Walt Disney Studios is teaming up with China’s Castle Hero Pictures and Ying Dong Media on its second Disney branded Chinese collaboration, the tentatively titled nature drama Touch Of The Panda.

The parties announced the project on Monday [June 16] at the Shanghai International Film Festival and said the film has completed principal photography in the Chinese province of Sichuan with official cooperation and supervision from the Wolong Giant Panda Nature Reserve.

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures China helped develop the project during the pre-production and filming stages with Castle Hero Pictures and Ying Dong Media and will handle global marketing and distribution in 2009.

Yu Zhong directed the story of a small boy who rescues a lost panda cub and attempts to return the creature to its mother. Daichi Harashima stars as the boy.

Jean Chalopin and Jennifer Liu co-wrote and produced and Ying Dong Media chairman Tian Ye served as executive producer.

‘Our first Disney branded effort in China, The Magic Gourd [2007], proved to be a tremendous success and the start of a wonderful working relationship,’ Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production’s executive vice president Jason Reed said.

‘We’re grateful that Jean Chalopin and Jennifer Liu brought this project to us, and we’ve enjoyed working closely with them throughout the production to make it a film that will entertain family audiences everywhere.’

China recently reiterated its film censorship criteria, which has caused concern for overseas filmmakers intending to work in China.

However, both The Magic Gourd and Touch Of Panda are family-oriented films, which appear to be a safe choice in the current censorship environment. Due to the Disney tradition of making films for family audiences, ‘the situation in China in fact gives us more opportunities,’ Reed told Screendaily in Shanghai.