Mumbai: The Walt Disney Studios, together with Chinese filmmakers Castle Hero Pictures and Ying Dong Media, has announced creative collaboration on a movie tentatively titled Touch of the Panda.
The film features Giant Pandas bred and nurtured in one of the world’s foremost research and preservation facilities for the endangered species. It has been shot in Sichuan, China, with official supervision from the Wolong Giant Panda Nature Reserve.
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures China helped develop the project during the pre production and filming stages along with Castle Hero Pictures and Ying Dong Media. It will also handle marketing and distribution of the film across the globe.
The film tells the story of a panda cub separated from his mother and eventually rescued by a young orphaned boy. As the boy struggles to protect the cub from people he believes would hurt it, the two form a strong bond. But the boy realizes that the best thing he can ever do for the cub is to help him find the way home.
Child actor Daichi Harashima portrays the boy and the film is helmed by Chinese director Yu Zhong. The announcement was made by Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production executive vice president Jason Reed; The Walt Disney Company Greater China executive vice president and managing director Stanley Cheung; executive producer of the movie and Ying Dong Media chairman Tian Ye; and producers of the film Jean Chalopin and Jennifer Liu.
Reed said, "We’re thrilled to be working with a team of talented filmmakers on this exciting film for Chinese moviegoers of all ages, as well as for audiences around the world. We’re grateful that Jean Chalopin and Jennifer Liu, the writers/producers, brought this project to us, and we’ve enjoyed working closely with them throughout the production to make it a film that will entertain family audiences everywhere."
Cheung added, "This project truly highlights Disney’s continued efforts to generate locally relevant entertainment content for the modern Chinese consumers. We’re excited to have a film that features a significant icon that the Chinese people truly identify with."
According to Tian, "Having Disney on board clearly gives us the advantage of having one of the most trusted and successful global brand names in family entertainment that will be crucial in ensuring that this labour of love reaches as many audiences as possible."