Luo Baobei animation promotes Chinese soft power | Updated: 2017-09-28 16:04

The animated character named Luo Baobei aims to introduce Chinese culture to the world and enhance the country's international influence, senior executives said at a recent signing event.

Since Magic Mall created in Luo Baobei 2008, the little girl has been welcomed by children and families across the world. She has acted as an ambassador for 18 promotional activities related to civilized behavior, green commuting and child protection campaigns.

Under the 170 million yuan ($25.85 billion) agreement reached by Magic Mall and 9 Story Media Group, the animation is expected to appear at the Cannes Art Festival in October this year. It will also be used in projects in seven countries — the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Australia, Canada and the United States — in the next year, according to Su Zhong, chairman of DaYe TransMedia Group, the parent company of Magic Mall.

"It's the first time for the innovative Chinese animation to be screened on the international stage. The 'going abroad' of Luo Baobei not only shows China's cultural confidence, but also represents the integration of Chinese and Western cultures," said Su.

The animation tells the story of a bright and spirited 7-year-old Chinese girl with a vivid imagination, on a quest to understand the world around her.

With her friends, family and some endearing animal companions by her side, she navigates the excitement of childhood with enthusiasm and curiosity, finding adventures along the way.

Kids everywhere will relate to Luo Baobei's journey to learn life lessons, one story at a time.

"We made this animation to bring love and warmth to the world through the Chinese girl," Su said.

He added that, unlike producing animated films with fixed patterns, Luo Baobei's stories focus on the daily life of Chinese families and hopes to successfully spread familiarity with Chinese culture, including its traditional elements.

Natalie Osborne, chief strategy officer of 9 Story Media Group, said: "The concept of Luo Baobei is universal. I see it as a show to introduce Chinese culture and all of the elements that it has. The food, the parents and the grandparents are quite interesting. But I don't just see it as a Chinese show."

To improve the animation's influence and reputation, DaYe TransMedia has invited Alex Chien, former deputy chairman of Nickelodeon, to be the executive producer of the animation. The company has worked with the top international cartoon-production company to help the animation meet the global market's demands.

Tian Jia, general manager of Magic Mall, said that: "By collaborating with the international team, we are striving to help worldwide audiences better understand traditional Chinese culture as well as the country's modern lifestyle."

Tian said that the creation and production process of Luo Baobei was partnered by Cloth Cat Animation in Wales, a skilled and experienced animation studio.

Luo Baobei has touched on more than 80 Chinese intangible cultural heritage elements, including tai chi and diabolo, sometimes called a Chinese yo-yo.

Neil Court, chairman of 9 Story Media Group, said that there are many Western cultural products in China.

"China is a very powerful country, now it's going to be the soft power, and this animation is an example of the soft power China is attracting."

Liang Kaiyan contributed to this story.

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