ATLANTA - February, 2011 ? Officials at Zoo Atlanta and DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. (Nasdaq: DWA) have issued a joint announcement that the only giant panda cub born in the U.S. in 2010 has a name: Po. The name is a tribute to the lead character, Po the panda, in the upcoming DreamWorks Animation film, Kung Fu Panda 2, which will be distributed by Paramount Pictures starting on May 26, 2011.
The announcement was made this morning by representatives from Zoo Atlanta and DreamWorks Animation, the official sponsor of the 100 Day Giant Panda Cub Celebration and the naming of Po. Actor Jack Black, who voiced the iconic character of Po the panda in Kung Fu Panda - which grossed over $630 million at the worldwide box office - and who will reprise his role in the upcoming sequel, was present for the naming of the newborn panda cub.
"Today's announcement is the beginning of an amazing alliance between Zoo Atlanta and DreamWorks Animation. Our organizations share a commitment to giant panda conservation, particularly at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding," said Raymond B. King, President and CEO of Zoo Atlanta. "We are proud and honored to share this moment with Jack Black, who has already helped to bring the importance of saving this species to a new generation of conservationists."
Giant pandas are among the world's rarest mammals, with fewer than 1,600 believed to remain in the wild. The giant panda program at Zoo Atlanta supports conservation programs at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding and in nature reserves in China.
In the Kung Fu Panda films, Po is an unlikely hero challenged by preconceived notions of what a kung fu warrior should be. Following the likeable but clumsy Po and his allies on a series of adventures, the films celebrate the power of self-worth and the ability of an individual to affect positive change.
These themes are equally fitting for the giant panda cub. He is an ambassador for his species, helping to draw attention to the plight of giant pandas in the wild. Born to Lun Lun on November 3, 2010, the 3-month-old now known as Po is already proving to be a great ambassador. Followed by thousands of fans on the world-famous PandaCam presented by EarthCam, the cub is expected to make his public debut in late March or early April. View the PandaCam at www.zooatlanta.org/pandacam.
About Zoo Atlanta
An accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Zoo Atlanta inspires value and preservation of wildlife through a unique mix of education and outdoor family fun. From well-known native wildlife to critically endangered species on the brink of extinction, the Zoo offers memorable close encounters with more than 1,000 animals from around the world. Opening in March 2011 is Complex Carnivores, a new series of exhibits featuring bush dogs, fossa and binturong. Zoo Atlanta is also proud to be one of only four zoos in the U.S. that giant pandas call home: Lun Lun's newest cub, born November 3, 2010, makes his public debut in spring 2011. Other highlights include the nation's largest collection of western lowland gorillas, the nation's largest zoological collection of orangutans and a global center of excellence for the care and study of vanishing reptiles and amphibians. The Zoo is open daily with the exceptions of Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Keeper talks, interactive wildlife shows, education programs and special events run year-round. For more information, call 404.624.WILD or visit zooatlanta.org.
About DreamWorks Animation
DreamWorks Animation creates high-quality entertainment, including CG animated feature films, television specials and series, live entertainment properties and online virtual worlds, meant for audiences around the world. The Company has world-class creative talent, a strong and experienced management team and advanced filmmaking technology and techniques. DreamWorks Animation has been named one of the "100 Best Companies to Work For" by FORTUNE® Magazine for three consecutive years. In 2011, DreamWorks Animation ranks #10 on the list. All of DreamWorks Animation's feature films are now being produced in 3D. The Company has theatrically released a total of 21 animated feature films, including the franchise properties of Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon.