Santa Claus and Luo Baobei wish Christmas jointly in China

Magic Mall, the Beijing-based character design studio, and Finnish Santa Claus Foundation have made a significant cooperation deal between their main characters.

Baby girl Luo Baobei and hundreds years old Father Christmas will show up together this Christmas in theme park events around China as well as in printed materials. The five-year agreement, signed in August this year, will expand into animations in 2016.

Luo Baobei was created by the team of designers and media professionals. It has already served in many ways, from an ambassador for social responsibility in Chaoyang district, known for busy business life, to teaching art for primary school pupils.

Animation series on Luo Baobei has been made both in 2D and 3D. Those have been shown in a number of countries, most recently throughout Africa as well as in India.

Studio visits done both ways

At Magic Mall employees are now kept busy with the development of the co-branding. There is one story book, published by Santa Claus Foundation, where the content mainly bases so far; however, in the future the project will require both script writers and animation services, promises Ms. Rongrong from Magic Mall studio.

She told Finnanimation that she was looking for an authenticity of Santa against all plasticity and commercial Christmas catered to Chinese. When she contacted the Finnish Embassy in Beijing, and they directed her to Santa Claus Foundation. In early December she is touring Finland not only for Santa’s whereabouts but also animation studios.

Magic Mall is already familiar to some Finnish studios. Executive director Liisa Vähäkylä did her first visit to the studio in 2011, and after that Rovio visited there. Talks about cooperation with Anima Vitae have taken place at Sichuan TV Festival in 2013 followed by the meetings and other events in Beijing in 2014 and 2015.

“It is very important, that Finnish creative industry and the best talents gets international recognition along the tradition. Santa Claus brand can awesomely combine those too and add value to the creative economy in Finland”, says the CEO Petri Paarnio from Santa Claus Licensing.

Anima Boutique has a long and close co-operation with Santa Claus Licensing. Anima Boutique has produced the official Santa Claus figures and visual elements. Santa Claus Licensing is really pleased with the cooperation and hope it will continue to be more extensive in the future. Anima Boutique definitely wants to be part of Santa’s travels with its own competence and thus taking an official Santa brand and Santa’s message to the world.

Magic Mall is interested to exploit the whole ecosystem of Santa Claus including its home country Finland and home village near the Arctic Circle and animals who live their with Santa. Ms Rongrong also welcomes different animation techniques from 2D to VFX with live action, as there is so much the wild nature and winter wonderlands to the animation scheduled for Christmas 2016.

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