DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. announced a joint venture with three Chinese companies on an animation and live-action entertainment company for the Asian market.

The venture, Oriental DreamWorks, pairs the Glendale-based animation studio with China Media Capital, Shanghai Media Group, and Shanghai Alliance Investment Ltd. The Chinese companies will have a majority stake in the venture with DreamWorks Animation owning 45 percent.

The alliance between DreamWorks Animation and the three Chinese companies is historic and groundbreaking, said CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg.

“Together with our partners in China, we look forward to building a first-of-its-kind enterprise to locally conceive, produce and distribute high-quality creative content and family entertainment experiences – not only for the people of China but also for related export markets,” Katzenberg said in a prepared statement.

The “Kung Fu Panda” franchise has been DreamWorks Animation’s most popular film series in the Chinese market.

The film was the No. 1 animated film when released in China in 2008 and “Kung Fu Panda” grossed $100 million, the highest-grossing animated film of all time in the region in 2011.

Mark R. Madler