Dragonkeeper is a CGI animation family film and is based on the first novel in the multi award-winning series by Carole Wilkinson. The six books in the Dragonkeeper series, published by Black Dog Books, an imprint of Walker Books, have sold millions of copies worldwide. The latest instalment in the series -Bronze Bird Tower- was published in March this year.
The first Dragonkeeper film is set in a magic, epic and classic China during the Han Dynasty. The story follows the adventures of a slave girl that becomes a true Dragonkeeper by helping the last imperial dragon in its quest across China to bring a dragon egg to the coast, the only place it can hatch. Dragonkeeper is the story of a girl who believes she is not worthy even of a name, but finds within herself the strength and courage to make this perilous journey and do what must be done.
Dragonkeeper aims to become an international brand and a film franchise recognized both within and outside China.
Carole Wilkinson stated: “I am thrilled that Dragonkeeper is being made into a movie, and I’m especially pleased that there is such strong Chinese involvement, ensuring that the ancient China represented in the movie will be authentic. I can’t wait to see Ping and Danzi on the big screen!”
The film is being produced by Dragoia Media, Movistar+, Atresmedia Cine and China Film Animation – a member of China Film Group, the largest and most influential state owned film company in the People’s Republic of China and the largest distributor in the country. It also has the participation of Atresmedia and Movistar+.
The script has been written by Ignacio Ferreras, Rosanna Cecchini, Pablo Castrillo, Carole Wilkinson and Xiamping Wang, the score will be composed by Zhiyi Wang and the film will be directed by Ignacio Ferreras and codirected by Zhang Bo.
Ignacio Ferreras was chosen by Variety as a talent to watch for his first film Wrinkles (2012) that gained critic acclaim, went on to win many awards including a Goya for best adapted screenplay – the first time in history this award has been won by an animated film –and was nominated for the Annies and EFA for best animation film, the Jury Award in Annecy and the best animation film award in Stuttgart, Animamundi, Ottawa and Brussels. It was even was distributed in Japan by Ghibli and praised in particular by its cofounder Isao Takahata.
Early visual development was created in SPA Studio directed by Sergio Pablos (creator of Despicable me) and completed by BASE FX in China. Animation will be carried out in Illion Animation Studios in Spain and in CFA and several studios in China.
Dragonkeeper is being produced by Manuel Cristobal, Larry Levene, Jung Huang, Gabriel Arias-Salgado, Axel Kuschevatzky, Mikel Lejarza and Mercedes Gamero.Manuel Cristóbal.