Ariel Veneziano, President of Toonz Feature Film and Allen Tsang, Head of International at Gold Valley Films, have announced a co-production and co-financing deal for six animated pictures over the course of the next three years. Additionally, the two companies will join forces across their entire slates for sales and distribution starting at the upcoming Cannes 2023 Market.
Currently in production, the first project, Pierre the Pigeon-Hawk, stars acclaimed singer, songwriter, and rapper will.i.am playing the titular character alongside Emmy Award winner Jennifer Coolidge; Luis Guzmán; Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson; rapper and actor Snoop Dogg; Whoopi Goldberg; and Howie Mandel.
In the film, to find out where he belongs, a mixed-breed Pigeon-Hawk sets out on a quest of self-discovery. While embracing the things that make him different, he finds the courage to change the world he lives in. Set for a 2024 delivery, the film is directed by John D. Eraklis and Tara Whitaker; written by Ciaran Crampton and Jay Dowski; and produced by Toonz Media Group and Telegael.
Currently in post-production, Little Emma is a co-production between Toonz and Gold Valley Films China. The movie stars Natalie Grace as Emma; Broadway artist, recording artist and entertainer Travis Cloer as Edward; Bar Topaz as Newton; Niko Gerentes as Sancho, Mr. White, and Bear; and Amy Margolis as Mrs. White.
The film follows Emma, a miniature human girl adopted by animal parents, who yearns to find the truth about her human roots. But when she discovers a hidden island full of tiny humans, it is not the fairy tale she had hoped for. Will she risk all she has ever known to uncover secrets from her past? The film is directed by Leo (Lewis) Liao and written by Alyce Tzue.
Toonz and Gold Valley will announce the other projects shortly.
Gold Valley Films, established in 2013 by Roger (Qing) Chen and Adam (Hao Qiang) Qiu, has produced eight independent animated features including Ella and the Little Sorcerer; Mulan: Princess Warrior; Cinderella and the Secret Prince; and The Academy of Magic.
Toonz is currently co-producing the feature film The Canterville Ghost, an animated adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s classic of the same name, with Robert Chandler’s Space Age Films and Los Angeles-based Align Pictures US Inc. The American film distributors Cinema Management Group (CMG) will distribute the feature globally.
“This is a terrific match between two prolific animation studios,” Veneziano stated. “The joined expertise and resources will result in ideal flow of films, in terms of quality and volume for our distribution arm.”
Chen said, “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.”
“We are delighted with the way Toonz Feature Film Division is evolving since its launch in Berlin in 2023,” said P Jayakumar, Toonz Media Group Chief Executive Officer. “I am glad to see such wonderful partnership between Toonz and Gold Valley Films and how much progress we have made together in a short period of time.”