The Dragon Pearl

Billed as ‘the first Australia-China co-production’, this family movie (with a worrying PG15 rating) charts young Aussie kid Josh (Corbett) on a trip to the Far East to visit estranged father Chris (Neil), where the archaeologist is about to open a 3,000-year-old tomb. Safe thrills and broad comedy follow when the pair, joined by a Chinese scientist and her daughter (Lin Jin), discover a gateway to the dragon.

Perpetual kids’ director Mario Andreacchio – one of only five directors to steer an Aussie production to an Emmy with TV hit Captain Johnno – is at the helm. On the big screen he’s known for Napoleon, parrot-drama The Real Macaw and Paradise Found, a biopic of French painter Paul Gauguin with Kiefer Sutherland oddly in the lead role. Here he’s had a Dhs75 million budget to play with and unprecedented access to China’s historic riches, so hopes are understandably high.

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