Turner Asia Pacific, which runs the various Cartoon Network channels across Asia, has partnered up with Shanghai-based Tencent Pictures to develop a full-length feature starring Tuzki, the iconic rabbit emoticon that is used throughout Asia on social platforms, including Tencent’s dominant WeChat.
The film, which will fuse CGI and live-action, is expected to begin production in 2017, and receive a Chinese theatrical release in 2018. Tuzki was created in 2006 by then-21-year-old illustrator Momo Wang and is owned by Turner. The character has been used in ad campaigns or promotional items for Motorola, KFC, and Fujifilm, and has been the subject the short-form animation produced by Turner, such as the following piece:
“This announcement is a huge milestone as we look to grow the Tuzki franchise and reinforces Turner’s commitment to its growing business in China,” said Clément Schwebig, Turner’s svp of business development, licensing and China. “Through WeChat, Tencent is obviously very familiar with Tuzki, and everyone is excited to see him appear on the big screen. This irrepressible rabbit has already made a strong emotional connection with a generation of young Chinese, and this film will take engagement to the next level.”