Shout! Studios and Funimation Films will release the Chinese animated feature Big Fish & Begonia in U.S. and Canadian theaters starting April 6.

The companies released a new English-language trailer for the film today. A version of the film in its original language – Mandarin – with English subtitles will also be released.

Directed by Xuan Liang and Chun Zhang, the hand-drawn/cg hybrid is inspired by Chinese mythology:

There is a mystical race of beings that control the tide and the changing of the seasons. But one of these beings, a young girl named Chun, wants to experience the human world, not simply observe it. When she turns sixteen, Chun is allowed to transform into a dolphin and explore the human world. However, she soon learns this world is a dangerous place. Chun is nearly killed in a vortex, but saved by a human boy at the cost of his own life. Moved by his kindness and courage, she decides to give the boy life again, but this power comes at a price. Chun will have to face adventure and sacrifice in order to protect the boy’s soul until it is ready to return to the human world.

Produced by China’s B&T Studio, the film had an unlikely journey to completion, taking twelve years to produce. For years, the directors posted clips online and built up a grassroots following for their independent project. Then, in 2013, they conducted what was at the time the most successful crowdfunding effort for a single project in China, raising $260,000.

That success inspired Enlight Media, a major private film company in China, to step in and provide funding to complete the film. Korean animation shop Studio Mir (Voltron: Legendary Defender, The Legend of Korra) also joined the production in 2014 to help finish animation. The film’s final cost was 30 million yuan (under USD$5 million).

The film went on to become a hit in China, grossing nearly $85 million over the course of is theatrical run.

North American theaters and dates will be posted on the film’s website.

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