The feature-length feature film based on Peppa Pig's popular animated series, "Peppa celebrates Chinese New Year," will hit theaters around the world, Alibaba Pictures announced Thursday.
The film will debut in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao and the United Kingdom on February 5, in Singapore on February 7 and in Canada on February 9.
In collaboration with STX Films, the official distributor of the film in the USA. US, Alibaba Pictures will launch the live animation hybrid with English subtitles at selected theaters in 32 cities, including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington DC, Chicago, Philadelphia, Pittsburg, Miami, Houston, Dallas and Detroit.
"Through our collaboration with eOne, we have created a beautiful story of Peppa Pig immersed in the tradition and culture of the Chinese New Year," said Wei Zhang, president of Alibaba Pictures.
"We hope not only the release of the film in China, but we are proud to take this story to the global market so that audiences around the world can participate in the celebration of the Chinese New Year," he said.
The cast of the next film, a combination of animation and live action content.
The co-production between Alibaba Pictures and the Canadian media group Entertainment One was made with the Chinese audience in mind, and was released just in time to start the "Year of the Pig" in China. The companies wanted to attract young families to the theater as a way to celebrate the national holiday.
The film tells the story of three generations of a family that gathers to celebrate the new year, while incorporating many traditional customs in history, from the wallpaper and the dragon dance to the exchange of "red packages" and decoration traditional. And new characters will be introduced, such as the "Panda twins", which will be presented in the exclusive limited-edition merchandise of Alifish, Alibaba's cross-platform licensing business unit. The company is also using Taopiaopiao, its online movie ticketing platform, to help boost ticket sales.
A poster of the movie Peppa Pig with traditional Chinese paper cutting art.
& # 39; Peppa & # 39; Trailer illuminates Chinese social networks
The movie's five-minute promotional trailer, titled "What's Peppa?" Quickly went viral after it was released on Chinese social networks on January 17. The video accumulated more than 300 million views on various broadcast platforms, while the Mandarin hashtag #WhatIsPeppa drew 1,600 million readings on the Weibo microblog site.
Given the total creative control over the trailer, director Zhang Dapeng took an unconventional route. Located in a rural village in China, it follows the comical and encouraging journey of a sheep farmer to discover what Peppa is after her grandson who lives in the city requests it as a New Year's gift. It's only at the end of the five-minute short that the whole family goes to see the movie.
"Taking tactics that work in the United States and simply translating them is going to be insufficient in this new world," said Connie Chan, a partner at the venture company Andreessen Horowitz in a Twitter thread. "This Peppa trailer reflects a deep and deep understanding of Chinese culture: family duty, generational love, rural cities, the community, the Chinese New Year."
"Touching the heart through a deep cultural connection is the most powerful type of localization and marketing," said Chan's publication.
OFFICIAL TRAILER: "What is Peppa?"
The Alibaba ecosystem in action
"Peppa celebrates the Chinese New Year" is the first film that comes out of the new initiative of Alibaba Picture, aimed at co-producing 20 blockbusters in the next five years. It will also be the first film in which he participated closely throughout the production cycle, from investment to commercialization and distribution.
In the run-up to the launch, Alibaba Pictures took advantage of several business units within the Alibaba ecosystem to promote the film. Alibaba Pictures broadened the scope of the film by co-branded with merchants in the e-commerce markets Taobao and Tmall, such as the American ice cream chain Dairy Queen and the British publisher Penguin Books, in addition to posting full-screen ads on Taobao, Ele .me, Koubei, Freshippo, Damai, UC Web, Alibaba Cloud applications.
Alibaba Pictures took advantage of Alibaba's ecosystem resources to promote the film.
The caricature of "Peppa Pig" has exploded in popularity since it was first aired in China in 2015, attracting billions of visits to China's main transmission sites. Since then, Peppa has generated a large number of commercial franchises, which include toys, books, clothing, feature films and theme parks, while increasing eOne's revenue in the Chinese market.
In December of last year, Tmall and eOne signed a retail badociation to promote Peppa Pig in a 24-hour Super Brand campaign on January 8, in addition to developing new merchandise based on the cartoon icon.
"Tmall is not only a shopping platform, but more importantly, it is one of the main platforms that help brands to expand their influence," said Mike Hu, president of Tmall Fast-Moving Consumer Goods, when the announcement was made. badociation.
"Through our partnership, we can allow even more consumers to learn more about Peppa Pig and fall in love with the character," he said.