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Walt Disney Studios to produce movies for Chinese market

FrozenShanghai Media Group Pictures (SMG) and Walt Disney Studios will collaborate on the development of Disney-branded films with Chinese elements for China and related markets.

The cross-cultural exchange will expand training opportunities between Chinese and American writers and filmmakers.

US-based action, adventure and fantasy writers will team with Chinese writers and filmmakers to develop stories and scripts that carry the distinct Disney look and feel but feature authentic Chinese elements which Disney says will make the work “fit for local co-production and aimed at the international market”.

China's film market, which currently is considered to be the world’s second largest, is still growing and box office takings are expected to reach $4.6bn (€3.3bn) this year.

In a statement, Su Xiao, CEO at SMG Pictures said: "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. 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."

Alan Bergman, president at The Walt Disney Studios said the move would offer “an exciting chapter of new stories for the next generation of global Disney fans”.

Since 2012 Disney has been one of the founding partners of a National Chinese Animation Creative Research and Development Project. Now in its third year, the initiative aims to advance China's animation industry by training local talent and promoting the development of Chinese content and franchises.

The new co-development programme will be overseen by Tony To, Disney’s executive vice-president of production.

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