After years in hiatus, Thailand’s animation company Shellhut, which was behind the success of the TV animation series “Shelldon” announced yesterday at Mipcom 2017 in Cannes, France, that it had entered into a joint venture with Singapore’s Tiny Island Productions.
The signing ceremony was being held at the Mipcom along with the signing of an agreement for 10-feature film co-production with Wings Media, a member of the Oriental Pearl Group and a wholly owned subsidiary of China’s second-largest media group, Shanghai Media Group.
Valued at an estimated US$$250 million, this will be the biggest animation film cooperation in Asia, and the first ever China-Singapore-Thailand animation co-production.
The first film produced by the joint venture will integrate Wings Media’s sci-fi centric hit reality TV series “Starship MZ:2049” with Tiny Island Productions’ award-winning animated series, “Dream Defenders”.
It is expected to be completed for release in 2020, with a new film based on a new IP to be rolled out each following year. The long-term goal will be to build China’s own version of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that will entertain audiences worldwide.
Shellhut Entertainment and Tiny Island Productions had previously partnered to produce Shellhut Entertainment’s hit animated TV series project “Shelldon”. This venture is part of the Shellhut Entertainment’s Strategy to expand its media footprint in Asia, and IPs from these films will be used to build theme parks in Thailand.
“We are dedicated to searching the globe for the best film and television content,” said Dr. Jwanwat Ahriyavraromp, CEO of Shellhut Entertainment. “We are confident that this partnership will introduce the world’s audience to the new, exciting and unique flavours of Asia.”
An international team of animation veterans will be assembled to lead the development and production of the films, led by director Paul Chung who has worked for feature film studios like Dreamworks, Walt Disney, Warner Brothers and MGM, on films such as “Shrek”, “Madagascar”, “Megamind” and “Jungle Book”.
“Paul has many years of experience working in the US and UK, and has been working in China recently,” said David Kwok, CEO of Tiny Island Productions. “Our goal is to create appealing characters and stories that will touch the heart of audiences in the East and West. Shellhut and Tiny Island Pictures’ next step will be to talk with American and European partners, and we will have more exciting announcements coming soon. Through the creation of new IPs, the company plans to expand its operations towards developing licensing and merchandising products.”
“This collaboration will bring together Science Fiction from China and the rest of the world,” said Shelan He,Vice President of Oriental Pearl Group,President of Shanghai WingsMedia “I believe the co-produced films will showcase the best of China’s culture, as well as expose China’s audiences to the multi-cultural characteristics of Singapore and Thailand.”
Wings Media views Shellhut and Tiny Island Pictures as important long-term partners, and will use this partnership to lay the foundation for more extensive collaborations in the future to create more quality content for international markets.