China’s iQIYI Streaming Service Bows First Theatrical Feature Film

China’s online media giant iQIYI announced that Spycies, a family-friendly animated film, will launch in theaters across China on Jan. 11, with subsequent releases slated in Europe, North America and Southeast Asia.

Spycies revolves around a complex action-adventure between “Spy Cat” Vladimir and “Hacker Mouse” Hector set in a modern animal kingdom.

The production team reportedly created and produced more than 40 species, over 90 animal characters, and more than 60 scenes. The movie features endangered animals such as white rhinos and snow leopards, nationally protected animals such as lorises, and extinct animals such as mammoths.

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The design of distinctive fur animations for each species in the movie was based on research of the animals’ actual physical characteristics including fur pattern, material, length, and density.

“With the superb animation effects, exciting storyline and family-friendly themes, this film will undoubtedly succeed in delighting parents and children alike,” Ya Ning, president of iQIYI Pictures, said in a statement.

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In 2018, Spycies was nominated by the Cannes International Film Festival’s “Annecy Goes Cannes” unit based on the Annecy International Animated Film Festival’s judging panel recommendation. Leveraging its premium IP across multiple entertainment formats, iQIYI is developing merchandise such as mystery toy boxes, steam eye masks, luggage cases, and snacks around the Spycies brand.

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