The lovable world of fuzzy Pandas will be closer than ever when “Pandas” hits IMAX later this year. The IMAX Corporation and Warner Bros. Pictures announced that Kristen Bell (Frozen, TV’s “The Good Place”) will narrate the latest IMAX documentary adventure, which is a heartwarming global story about reintroducing captive born pandas to the wild. The film will be released in select IMAX and IMAX 3D theatres starting April 6, 2018.
The filmmakers from the acclaimed IMAX documentaries “Born to Be Wild” and “Island of Lemurs: Madagascar” will take audiences on an exciting and educational new journey, this time in China with a species loved the world over—Giant Pandas.
At Chengdu Panda Base in China, scientists are taking the captive breeding program to the next level and preparing captive-born cubs for the wild. This film follows one such researcher, whose passion leads her to initiate a new technique inspired by a black bear rehabilitator in rural New Hampshire. What starts as a cross-cultural collaboration becomes a life-changing journey for one special panda named Qian Qian. The film, captured with IMAX® cameras, follows Qian Qian on an exciting new adventure into the mountains of Sichuan as she experiences nature for the first time and discovers her wild side.
David Douglas and Drew Fellman, the filmmakers behind “Born to be Wild” and “Island of Lemurs: Madagascar,” directed the film, which Fellman wrote and produced, with Douglas as director of photography. Donald Kushner and Steve Ransohoff also produced the film, with Li Xiao Dong, David Haring, and Elie Samaha executive producing and Neal Allen serving as line producer. “Born to be Wild” and “Island of Lemurs: Madagascar” editor Beth Spiegel and composer Mark Mothersbaugh collaborated with Douglas and Fellman once again, with sound design by Gus Koven.
“I am thrilled to team up with IMAX and Warner Bros. Pictures to help tell this incredible story in the larger-than-life IMAX format,” said Kristen Bell. “Pandas not only spotlights the important work being done to protect these beloved and ridiculously cute animals, but it provides us with inspiration and hope and showcases the great things we can achieve when we work together.”
Greg Foster, CEO of IMAX Entertainment and Senior Executive Vice President, IMAX Corp., added, “We’re tremendously excited to have the talented and engaging Kristen Bell join the IMAX family to narrate Pandas. We can’t wait to share this heartfelt journey that will transport IMAX audiences to the mountains of Sichuan in China and spotlight the incredible steps scientists are taking to protect and reintroduce these magnificent and adorable pandas into the wild.”
Jeff Goldstein, President Domestic Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures, said, “We are so pleased to continue the tradition of bringing these wonderful IMAX adventures to families. We’re proud to add Pandas to our slate and to give people an opportunity to see these amazing animals as never before.”
“I am delighted to continue my longstanding partnership with IMAX and Warner Bros. on Pandas,” said producer/writer Drew Fellman, who co-directed the film with David Douglas. “Shooting with IMAX cameras helped us deliver a dazzling and intimate experience and we’re thrilled to have Kristen Bell onboard to guide this one-of-a-kind IMAX adventure.”
Kristen Bell currently stars as Eleanor Shellstrop in season two of the TV series “The Good Place,” with Ted Danson, which has been renewed for a third season by NBC. Up next, she will star in the Netflix comedy “Like Father,” opposite Kelsey Grammer, and lend her voice to the animated film Teen Titans GO! to the Movies, both set for release in 2018. Bell most recently executive produced and appeared in the ABC special “Encore,” about former high-school classmates who get together for an encore performance of their old musical theater productions. She also reprised her role as Anna in Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, a featurette based on the blockbuster animated feature Frozen, released alongside Coco. She is working on the sequel to Frozen, scheduled to hit theaters in fall 2019. Frozen has grossed over $1.2 billion worldwide, making it the highest-grossing animated film of all time. Bell also recently starred in A Bad Moms Christmas, alongside Mila Kunis and Kathryn Hahn. The film is a sequel to 2016’s Bad Moms, the first STX film to gross over $100 million domestically.