DreamWorks Animation Gives 'Turbo' Boost Macau

Cartoon studio opens Experience in China's casino capital

New DreamWorks Animation feature “Turbo” will have its Asian regional premiere in Macau on July 13, a few days ahead of its North American commercial release on July 17.

The picture will be screened at a special event at the Venetian Theater, within the giant Venetian Macao casino resort complex, as part of the ongoing launch of The DreamWorks Experience at Cotai Strip Resorts.

Opening on July 1, The DreamWorks Experience is a family-oriented attraction featuring characters from the DWA movie stable.

The Experience is a joint venture between DWA and Hong Kong stock market-listed casino operator Sands China. It will include daily parades and meet-and-greets with characters, including Po from “Kung Fu Panda”; Shrek, Fiona and Puss in Boots from “Shrek”; Alex the lion, King Julien and the penguins from “Madagascar”; and Toothless and Hiccup from “How to Train Your Dragon.” From the fourth quarter of 2013, a sound and light show and a DreamWorks-themed Ice Parade will also be added.

The opening is significant for DWA as it tries to establish itself as a consumer brand in the fast growing Asian region.

For Macau, a Chinese Special Administrative Region off the southern Guangdong coast, the opening is a further development of its entertainment offering that dilutes its heavy dependence on casino gambling.

Among Hollywood players, DWA is one of the most embedded in China. The company is involved as a 45% owner of Oriental DreamWorks, a new animation production facility to be built in Shanghai at a cost of some $330 million. The other investors include Shanghai Media Group, investment fund China Media Capital (CMC) and Shanghai Alliance Investment Limited (SAIL).

Oriental DreamWorks has announced that one of its first in-house production projects will be “The Tibet Code,” an Indiana Jones-type adventure story based on a recent series of novels by Chinese writer He Ma, set in the 9th century. Roughly one third of the production of “Kung Fu Panda 3,” the latest installment in DWA’s Chinese-themed “Kung Fu Panda” franchise, is expected to be conducted in China, it was revealed last month by Oriental DreamWorks board director Peter Li. The film is expected to be released in December 2015.

3-D cartoon “Turbo” revolves around a garden snail that gains super speed and races in the Indy 500.

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