China-New Zealand Animation ‘Beast’ Set to Shoot

Beast of Burden China New Zealand

Production gets under way this month on “Beast of Burden,” the first China-New Zealand co-production of an animated feature. William Morris Endeavor and Canada’s Strategem Entertainment are set to handle international sales.

The film is written and directed by Kirby Atkins (Nickelodeon’s “The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron”). The story sees a species of now-extinct creatures called Thoriphants rebel against their life of servitude to mankind and embark on a treacherous journey.

“Burden” is a production involving China Film Animation, part of state-owned China Film Group, and New Zealand’s Huhu Studios. Financial backing comes from Qi Tai Culture Development Group, a company that spans film investment, production and marketing.

The film’s producers are Trevor Yaxley, CEO of Huhu Studios, and Jun Huang of China Film Animation. Executive production credits go to Michael Cerenzie of Stratagem and Kenin Spivak of SMI Entertainment.

WME is to secure U.S. distribution, while Strategem handles rights in the rest of the world. “Beast” is scheduled to be released in theaters in 2016.

Auckland-based Huhu is a group of creative and training centers specializing in 2D and 3D animation formats. It has additional studios in Taipei and Beijing that have six years of experience working with Chinese clients on animated movies, TV series, television commercials and theme park designs.

The film was given its official start at a ceremony during the Beijing International Film Festival (April 16-23). Attending were Yaxley, CFG chairman La Peikang, the New Zealand ambassador to China John McKinnon, and New Zealand Film Commission head Dave Gibson.

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  1. Ingrid says:

    Looking forward to watching this one! I love when kids are positively inspired by film.

  2. Beast of Burden is really Animation 2.0, the next generation as animation grows and matures. I have seen the trailer, and the story is both fascinating and mature. Of course, kids will love it, but it is a “real” movie for real audiences. Not goofy and gimmicky, but highly entertaining, and, if you will, even thought provoking. And I would be delighted to take my daughter to a movie that will provoke positive thought rather than simply dazzle her for a couple of hours.

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    a nawet wody bieżącej.

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