come.

Mr. Geiger said that entrepreneurs like Mao Xue Bing, CEO of Huayu Brothers Animation Group, understand that it's not enough to have hardware, software and technicians, there must also be content.

Otherwise you end up with this:

And most of China's "animation bases" are soon turned into steel and game board factories.


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