Entertainment One (eOne) and Alibaba Pictures Group announced plans for their first co-production which will mark Peppa Pig’s big screen debut in cinemas throughout China. The beloved pre-school character will appear in theatres in China for the first time this Chinese New Year, which coincides with the 2019 Year of the Pig. “This co-operation is an important opportunity to promote cultural exchange between China and the West. We are excited to share China’s traditions and culture with the rest of the world with a new fun filled storyline featuring Peppa. The Peppa Pig series emphasises the importance of family values, and that is something that will deeply resonate with Chinese audiences. We hope this family film will pave the way for further development of films for young audiences in China,” said Alibaba Pictures president Wei Zhang. The film’s storyline was developed specifically for young families celebrating Chinese New Year and it incorporates many Chinese New Year traditions and customs. The film will also introduce new characters, including Panda twins. Limited-edition panda-themed merchandise will be released exclusively through Ali Fish, the licensing and entertainment business unit under Alibaba Pictures. “There is a huge fan base for Peppa Pig in China, so we’re thrilled with the prospect of bringing the theatrical release to cinemas in the region in early 2019. We’ve worked closely with Alibaba Pictures to create content and cinema-themed merchandise with special cultural significance that will resonate with Chinese audiences. We look forward to delighting Chinese families with an unforgettable cinema experience when the film opens next year,” said eOne’s president, family and brands Olivier Dumont. It will be a full-length feature film containing live-action and new animated content based on the Peppa Pig television series created by Astley Baker Davies. The film, Peppa Celebrates Chinese New Year, is scheduled for release in China on 5 February 2019, and will be distributed by Alibaba Pictures.