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China’s Alibaba to Partner with STX Entertainment on UglyDolls Franchise

New deal includes previously announced ‘UglyDolls’ animated feature film directed by Kelly Asbury along with an animated TV series, digital and print publishing, mobile and educational games, soundtrack and music, and merchandising and licensing programs.

STXfilms will release its ‘UglyDolls’ feature, directed by Kelly Asbury, in theaters on May 10.

STX Entertainment has announced a new partnership with Alibaba Pictures to co-produce and co-finance global content using the UglyDolls intellectual property.

The deal includes the previously announced UglyDolls animated feature film, an animated TV series with Hulu, digital and print publishing, mobile and educational games, soundtrack and music, and merchandising and licensing programs covering toys, dolls, arts & crafts, collectibles and other ancillaries.

“It is an honor to bring a company of Alibaba’s unparalleled reputation, high quality and considerable assets into the STX family,” STX Chairman and CEO Robert Simonds said in a statement. “After collaborating on a number of projects, including co-producing the upcoming action sci-fi film Steel Soldiers, this new venture further deepens our relationship and provides an incredible platform for us to create universally resonant content for audiences around the world.”

“This partnership with STX on UglyDolls is very important to us because it allows us to build out this beloved global intellectual property for years to come leveraging the strength of the entire Alibaba ecosystem,” said Alibaba Pictures president Wei Zhang. “More importantly, the values that UglyDolls stand for -- believing in yourself, acceptance of differences, and never giving up on one’s dreams -- are universal and ones we are proud to promote through our work.”

Inspired by the popular plush toy line launched by David Horvath and Sun-Min Kim in 2001, UglyDolls features the acting and singing voices of Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas, Janelle Monáe, Blake Shelton and Pitbull. The film is directed by Kelly Asbury (Smurfs: The Lost Village, Gnomeo & Juliet) from a screenplay written by Blaise Hemingway, Erica Rivinoja, Larry Stuckey and Alison Peck. Wanda Sykes, Emma Roberts, Gabriel Iglesias, Wang Leehom, Bebe Rexha, Charli XCX and Lizzo round out the voice cast. With animation provided by ReelFX, STXfilms will release UglyDolls in theaters on May 10, 2019.

Source: STX Entertainment

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.