The recently launched Toonz Feature Film and China’s Golden Valley Films have struck a co-production and co-financing deal for six animated pictures over the course of the next three years.
The companies will also jointly oversee the sale and distribution of the titles, kicking off at the upcoming Cannes Market where executives of both companies will work side-by-side out of the same offices.
More from Deadline
The titles include Pierre The Pigeon-Hawk, led by songwriter and rapper will.i.am as the titular protagonist in the voice cast with other members including Jennifer Coolidge, Luis Guzmán, Jennifer Hudson, Snoop Dogg, Whoopi Goldberg and Howie Mandel.
The film, which is due for delivery in 2024, was previously announced as being sold internationally by The Highland Group but the company is no longer involved in the project. CAA Media Finance is handling domestic sales.
The slate also features Toonz and Gold Valley China’s previously announced co-production Little Emma.
Currently in post-production, the film is directed by Leo (Lewis) Liao (Ella and the Little Sorcerer, Mulan: Princess Warrior) and written by Alyce Tzue (Soar, Steps). Natalie Grace (T-Rex Ranch) is the voice of Emma, a miniature human girl adopted by animal parents who yearns to find the truth about her human roots.
Separately, other upcoming Toonz Media Group projects include Oscar Wilde animated adaptation The Canterville Ghost, which the company is co-producing with Robert Chandler’s Space Age Films (The Amazing Maurice) and Los Angeles-based Align Pictures US Inc.
The feature, which will be distributed globally by the American film distributors Cinema Management Group (CMG), will be previewed in a special sneak peek event at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival in June.
The other projects will be announced shortly.
“This is a terrific match between two prolific animation studios. The joined expertise and resources will result in an ideal flow of films, in terms of quality and volume for our distribution arm,” said Toonz Feature Film President Ariel Veneziano.
His new division was launched by India-based Toonz Media Group in February to focus on the production and distribution of in-house and third-party projects.
Gold Valley Films was established in 2013 by Roger (Qing) Chen and Adam (Hao Qiang) Qiu. It has produced eight independent animated features to date, including Ella and the Little Sorcerer, Mulan: Princess Warrior, Cinderella and the Secret Prince, and The Academy of Magic.
“We are excited to launch our new partnership at the 2023 Cannes Market. I strongly believe that both companies, with their international perspectives, complement each other’s strengths, and will be delivering more exciting animated films to a global audience in the future,” said Chen.
Toonz Media Group CEO P Jayakumar said the tie-up was a sign the film division was taking shape.
“We are delighted with the way Toonz Feature Film Division is evolving since its launch in Berlin in 2023. I am glad to see such a wonderful partnership between Toonz and Gold Valley Films and how much progress we have made together in a short period of time,” he said.
Best of Deadline