Enlight Media builds Chinese animation powerhouse

Enlight Media announced in Beijing on Sunday that it will form an animation group named Coloroom Pictures and that it has invested in 13 animation studios across China, including the one which produced the highest grossing Chinese animated film "Monkey King: Hero is Back."

"Now we have a new dream, the Chinese Animation Dream," said Wang Changtian, President of Enlight Media, with great enthusiasm, "I hope in the next three years, Coloroom Pictures can take over half the Chinese animation market."

He also added, "If Chinese animators have dreams of building their own Pixar, my dream is to own an empire that consists of your Pixar type studios, " referring to Disney's Pixar Animation Studios, which represents the highest production standards in the animation world.

Coloroom Pictures will provide a big "shelter" for Chinese animators and will be "base camp" for Chinese animation, he said.

Enlight Media, one of China's biggest entertainment giants, actually started to deploy its funds and strategies as early as two years ago. Yi Qiao, general manager of the newly founded Coloroom Pictures, said his two major tasks during the past two years were "finding the best animation directors in China" and "producing Chinese films with the wildest imagination."

During the press conference, the two announced they have invested in 13 animation studios and will produce 22 animation projects, including films, TV series, and Internet cartoons.

The most outstanding projects are director Tian Xiaopeng's future works. Tian has made a miracle by making "Monkey King: Hero is Back," which became the highest grossing animated film in Chinese history with earnings of 956 million yuan (US$150 million) at China's box offices. Enlight Media was once one of the financial backers of "Monkey King," but eventually stopped funding the project. However, when the company saw the animation become such a hit, Enlight Media came back to take a hold of Tian.

Tian announced he would make two projects, one called, "Monkey King: Havoc in Heaven" and the other is "Deep Ocean." He said the new "Monkey King" is not the sequel of "Hero is Back," but his brand new interpretation of the first chapters from the Chinese classic "Journey to the West." As for the sci-fi mystery animated film "Deep Ocean," that is the one he has had in mind for years and wanted to do all his life.

"As I have made a fortune from 'Hero is Back,' now I can make my wildest dreams come true as I'm free of financial shortages," he laughed. However, he noted his new efforts will meet the public at least two or three years from now.

In addition to Tian's projects, Enlight Media will also distribute the long-awaited and most-anticipated animated film "Big Fish & Chinese Flowering Crabapple" in 2016. Other projects include "Jiang Ziya," "Phoenix," "The Legend of Jade Sword," "The Legend of Qin 2," "Charlie IX & DoDoMo," "Kung Food," "Star Guardians," and "Dragon Nest: Throne of Elves" as well as an Internet cartoon series adapted from the Japanese manga "Black Jack" by Osamu Tezuka.

Enlight Media also announced 18 video games, including 8 game adaptations from foreign cartoons and 10 based on Chinese animated creations.