Hong Kong – December 19: Following the success of the Saudi anime film’s positive reactions amongst global audiences, Manga Productions, a subsidiary of Mohammed bin Salman Foundation “Misk,” premiered “The Journey” movie in Hong Kong at the “MCL Cyberport Cinema” in conjunction with the “Asia MENA Collaboration Forum.” The premiere coverage was led by China News Agency and several TV stations broadcasting the main news. The event also featured prominent guests from Government representatives, diplomat consulates from Arabian countries, entertainment industry leaders, and journalists from leading Chinese news outlets; this enhanced the strong relationship between Saudi Arabia and China. Manga Productions has also signed a distribution agreement for “The Journey” with myTV SUPER, the leading video streaming platform, and it will be live on the same day in Hong Kong. As a result, Macau can enjoy the film during the winter holiday season.
Dr. Essam Bukhary, CEO of Manga Productions and executive producer of “The Journey,” commented: “We aim to build a unique friendship with our partners in China within the distribution market in the creative content field and the development of talents. Multiple Saudi generations have enjoyed Chinese films, and it is time for us to share Saudi content, starting with” The Journey,” which was able to record outstanding successes leaving a Saudi footprint in the creative content industry in various world markets. Furthermore, the overwhelming interest we encountered in the Chinese media by releasing “The Journey” indicates the vital role that content and media play in strengthening relations, cultural exchange, and trade between Saudi Arabia and China.
The anime film is a co-production with Manga Productions and major Japanese studio TOEI Animation and directed by celebrated animation director Shizuno Kobun, whose credits include Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle. In the Mandarin version of the film, world renowned actor Jackie Chan played the role of “Abdul-Muttalib” in “The Journey”. Actor Wáng Chén-Huá played the hero “Aws.” In addition, he had many prominent leading roles in several works, such as the character of Prince Hans in “Frozen.” and the artist Zhāng Téng as “Zurara,” who played the famous character Buzz from “Lightyear.” In addition, the artist Xià Zhì-Shí played the role of “Nizar,” who played the role of Jafar in “Aladdin.”
Salon Films Chairman Fred Wang states, “We are delighted to be part of The Journey’s Asian distribution and to share this unique anime film with audiences in different Asian territories. We believe more exciting and innovative content will be produced during the next few years and more collaborations between Asia and the Middle East.”
As part of an exclusive deal with Manga Productions, Salon Films (H.K.) and Digital Daylight Animation will distribute the animated feature film “The Journey” in Asia, excluding Japan. In addition, the film is available in over 46 platforms and five languages across the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, North America, and Japan.
The story of the movie “The Journey” was inspired by the civilizations of the Arabian Peninsula and ancient Arab stories, where more than 300 people worked on the film, and the Saudi team was mainly involved in illustration, directing, producing, and fact-checking. As a result, “The Journey” received positive reactions from international audiences and won the Septimius Award in the Netherlands for being the best experimental film for 2022.