So much is the Hasbro’s Transformers franchise popular in China that the country has helped prop up the live action franchise’s sagging domestic box office take. And as a result, they’ve been rewarded with a lot of exclusives.
It’s actually a surprise that this has taken so long. CCTV Animation and Hasbro Studios have announced Nezha and Transformers, a brand new animated project set to start sometime soon.
Unfortunately, it seems that CCTV was so excited about this announcement that they forgot to share any details! Or, there is a possibility that the announcement of the production is so early that they have nothing to share.
Insiders confirm that CCTV Animation and Hasbro have agreed upon IP ownership, production standards and an airing date.
To promote the announcement, Hasbro’s Chief Content Officer and Executive Vice President Stephen Davis and 10 other Hasbro employees visited the CCTV headquarters.
Now, the question is who is Nezha in the animated format? He’s a character from one of China’s most well known fables The Journey to the West.
He is usually depicted as a young boy, born to a mother after a 3 and a half year pregnancy. He has special powers that allow him to have three heads and six arms.
The Bejinger noticed some similarities between Nezha and the Transformers franchise:
- Ressurection: Like Optimus Prime’s habit of refusing to stay dead, Nezha also came back to life after dying.
- Transforming: There is more to meet the eye when considering Nezha, who will grow extra appendages to allow him to defeat his opponents.
- Cool accessories: Nezha shows he is ready for merchandising like his toy commercial peers by being equipped with his own set of personalized gear: a fire-tipped spear, a universe ring (which is like a hula hoop he uses to fight), and wind fire wheels that would come in handy for those aerial chase scene set pieces.
Some have already reinterpreted Nezha as a robot before, such as Koei Tecmo in their Warriors Orochi video game series (see above).
This is the first time that an animated Transformers show will be produced outside of North America and Japan. In 2013, Hasbro, Paramount and CCTV launched Transformers 4 Chinese Actors Talent Search Reality Show to find talent to star in cameos for the Transformers: Age of Extinction live action film.
Earlier this year, CCTV had partnered up with Disney to launch Stitch & Ai.