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DreamWorks’s Katzenberg Says Chinese Audiences Love Animation

Jeffrey Katzenberg, chief executive officer of DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc., comments on Chinese demand for animated films and censorship of movies. He spoke in an interview today in the western Chinese city of Chengdu, where he’s attending the Fortune Global Forum.

On Chinese demand for animated films:

“The Croods” movie has “done incredibly well here in China.”

“They love animation. The stories are very affirmative, the movies always embrace very positive themes, they celebrate the best of humanity, they’re optimistic films, their characters are hopeful characters, and I think those are things that the audience here responds very, very well to. I think they love happy endings.”

“Animation has a common denominator that transcends languages, cultures, countries, everything.”

“We don’t make our movies in which we target them at individual audiences, individual markets. They’re universal stories made with universal values and themes that transcend all of those things. Even though the movies we’re making today, they’re made in Hollywood, 65 percent of their box office is done outside of North America. So two-thirds of our businesses is in the rest of the world.”

On Chinese censorship of movies:

“For us, we tell the stories that we like to tell.”

“The stories that we tell and the way in which we tell them is very appealing to this market, so again, your approach to thinking about it is not how we go about it. We’ve been bringing movies here for more than a dozen years, we’ve never been asked to change a single frame of a single film.”

“I know people often are concerned about censorship, I’m sure for some movies and some films and some filmmakers, it’s an issue. It’s never been one for us. We don’t make movies that seem to have any issues for the censors.”

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