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Studio Ghibli Signs Deal With China's Alibaba Pictures.

Studio Ghibli's The Boy And The Heron
is on a very successful run. It won a Golden Globe, and an Oscar nomination and has broken box-office records for a Ghibli film both in the US and the UK. But the studio is looking to its future and has entered into a rare partnership with an overseas company.

Studio Ghibli has signed a cooperation deal with Chinese corporation Alibaba Pictures. The deal will cover various projects including animation production, immersive exhibits and business plans surrounding The Boy And The Heron.

Alibaba president Li Jie travelled to Tokyo to sign the deal with Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki. A preliminary strategic agreement was made for immersive exhibitions of Hayao Miyazaki's works. Creative Corporation will manage on-site implementation. The plan is to open an exhibit in Shanghai later this year.

“Enthusiastic fans and viewers will be treated to a captivating and immersive journey, submerging themselves in the enchanting realm of Hayao Miyazaki’s animation, thereby reliving the profound emotions and inspiring bravery brought by the master animator,” Alibaba said.

The exhibitions follow in the footsteps The Studio Ghibli Museum and Ghibli Park in Japan. The theme park is located in Nagakute, Aichi, and was opened in November 2022. The Museum has long been a favourite with tourists, both from Japan and overseas.

Studio Ghibli's films have only been screened (officially) in China relatively recently, starting with My Neighbour Totoro in 2018. They could therefore be tapping into a potentially huge audience. Interactive Miyazaki exhibitions sound pretty exciting too.

What the animation production part of the deal will entail is unknown. The Studio has in the past entered in coproductions- with Wild Bunch on The Red Turtle and Polygon Pictures on the TV series Ronja The Robber's Daughter. So it may well be a similar arrangement. We'll be watching this space.

Last September it was announced that a majority stake in Studio Ghibli had been acquired by Japanese broadcaster Nippon TV.