Monday, February 04, 2019

'Peppa Pig' Lights Up the Globe with Chinese New Year Specials

Peppa is celebrating the Lunar New Year with all of her friends!


The Chinese New Year falls on Tuesday, February 5 this year, and people all over the world will celebrate the start of the Year of the Pig. And if you're making a list of the best pigs of all time, there is one whose pluck and love of muddy puddles makes her rise to the top: Peppa Pig! Which is why it's so exciting that Nickelodeon has announced that, this year, it will debut a brand-new episode of Peppa Pig about Lunar New Year.


It's the Year of the Pig, and Madame Gazelle teaches the children in Peppa's playgroup about Chinese New Year! The group celebrates with lanterns, fireworks and dragon dances, and makes a wonderful dragon costume. Together they enjoy celebrating the traditions of a different culture as they work together to create the decorations. And a new 'The Panda Twins' story, airing in conjunction with the Chinese New Year premiere, introduces two new characters - Peggi and Pandora, the twin daughters of Police Officer Panda.

Official episode description for "Chinese New Year":

"For the Chinese New Year, Madame Gazelle teaches the children about Chinese traditions - sweeping out the old year and the lucky colour red - before getting them to make a dragon costume to parade up the hill to watch the firework display." (S6 Ep 2)

Official episode description for "The Panda Twins":

"PC Panda brings his twin daughters Peggi and Pandora to the playgroup. Peppa discovers that they love puzzles and solving mysteries just like their dad." (S6 Ep 1)


In addition to these timely and festive new stories, Peppa and Suzy Sheep decide to start a Secret Club, where they will go on secret missions together; Madame Gazelle hosts Talent Day in playgroup; and Peppa and her little brother George get to gaze at the shining stars with Mummy and Daddy Pig through a telescope!

Check out a oink-tastic sneak-peek from the all-new episode here on GoodHousekeeping.com! In the super preview, the kids take up musical instruments and decide which adult will lead the dragon dance.

The new episode of Peppa Pig will premiere on Nickelodeon USA on Monday, February 4 at 9:00 a.m. ET/PT. The special will encore on Tuesday, February 5 at 9:00 a.m. ET/PT.

International airdates:

Nick Jr. UK & Ireland: Tuesday 5th February 2019
Channel 5 Milkshake (UK): Tuesday 5th February 2019 at 7:30am
Nickelodeon South East Asia: Tuesday 5th February 2019 at 8:00am (as part of the channels Luna New Year highlights)
CLAN Spain - Tuesday 5th February 2019 at 9:05 and 17:00.
Rai Yoyo Italy - Tuesday 5th February 2019 at 13:55, 16;40 & 18:00.


This isn't Peppa Pig's only experience with the Chinese New Year. She'll also be starring in a feature-length movie about the holiday that will be released in China on February 5, co-produced Entertainment One (eOne) and China’s Alibaba Pictures. This makes sense, because Peppa has a huge fan base in China, and, well, it is the Year of the Pig. The full-length movie, which contains live action and brand new animated content, will see Peppa Pig kick off the Year of the Pig in China, and marks her big screen debut in cinemas throughout China. Limited-edition panda-themed merchandise will be released exclusively through Ali Fish, the licensing and entertainment business unit under Alibaba Pictures. Fun fact: The Panda twins in China will be named "Jiaozi," or "dumpling," and "Tang yuan," or "glutinous rice ball," after some popular Chinese New Year treats. Yum!

Update (2/1) - STXfilms is reteaming with Alibaba Pictures for U.S. distribution rights to Peppa Celebrates Chinese New Year, a feature film based on the beloved cartoon franchise! The film opens in China on February 5, in time for the first day of Chinese New Year and the first day of the Chinese zodiac’s Year of the Pig. At the same time, STX is planning to release the English-subtitled version in 65 theaters across 32 U.S. markets! Click here for full info!

Peppa Pig made a strong broadcast debut in China in June 2015 on national broadcaster, CCTV and is now available on multiple leading VOD platforms including Youku, IQIYi and Tencent, where the series has accumulated over 45 billion cumulative views.

Peppa Pig airs on Nick Jr. and Viacom’s Channel 5 Milkshake in the U.K., and on Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. channels globally.

Peppa Pig is created by Neville Astley and Mark Baker and produced by Astley Baker Davies Ltd and Entertainment One (eOne). The animated preschool show is one of eOne’s key properties. In 2017, it announced that 117 new episodes were entering production, which will start airing in 2019 and take the total episode count to 381.

Starring a family of animated pigs who play and learn together, Peppa Pig has been translated into more than 40 languages and broadcast in 180-plus territories. In 2017, it made US$1.2 billion in licensing and merchandising revenue.

Update (1/17) - From Broadway World:

PEPPA PIG to Celebrate the Chinese New Year with New 'Peppasode'

2019 is the "Year of the Pig," and Nickelodeon has shared that a brand-new oinktastic episode of Peppa Pig is premiering on Nickelodeon - Monday, February 4, at 9:30am - just in time to celebrate Chinese New Year! The episode, which includes relatable stories for young viewers, focuses on this very special holiday and will help inspire kids and families to celebrate along with Peppa.

It's the Year of the Pig, and Madame Gazelle teaches the children in Peppa's playgroup about Chinese New Year! The group celebrates with lanterns and fireworks, and makes a wonderful dragon costume. Together they enjoy celebrating the traditions of a different culture as they work together to create the decorations. And a new 'The Panda Twins' story, airing in conjunction with the Chinese New Year premiere, introduces two new characters - Peggi and Pandora, the twin daughters of Police Officer Panda.

In addition to these timely and festive new stories, Peppa and Suzy Sheep decide to start a Secret Club, where they will go on secret missions together; Madame Gazelle hosts Talent Day in playgroup; and Peppa and her little brother George get to gaze at the shining stars with Mummy and Daddy Pig through a telescope!

Every new "Peppasode" of the top-rated animated series for preschoolers features five engaging stories that bring viewers along as Peppa learns and grows with help from her family and friends.

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From Animation Magazine:

‘Peppa Pig’ Lights Up the Globe with Chinese New Year Specials

Entertainment One will kick off a perfectly porcine Chinese New Year “Year of the Pig” celebration for audiences all over the globe, with two new episodes of Peppa Pig set to screen across multiple markets. Centerting on Peppa, her friends and family celebrating the holiday, the specials will launch Tuesday, February 5 in the U.K. Select markets will air the episodes in Mandarin.

Nickelodeon’s global network, including the U.S., will be joined by international FTA broadcasters including ABC (Australia), TVNZ (New Zealand), Channel 5 Milkshake! (U.K.), RAI (Italy), France TV, CLAN (Spain), Treehouse (Canada), ETV (South Africa), as well as in local language in Asia, on YoYo (Taiwan) and nowTV (Hong Kong). FTA VOD platforms will also air according to their planned schedules.

“We’re excited to unveil our latest plans to celebrate Chinese New Year with Peppa Pig fans around the world, thanks to a ground-breaking campaign we are rolling out with our broadcast partners around the globe,” said eOne’s Monica Candiani, EVP Content Sales, Family & Brands.

eOne’s Olivier Dumont, President, Family & Brands, added, “Airing Peppa Pig in Mandarin across our global broadcast platform will be a company first. As one of the fastest growing languages in the world, we hope the special broadcast will appeal to both native speakers and children wanting to get a first taste of Mandarin as a second language and we look forward to inspiring more children to learn about this rich language and culture.”

In the first episode, “Chinese New Year,” Madame Gazelle teaches the children all about Chinese New Year and they make a dragon costume for an unforgettable fireworks parade. In the second episode, “Panda Twins,” viewers are introduced to new characters Peggi and Pandora Panda, twin daughters of Policeman Panda, who are brought to playgroup for the first time.

The broadcast plans are part of eOne’s overarching strategy to celebrate the Year of the Pig with Peppa throughout 2019, including a raft of exciting plans for Chinese consumers. A nationwide cinema release, Peppa Celebrates Chinese New Year, co-produced by Alibaba Pictures, will debut in China on February 5. Exclusive Chinese New Year merchandise will be available including the first Panda Twin toys, large scale retail activations with leading e-commerce platform Tmall will be supported by a significant marketing campaign and a cross partnership with Merlin Entertainments’ new Peppa Pig World of Play indoor attraction in Shanghai will be full of surprises. A promotional video for Peppa Pig Celebrates Chinese New Year recently went viral on social media platforms, clocking up over 1.5 billion views in less than one week.

Zhang Dapeng, who directed the film, said both the trailer and the film aimed to promote family values. “Besides drawing attention to the film, what I wanted to do through this promotional trailer was to share the same values that are highlighted in the film – family, reunion, harmony and love.”

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Update (2/1) - Official Entertainment One (eOne) Press Release:

Nickelodeon and FTA Broadcasters around the Globe Unite with Entertainment One to Celebrate Chinese New Year ‘Year of the Pig’ with Peppa Pig Fans in February 2019


Two Special Episodes will Air in Mandarin in Selected Territories in Celebration of Chinese New Year


LONDON: January 29 2019 – Entertainment One (eOne) today unveils plans to reach a global audience with its Chinese New Year ‘Year of the Pig’ celebrations with two new episodes of Peppa Pig, which will be broadcast to viewers across multiple markets. The specials centre on Peppa and her friends and family celebrating Chinese New Year and will begin airing on Tuesday 5th February 2019 in the U.K., in honour of the Year of the Pig. Select markets will air the specials in Mandarin.

Nickelodeon’s global network, including the US, will be joined by FTA broadcasters in multiple markets to air the themed specials during the Chinese New Year celebrations including: Australia (ABC) and New Zealand (TVNZ), Europe (Channel 5 Milkshake, RAI, France TV, CLAN), Canada (Treehouse), South Africa (ETV), as well as in local language in Asia, Taiwan (YoYo), and Hong Kong (nowTV). FTA VOD platforms will also air according to their planned schedules.

“We’re excited to unveil our latest plans to celebrate Chinese New Year with Peppa Pig fans around the world, thanks to a ground-breaking campaign we are rolling out with our broadcast partners around the globe,” said eOne’s Monica Candiani, EVP Content Sales, Family & Brands. eOne’s Olivier Dumont, President, Family & Brands, further added “Airing Peppa Pig in Mandarin across our global broadcast platform will be a company first. As one of the fastest growing languages in the world, we hope the special broadcast will appeal to both native speakers and children wanting to get a first taste of Mandarin as a second language and we look forward to inspiring more children to learn about this rich language and culture.”

In the first episode, Chinese New Year, Madame Gazelle teaches the children all about Chinese New Year and they make a dragon costume for an unforgettable fireworks parade. In the second episode, Panda Twins, we are introduced to new characters Peggi and Pandora Panda, twin daughters of Policeman Panda, who are brought to playgroup for the first time.

The broadcast plans are part of eOne’s overarching strategy to celebrate Chinese New Year ‘Year of the Pig’ with Peppa Pig throughout 2019, including a raft of exciting plans for Chinese consumers. A nationwide cinema release, Peppa Celebrates Chinese New Year, co-produced by Alibaba Pictures, will release in China on 5th February 2019, exclusive Chinese New Year merchandise will be available including the first Panda Twin toys, large scale retail activations with leading e-commerce platform Tmall will be supported by a significant marketing campaign and a cross partnership with Merlin Entertainments’ new Peppa Pig World of Play indoor attraction in Shanghai will be full of surprises.

Recently a promotional video for the highly anticipated Chinese cinema release, Peppa Pig Celebrates Chinese New Year, became a viral sensation on social media platforms clocking up over 1.5billion views in less than one week. Zhang Dapeng, who directed the film, said both the trailer and the film aimed to promote family values. “Besides drawing attention to the film, what I wanted to do through this promotional trailer was to share the same values that are highlighted in the film – family, reunion, harmony and love.”

-Ends-

Update (2/1) - From Deadline:

STXfilms Teams With Alibaba Pictures For ‘Peppa Celebrates Chinese New Year’ U.S. Release

STXfilms is reteaming with Alibaba Pictures for U.S. distribution rights to Peppa Celebrates Chinese New Year, a feature film based on the British cartoon franchise. The film opens in China on February 5, in time for the first day of Chinese New Year and the first day of the Chinese zodiac’s Year of the Pig. At the same time, STX is planning to release the English-subtitled version in 65 theaters across 32 U.S. markets.

The trailer for Peppa Celebrates Chinese New Year dropped earlier this month and went viral with the Mandarin hashtag #WhatisPeppa gathering more than 1.45 billion views via popular microblogging platform Sina Weibo.

eOne controls the rights to the franchise.

This collaboration adds to the ongoing partnership between STX and Alibaba. The two companies recently announced a pact to co-produce and co-finance content from STX’s UglyDolls franchise with an aim to build a long-term global IP. The animated feature film based on David Horvath and Sun-Min Kim’s popular toy line opens on May 3.

In addition, STX and Alibaba Pictures are also co-producing the forthcoming action sci-fi film Steel Soldiers from Robert Zemeckis and the live action/CGI hybrid film Warriors, based on a series of young adult books.

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From Variety:

‘Peppa’ Goes Viral Ahead of China’s Year of the Pig

With a helping hand from e-commerce giant Alibaba, China has succumbed to Peppa Pig mania. And following a recent agreement with STX, North American audiences will also get a taste of Chinese New Year swine fever.



As the lunar new year approaches – the year of the pig, according to the Chinese zodiac – there’s no way to escape Peppa or her upcoming movie, “Peppa Pig Celebrates Chinese New Year.” Shopping malls, grocery stores and restaurants across China are plastered with her image, despite the happy cartoon character having been banned on social media last year for being too “gangster” and a potential “negative influence.” Now, the pink porker appears to have the blessing of no less than the ruling Communist Party.

“Peppa Pig Celebrates Chinese New Year” comes out in theaters Feb. 5, the first day of the new year holiday period. An official co-production between Entertainment One and Alibaba Pictures, Alibaba’s film investment and distribution arm, it faces stiff competition from 12 other films opening the same day, including two other pig-themed animations: “The Legend of Pig Warrior” and “Boonie Bears: Blast Into the Past.” But Peppa’s prospects look promising, owing to her popularity not just with kindergartners but with ironic Chinese teens who have adopted her as a symbol of self-mockery and rebellion.

The Peppa Pig show was an immediate hit among youngsters when it landed in China in 2015. Two years later, the character became immensely popular with post-’90s kids who identified with the “shehuiren,” or “gangster,” youth subculture but who didn’t have the money to dress the part (think tattoos and gold chains). To poke fun at themselves, they took on innocent Peppa as their emblem, painting on fake Peppa tattoos, wearing toy Peppa watches, and remixing images and videos to make her, say, sport sunglasses, chains and a reefer.

Alarmed at the trend, Douyin, China’s version of TikTok, deleted more than 30,000 videos hashtagged #PeppaPig. The government-aligned Global Times newspaper warned: “The popularity of Peppa Pig in China shows a spirit of innovation, but it could also bring negative influence to the young generation if they overindulge in such a subculture.”

Now, the beloved British toon star has gone viral once again, but this time in a much more state-sanctioned manner.

Earlier this month, the film’s director, Zhang Dapeng, released a five-minute, live-action promo that has brought viewers to tears and worked state media into a tizzy of praise. The adorable short, which both encourages family togetherness and promotes the Peppa movie, is perhaps one of the most successful examples of the localization of foreign content in China in recent memory, and has been viewed more than 200 million times.

“Tell Grandpa what you need [as a new year’s gift] and I’ll prepare it for you,” an old man tells his grandson in a thick provincial accent on his dodgy mobile phone, while standing alone on a desolate hilltop to catch a signal. “Peppa? What’s Peppa?”

The phone signal cuts, sending grandpa on a goose chase to figure out what a “Peppa” is. He tries looking it up in a dictionary, asking his village over the loudspeaker system, and hassling everyone he knows before ultimately fashioning a gift out of a metal fan painted pink to look like Peppa’s face. The short video ends with the message: “On the first day of the new year, don’t accept gifts; instead, go with the whole family into the city to watch Peppa.”

The short has been praised by the Communist Party’s highest anti-graft body, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and Supervision, and its official mouthpiece, the People’s Daily. “It was the emotional resonance of this uniquely Chinese feeling [of longing for family reunion] that made this video a hit,” the newspaper said. “As a cultural phenomenon, ‘What is Peppa?’ has brought a good beginning to 2019.”

Thanks to the short’s success, California-based STX Entertainment announced Thursday that it plans to release the “Peppa” film in 32 U.S. markets. It will play in 65 theaters across the U.S. on the same day that it debuts in China, subtitled in English.

“I got a phone call from Alibaba a week and a half ago, shortly after the marketing materials for Peppa in China had gone super-viral… And it was clear to us that the virality was extending far beyond the mainland to Mandarin-speaking U.S. populations,” STXfilms chairman Adam Fogelson told Yahoo Finance. “There certainly could be – not on the Marvel level, of course broad interest. Depending on what happens in the first week or two, anything is possible.”

STX is targeting cities with large Chinese American populations, including Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco, with family-friendly matinee and early screenings. Profitability “is likely to be limited,” Fogelson acknowledged, but said the goal of the partnership is to deepen ties with Alibaba. The company is already partnered with Alibaba Pictures on upcoming animated film “Uglydolls” and on “Steel Soldiers,” to be directed by Robert Zemeckis.

Two new Chinese New Year-themed special TV episodes of “Peppa Pig” will also hit the airwaves on Feb. 5, Entertainment One announced Monday. They will be aired by Nickelodeon and free-to-air broadcasters in regions including Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Canada and South Africa, and will play in Mandarin in Asia, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

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Also, from The Hollywood Reporter:

STX, Alibaba to Distribute 'Peppa Celebrates Chinese New Year'

The Chinese-language film will show, with English subtitles, in a select number of U.S. theaters on Feb. 6, a day after its debut in China.
STX Entertainment has teamed up with Alibaba Pictures, the film division of the Chinese e-commerce giant, to distribute the new feature film based on the British cartoon character Peppa Pig.

Peppa Celebrates Chinese New Year, co-produced by Alibaba and British media company Entertainment One, will be distributed by STX in 65 theaters across 32 U.S. markets on Feb. 6, a day after the film’s debut in China, which is also the second day of the Chinese zodiac’s Year of the Pig in the lunar calendar.

STX is targeting cities such as New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco with high concentrations of Chinese-American audiences in its release strategy. The 81-minute Chinese-language film will be in English subtitles for its U.S. release.

A teaser of the film (below) has become a massive viral hit in China, with its Chinese hashtag #WhatisPeppaPig garnering over 1.63 billion views on microblogging platform Sina Weibo to date. Apart from the original characters in the British series, the film also features Chinese festive elements such as dragon dancing and dumpling making.

While the film is generating interest from its intended audience in China — families with young kids — the seemingly innocuous porcine character, created for preschool children in easily digestible five-minute doses, is not without controversy in the country. Thanks to Chinese-made viral memes projecting apparently subversive and anti-establishment views onto Peppa and her friends, all videos of the cartoon were deleted and the name Peppa blacklisted starting in late April last year from Chinese video streaming service Douyin in a reported act of self-censorship. The pink piglet has become a subcultural symbol embraced by Chinese young adults, frequently appearing as tattoos.

Besides Peppa, STX is also collaborating with Alibaba to co-produce and co-finance content from the UglyDolls universe, as well as a film slate that includes sci-fi actioner Steel Soldiers, directed by the award-winning helmer Robert Zemeckis and live action-and-CGI hybrid adaptation Warriors.

The company is also working with Tencent Pictures, the subsidiary of Chinese conglomerate, to produce an untitled Jason Statham film and a comic adaptation produced by Channing Tatum, Zombie Brother, and to develop a TV series with Jackie Chan.

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From Yahoo! Finance:

Exclusive: Alibaba is making a huge play to bring Chinese movies to America


SHANGHAI, CHINA - JANUARY 22: Peppa Pig toys are on display inside the Peppa Pig-themed pop-up store to welcome the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Pig, on January 22, 2019 in Shanghai, China. Chinese New Year, the Year of the Pig, will fall on February 5 this year. (Photo by Wang Gang/VCG via Getty Images; Huffington Post)

Alibaba (BABA) may not have a meaningful retail presence in the U.S., but the Chinese e-commerce powerhouse is finding other channels to enter the American market. Alibaba’s film division is teaming up with media company STX Entertainment to bring a highly anticipated movie to U.S. theaters.

Yahoo Finance has exclusively learned that California-based STX Entertainment will be distributing “Peppa Celebrates Chinese New Year” in time for the Lunar New Year.

After the film’s trailer debuted earlier this month, it quickly lit up Chinese social media. The Mandarin hashtag #WhatisPeppa (#啥是佩奇#) was viewed more than 1.45 billion times on popular messaging platform Sina Weibo.

“I got a phone call from Alibaba a week and a half ago — shortly after the marketing materials for Peppa in China had gone super viral… And it was clear to us that the virality was extending far beyond. It was clearly also being seen and paid attention to the Mandarin-speaking population in the U.S. It was something you virtually couldn’t miss,” STXfilms chairman Adam Fogelson told Yahoo Finance.

Stories rooted in Asian and Asian-American culture have been gaining immense mainstream popularity in the United States. Warner Brothers’ “Crazy Rich Asians” was a bonafide box office success, becoming the top-grossing romantic comedy in a decade. Pixar’s “Bao,” a short film about a dumpling that comes to life, is nominated for an Academy Award.

“The increasing appreciation for and interest in Chinese culture, the fact that the story of a family dynamic during the holiday, and the entry point of Peppa, which most American audiences are familiar with, creates a dynamic where there certainly could be — not on the Marvel level of course — broad interest,” said Fogelson. “Depending on what happens in the first week or two, anything is possible. Our first goal was to make sure that Mandarin speakers in the U.S. would have access to the film while the movie was playing in China.”

‘An important film for Alibaba Pictures’

Initially, Fogelson felt it would be “virtually impossible” to orchestrate a U.S. release within a few weeks, but he was ultimately convinced that he could “absolutely pull it off” after watching the film himself.

“‘Peppa Celebrates Chinese New Year’ is an important film for Alibaba Pictures so finding the right partner to help us introduce the film to American audiences was essential,” said Wei Zhang, President of Alibaba Pictures. “Having already established a strong relationship with STX, we knew their innovative marketing strategy and distribution capabilities aligned perfectly with our goals to get this wonderful story in front of the right audiences across the U.S.”

It’s a completely global amalgamation, given “Peppa Pig” is a British cartoon that’s ubiquitous among American households with children. The film opens in China on February 5, the first day of Chinese New Year (and the first day of the Chinese zodiac Year of the Pig). STX will release the film on February 6 in 65 theaters across 32 U.S. markets with high concentrations of Chinese-American audiences like Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. It will be in primarily early showtimes to target children and family viewing, and it will be subtitled in English.

Spanish language and Bollywood films have had successful runs in the U.S. But the target demographic for “Peppa Celebrates Chinese New Year” is still very narrow, with about 3.4 million Americans, or about 1% of the entire U.S. population, speaking Mandarin at home. Of course, a significant number of Americans speak Chinese as a second or third language.

Still, given the short notice and niche potential reach, Fogelson said this collaboration isn’t as much for financial gain as it is about building upon STX’s relationship with Alibaba.

“The profitability of this partnership in the United States is likely to be limited. But there’s no downside. This is not a financial rationale or justification. Historically speaking, the films that have been released in the Mandarin language in the United States gross from a couple hundred thousand to a few million dollars. But the primary purpose of this was to continue this relationship and for both of us to deepen our ties in working together,” he said.

‘A big interest in China exporting its films’

The idea to target Chinese speakers in the U.S is still a nascent one. And STX, just under five years old, has quickly become a heavy hitter in Hollywood, especially because of its understanding of China.

Founded by film producer Robert Simonds and Bill McGlashan, a managing partner of private equity firm TPG, the company is backed by highly influential Chinese investors including Hony Capital and Tencent Holdings. PCCW, Southeast Asia’s largest internet and cable services provider, and Liberty Global, the world’s largest distribution platform, are also behind the company. STX Entertainment even had plans to go public on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, but scrapped its IPO late last year.

Fogelson, who served as Chairman of Universal Pictures prior to joining STX, said the company is well-positioned given Hollywood’s increasing appetite to grab the Chinese viewer.

"We likely have more announced projects with Chinese companies than all other Hollywood studios combined. It's not because we are required to work with each other; we choose each other. The U.S. has successfully exported content to China for decades and now we’re seeing a big interest in China exporting its films. Alibaba coming to STX with this project is the beginning of that process. And it’s something we’re uniquely positioned to do given our deep experience working with all the giant partners in China,” he said.

This can be an edge for STX as Chinese content creators pursue new markets, particularly amid a stagnant domestic economy, where growth has slowed to a 28-year low.

“In these dynamic times, we can be an authentic bridge — both from a business and cultural standpoint because we have pre-established our desire to be great partners with Alibaba, Tencent and others. We have only seen the amount of conversation increase and we see it as a strategic advantage."

Alibaba Pictures and STX currently have several projects they’re co-producing and co-financing, including a multifaceted Ugly Dolls collaboration, which includes an animated feature film, a TV series on Hulu, games, and dolls. They’re also co-producing sci-fi and live action films like “Steel Soldiers” and “Warriors” that draw on themes that resonate with both Chinese and American audiences.

The news of this partnership comes a day after Alibaba posted revenue growth that was its slowest in three years.

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From Alizila.com:

CHINESE ‘PEPPA PIG’ MOVIE SET TO HIT GLOBAL MOVIE SCREENS


The full-length feature film based on the U.K.’s popular Peppa Pig cartoon series, “Peppa Celebrates Chinese New Year,” is coming to cinemas across the globe, Alibaba Pictures announced Thursday.

The movie will debut in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and the U.K. on Feb. 5, in Singapore on Feb. 7, and in Canada on Feb. 9.

In collaboration with STX Films, the official distributor for the film in the U.S., Alibaba Pictures will release the live action-animation hybrid with English subtitles in select theaters in 32 cities, including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington D.C., Chicago, Philadelphia, Pittsburg, Miami, Houston, Dallas and Detroit.

“Through our collaboration with eOne, we have created a beautiful Peppa Pig story immersed in Chinese New Year tradition and culture,” said Wei Zhang, president of Alibaba Pictures.

“We look forward not only to the film’s release in China, but are proud to bring this story to the global market so that audiences around the world can take part in the celebration of Chinese New Year,” she said.


The cast of the upcoming movie, a combination of animation and live-action content.

Premiering just in time to kick off the “Year of the Pig” in China, the co-production between Alibaba Pictures and Canadian media group Entertainment One was scripted with Chinese audiences in mind. The companies wanted to draw young families to the theater as a way of celebrating the national holiday.

The film tells the tale of three generations of a family that reunites to celebrate the new year, while incorporating many traditional customs into the storyline, from dumpling-wrapping and dragon dancing to exchanging “red packets” and hanging traditional decorations. And new characters will be introduced, such as the “Panda twins,” which will be featured in exclusive limited-edition merchandise by Alifish, Alibaba’s cross platform licensing business unit. The company is also using Taopiaopiao, its online movie-ticketing platform, to help drive ticket sales.


A Peppa Pig movie poster featuring traditional Chinese paper-cutting art.

‘Peppa’ Trailer Lights Up Chinese Social Media

The five-minute promotional trailer for the feature film, titled “What is Peppa?,” quickly went viral after it was released on Chinese social media on Jan. 17. The video racked up more than 300 million views across various streaming platforms, while the Mandarin hashtag #WhatIsPeppa drew 1.6 billion reads on micro-blogging site Weibo.

Given full creative control over the trailer, the director Zhang Dapeng took an unconventional route. Set in a rural village in China, it follows an elderly sheep farmer’s comedic yet heart-warming journey to find out what Peppa is after his city-dwelling grandson asks for it as a new year’s present. It’s only at the end of the five-minute short that the entire 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 venture firm Andreessen Horowitz in a Twitter thread. “This Peppa trailer reflects a deep, deep understanding of Chinese culture: family duty, generational love, rural cities, community, Chinese New Year.”

“Touching the heartstrings through a deep cultural connection is the most powerful kind of localization and marketing,” Chan’s post said.

Alibaba’s Ecosystem in Action

“Peppa Celebrates Chinese New Year” is the first film to come out of Alibaba Picture’s new initiative aimed at co-producing 20 blockbusters in the next five years. It will also be the first film where it was closely involved throughout the production cycle, from investment to marketing and distribution.

In the lead-up to the release, Alibaba Pictures tapped various business units within Alibaba’s ecosystem to promote the film. Alibaba Pictures expanded the movie’s reach by co-branding with merchants on e-commerce marketplaces Taobao and Tmall, such as the U.S. ice cream chain Dairy Queen and British publishing house Penguin Books, in addition to posting full-screen advertisements on the Taobao, Ele.me, Koubei, Freshippo, Damai, UC Web, Alibaba Cloud apps.

Alibaba Pictures tapped resources across Alibaba’s ecosystem to promote the movie.

The “Peppa Pig” cartoon has soared in popularity since it first aired in China in 2015, attracting billions of views on China’s main streaming sites. Peppa has since spawned a wealth of commercial franchises, including toys, books, apparel, full-length featured films and theme parks, all while beefing up revenues for eOne in the China market.

In December last year, Tmall and eOne inked a retail partnership to promote Peppa Pig in a 24-hour Super Brand Day campaign on Jan. 8, as well as develop new merchandise based on the cartoon icon.

“Tmall is not only a shopping platform, but more importantly, it is one of the top platforms that help brands expand their influence,” Mike Hu, the president of Tmall Fast-Moving Consumer Goods, said when the partnership was announced.

“Through our partnership, we’ll be able to allow even more consumers to learn more about Peppa Pig, and fall in love with the character,” he said.

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¡Ven y celebra el Año Nuevo Chino con Peppa Pig y sus amigos!



No te pierdas el nuevo doble episodio en Clan el 5 de Febrero a las 9:05 y 17:00.

Un nuovo doppio episodio speciale di Peppa Pig - festeggiare il Capodanno Cinese



Potete guardare i nuovi episodi su Rai Yoyo il 5 febbraio alle 13:55, 16;40 & alle 18:00.

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From Channels Television:

‘Gangster’ Peppa Back In China’s Good Graces In Year Of The Pig


This picture taken on January 25, 2019 shows police walking past a Peppa Pig figure on a wall outside the Yu Yuan gardens, a popular tourist spot hosting a ‘Peppa Pig pop-up shop’ featuring interactive games for children, in Shanghai. Matthew KNIGHT / AFP

Roasted as a subversive symbol and chopped from a video streaming website in China, it seemed Peppa Pig, the loveable but imperious British cartoon character, faced a bleak future in the Communist-led country.

But her popularity has risen unabated, and now just months after state media slammed her as an emblem of the counterculture, she is playing a starring role as the country ushers in the Year of the Pig on Tuesday.

A new film titled “Peppa Pig Celebrates Chinese New Year” is being released on the first day of the holiday.

The movie shows Peppa celebrating Lunar New Year with two new friends — “Jiaozi” (dumpling) and “Tang yuan” (glutinous rice ball) — named after popular local delicacies.

The animation, which follows the daily adventures of a bright pink piglet, her brother George and her parents, is hugely popular with Chinese children.

Last year, five-year-old twins Mi Ai and Mi Ni made a video asking to meet Queen Elizabeth II after seeing their porcine heroine visit the monarch in an episode.

The clip garnered more than nine million views and made such an impact that the pair were invited for tea by the British ambassador to Beijing and promised a tour of Buckingham Palace.

“It is really fun and the language is easy to understand”, their mother, Bella Zhang, said of the girls’ obsession with the show.

She added that the series was popular with Chinese parents because it teaches “the importance of love and cooperation”.

The cartoon’s focus on family values has resonated with Chinese parents who strictly monitor their children’s TV time, agreed Li Xin as she bought a Peppa toy for her four-year-old at a Beijing store.

Billions of views

Peppa Pig first broadcast in China in 2015 but last May some 30,000 clips of the cartoon were removed from a popular video streaming site, following criticism from state media.

Papers affiliated to the Communist Party wrote harsh columns about Peppa Pig being hijacked by gangsters and subversives to create videos that reject mainstream values.

Memes featuring the beloved children’s character had also started to take on dark undertones at the time, occasionally veering into violent or pornographic territory.

“No matter how gangster Peppa Pig becomes, it cannot be allowed to destroy children’s youth [or] break rules,” The People’s Daily said in an editorial last April.

The shows have been watched around 60 billion times on the country’s largest video streaming sites, including Tencent Video and iQiyi, since it first launched in China, said Jamie MacEwan from British TV analysts Enders.

“This figure is up from 24.5 billion by May 2017, showing how China’s appetite for Peppa has only increased,” MacEwan told AFP.

Who is Peppa?

Now Entertainment One — the Canadian media company that currently produces the series — is banking on her popularity translating to the big screen.

A trailer for the movie, directed by Chinese film-maker Zhang Dapeng, has gone viral with the hashtag “Who is Peppa” being viewed more than 1.6 billion times on China’s Twitter-like Weibo, a spokeswoman for Alibaba Pictures Group told AFP.

The promotional clip shows a rural villager’s quest to find out what his city-dwelling grandson wants when he asks for “Pei Qi” — Mandarin for Peppa Pig — in a bid to create the perfect Chinese New Year gift in time for the boy’s annual visit.

The trailer struck a chord with Chinese audiences because it “showcases the same values highlighted in the movie -– family, reunion, harmony and love”, Zhang wrote on Weibo.

The film has already earned 12 million yuan ($1.8 million) in presale tickets.

In a country where the pig is a symbol of wealth, Peppa merchandise is in high demand. There are even themed attractions — Peppa Pig World of Play opened in Shanghai in 2018 with another set to open in Beijing this year.

But the success of the Peppa brand has also brought headaches for the cartoon’s creators. Copycat merchandise — from cookies to pencil cases — can be easily found in corner stores in Chinese cities.

A spokesman for Entertainment One told AFP that in the last year more than half a million fake Peppa Pig items were seized and tens of thousands of online sale posts taken down.

He added: “In China, Entertainment One has a dedicated team working on this ongoing issue and have already successfully dealt with many infringements.”

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More Nick: Nickelodeon USA's January 2019 Premiere Highlights | All New All Nick!

Originally published: Saturday, January 12, 2019.

Additional sources: Kidscreen, Alizila.com, Zap2it TV Listings, USA Today, Sky.com, Digiguide.
Follow NickALive! on Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, Google+, via RSS, on Instagram, and/or Facebook for the latest Nickelodeon Preschool, Nick Jr. and Peppa Pig News and Highlights!

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