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Disney pledges $1M in Chinese earthquake aid

April 21, 2013 at 12:10 PM

BEIJING, April 21 (UPI) -- The Walt Disney Co. pledged $1 million in aid to China where an earthquake left more than 180 dead, LucasFilm president Kathleen Kennedy said.

Kennedy made the announcement Saturday while delivering a keynote address at Beijing's Chinese National Convention Center, The Hollywood Reporter said Sunday.

The funds will go toward rebuilding schools in China's southwestern province in Sichuan where the earthquake also injured at least 11,000 people.

She was in the country to announce an expanded collaboration between LucasFilm subsidiary Industrial Light & Magic and Beijing visual effects company Base FX, the entertainment industry publication reported.

"The Star Wars universe is full of technological and cutting-edge effects, which Base FX will be a wonderful partner to create with," she said.

During her address, Kennedy also spoke of Disney's initiative to develop China's budding animation industry in collaboration with the Chinese cultural ministry and Internet company Tencent. The idea is for the Chinese animation industry to "deliver original content" in a move that will see Disney look "for characters, which may mean something specifically to Asian audiences," she said.

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