Animation set to join elite after wowing audiences (

17 August 2012 16 h 10 min Comments Off

A home-made Chinese CGI animated film last week became a surprise hit and will soon join other original Chinese animated works as a member of the 10 million yuan club, the animation’s director revealed in an exclusive interview with

“Yugo & Lala,” directed by Wang Yunfei for the ITS CARTOON Animation Studio, hit Chinese cinema on August 10. Its release coincided with the release of animations “The Adventures of Jinbao,” “Save the 365th Day (3D),” and live action/animation “I Love Wolffy” a cinematic sequel to China’s hottest cartoon series “Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf”. Meanwhile, imported animated blockbuster “Ice Age: Continental Drift” and “The Lorax” are still showing.

China’s summer holiday film season has been dominated by animated films, and the industry is now bracing itself for the late August heavyweight clash between Hollywood giants Batman and Spider-Man, which has triggered a wave of rescheduling among film production companies.

Explaining the scheduling of the film, Wang said: “We first set the release date on August 10, but they later all decided to release their films on the same day. As all of our releases are original Chinese cartoons, so we are all competitors. We need, and welcome, fair competition. Many friends have asked us to retreat, but we chose to stand firm.”

He continued:”The summer film season is definitely boom time for animations, and this is true in any country with a healthy animation industry, it’s a good sign. But there also must be a cruel sacrifice. I’m looking forward to it, and will participate in it. In any battle, there are two outcomes: Win or lose. But before ‘Yugo & Lala’ hit screens I told my colleague that we must be ready for any outcome, and we must be clear about whether and why we win or lose.”

So far, it appears that the outcome has been positive for Wang and his team. According to his statistics, his film made 9.7 million yuan (US$1.52 million) at box offices in only 3 days and purely through 2D screenings. Cinemas were packed with parents and kids alike, which caused cinema managers to rapidly add extra screening times due to the film’s unexpected popularity.

“The industry has been abuzz with talk that if we cross the 10 million yuan (US$1.57 million) mark, we win, “ said Wang. “I feel real good because this animation had no opportunity to build a fan base in advance due to cartoon episodes on TV. Also, it is not an adaptation of a hot online video game and has no big movie stars contributing their voices. ‘Yugo & Lala’ can become one of the Top 15 Chinese original animations to make more than 10 million yuan at the box office.” “But the most important thing is that the film brought joy to many people,” Wang added.

“Yugo & Lala,” whose Chinese title could be literally translated as “An Adventure in Mystery World,” was formerly named “Peculiar Kin”. It tells the story of a naughty girl named Yugo and a little liger (a hybrid animal of lion and tiger) Lala, and details their adventures in an alternate animal-ruled world without humans.

Despite lacking the top technologies and sophistication of foreign animations, “Yugo & Lala,” still manages to create stunningly beautiful scenes and tells a touching story which focus on friendship and environmental protection. It is also clearly influenced and inspired by Japanese master Miyazaki Hayao’s “Spirited Away,” DreamWorks Animation’s “Kung Fu Panda” and Pixar Animation Studios’ “Monsters, Inc.”

Wang, who made his name creating Internet Flash Animations, originally began working on the project in 2005, before discarding it and later reviving it several times. In 2010, he finally came up with a solid storyline and decided to bring it to life in 3D CGI. Yuan Mei, one of his long time partners and the boss of Cheerland Entertainment Organization, once asked him to put up his car and house as security to avoid any further backing out of the project. This is only part of the story, however, as Yuan was one of Wang’s main sources of encouragement and financial aid, and became one of his most trusted allies.

Wang expressed his surprise at how enthusiastically children had taken the characters of Yugo and Lala to their hearts, characters that he had worked tirelessly to create, develop and promote. The characters have become so popular that Wang and his team have already received invitations to produce merchandize and memorabilia. A sequel and TV series are also in the pipeline. Clearly, the animation seems set to reap handsome rewards for Wang and his team.

“I hope ‘Yugo & Lala’ can secure a bright future for all my staff and colleagues and make them proud,” he said. “If the film makes money, we’ll be wealthy enough to live carefree lives, which will also inspire us to keep creating.”

Wang also dispensed a few words of advice for fellow Chinese animators.

“What I want to share is, don’t always keep on walking, you should [sometimes] stop, have a rest and watch. The most important thing is to choose the right direction. Once you have made this choice, you must then persist, and you will finally be rewarded.” “But if your reward fails to materialize, it will usually be because you didn’t pick yourself up after a failure. In a time of chaos, heroes will appear. And it is these kinds of heroes who are really hard to defeat.”

Source: (16/08/2012)

Related posts:

Comments are closed

Other News

  • China (mainland) film Brilliant future expected for Chinese cinema: interview

    Brilliant future expected for Chinese cinema: interview

    Jiang Wen (R), a well-known Chinese director, walks down the red carpet with his wife Zhou Yun at the opening ceremony of the 70th Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy, Aug 29, 2013. [Photo / Xinhua] (Xinhua, 04 Sep, 2013)Chinese films have achieved over the past few years very positive results in terms of both quantity and quality, and will drive their technology-led development, 70th Venice Film Festival president Alberto Barbera told Xinhua in a recent exclusive interview. This venerable [...]

    Read more →
  • Breaking news China (mainland) film Cloudary extends script to movie industry

    Cloudary extends script to movie industry

    (, 26 Aug, 2013) Cloudary Corp – an online literature platform owned by interactive media giant Shanda Group – said on Friday that it reached a film script agreement with the Chinese movie firm Seven Stars Films. Seven Stars Films, a movie production and investment firm owned by Chinese media entrepreneu r Bruno Wu, will link Cloudary’s literature with the world’s movie industry. Wu, who is married to popular TV host Yang Lan, founded Seven Star Films in 2012. The [...]

    Read more →
  • Breaking news China (mainland) film China’s movie market booms with local content

    China’s movie market booms with local content

    ( Agencies, 23 Aug, 2013) In “American Dreams in China”, Cheng Dongqing is giving a lecture in an abandoned factory in Beijing . Snow falls through the damaged roof and a power cut sends students reaching for their flashlights. The movie , about how young Chinese in the 1990s tried every means to learn English so they could study overseas, is part of a boom in domestic productions that is outpacing foreign film s at the box office in China. [...]

    Read more →
  • Breaking news China (mainland) film Fast forward with film

    Fast forward with film

    (China Daily, 23 Aug, 2013) In the past year, Chinese films have galloped ahead like a dark horse, beating Hollywood imports. It is hardly surprising that most of these domestic hits are comedies. Comedy is mostly local. When Hollywood sent scouts to recover the secret formula, many of them reported that these Chinese movies were not particularly funny. Of course not. When you translate every line into English, you have lost much of the fun, leaving only a few sight [...]

    Read more →
  • Breaking news China (mainland) Digital Mobile game firms looking abroad

    Mobile game firms looking abroad

    (China Daily, 21 Aug, 2013) Intensifying domestic competition is driving Chinese mobile game developers into overseas markets, said Google Inc, owner of the world’s most used smartphone operating system. Japan and South Korea may become “sizeable” money-spinners for developers in China in the coming years, it added. “Tapping into South Korea and Japan makes sense for Chinese developers, because both countries have a large smartphone user base and high sales volume in the mobile gaming sector,” said Ben Zhang, China [...]

    Read more →
  • Breaking news China (mainland) tv PPTV denies buyout rumors

    PPTV denies buyout rumors

    (, 14 Aug, 2013) Online video provider PPTV has denied rumors it will be jointly acquired by e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Hunan Satellite TV. “We have noticed related media reports. PPTV is operating independently, well, and we have nothing to announce at present,” PPTV told China Daily on Wednesday. A report from IT industry portal said on Wednesday that the prospective deal is almost closed, with the transaction reaching $400 million. It cited venture capital sources [...]

    Read more →
  • Breaking news China (mainland) film Film industry needs long tail to grow

    Film industry needs long tail to grow

    (China Daily, 15 Aug, 2013) The domestic film market registered record half-yearly box office returns of 10.9 billion yuan ($1.77 billion) in the first six months of this year, up 35 percent year-on-year, and there have been excited voices saying that the Chinese film industry is about to boom in the international market. However, box office success is just part of the industry’s chain, and without the further development of licensed movie merchandising, the Chinese film industry is still in [...]

    Read more →
  • Breaking news China (mainland) Digital New WeChat game becoming painfully popular

    New WeChat game becoming painfully popular

    (, 15 Aug, 2013) A new mobile phone game on WeChat, a social network app in China, is proving so popular that it’s causing hand injuries for many Chinese users. The game, which was recently introduced to WeChat’s 400 million subscribers, allows users to compete online with their friends in aircraft battles. Within two hours after the release of the game on Aug 5, there were more than 180 million downloads. But Zou Cheng, an orthopedic doctor at Hangzhou First [...]

    Read more →