On the list of things that seriously really piss us off children’s movies, Americanized kung fu and animated pandas don’t exactly play a starring role. In fact, it’s probably fair to say they don’t even make a cameo. Unfortunately for artist Zhao Bandi (赵半狄), all these things seem to be at the top of his list, and all these things are clearly evident in DreamWorks’ new film Kung Fu Panda. To display his righteous outrage, Zhao rallied his (only?) two friends and fellow panda advocates for a protest outside the Beijing State Administration of Radio Film and Television offices, brandishing a petition calling for the film’s release to be canceled. Choice words from the protest, courtesy of WSJ Blogs: “If the Hollywood film ‘Kung Fu Panda’ is released on Jun. 20, it will be just like snatching the necklaces and watches from the corpses of disaster victims.” Um, ok. How so?
Among the main gripes with the film: Hollywood is exploiting China’s “national treasure” (its pandas) and its martial arts; the film is made by Dreamworks, a studio founded by Steven Spielberg (who withdrew from his role as an adviser to the Beijing Olympics earlier this year over concerns about China’s role in Sudan); and more broadly, it’s a Hollywood film, and Hollywood is the place that produced Sharon Stone, reviled in China for her Cannes comments about Tibet, the Sichuan earthquake and karma.
After meeting with SARFT administrators, Zhao conceded he would accept the film’s release (though not in earthquake-affected areas, where an animated troop of bumbling animals might provoke too strong an emotional reaction).
Great rant on the subject from China Media Blog
Photo from hecaitou.net