A Chinese film company has released its answer to Dreamworks’ animated feature, “Kung Fu Panda”. “Wong Fei Hong vs. Kung Fu Panda” is a Chinese-produced unofficial sequel (to put it politely).
The direct to video animated feature will obviously not have the production values of the original $130 million film.
The film features Kung Fu Panda and Chinese martial arts folk hero Wong Fei Hung. In the film, the panda is assigned by the Buddha to protect an ancient treasure that could give the bearer the power to conquer the world.
Kung Fu Panda created controversy in China when it was released, with the success of a Chinese-themed story produced by an American company angering Chinese who wondered why they themselves weren’t capable of producing such a film.
Additionally, the release of the film coincided with a devastating earthquake in Sichuan province.
Although Disney is unlikely to have the same success in copyrighting Chinese traditional tales as it has with the European equivalents, there still appear to be certain resemblances which will could render problematic an international release:
A Dreamworks produced official sequel to the film is also in pre-production.
With Wong Fei Hong vs. Kung Fu Panda, the Chinese can be proud that they can rightfully answer Hollywood’s attempt to appropriate their cultural heritage. Meanwhile, the rest of the world will be able to appreciate the impressive scope of Chinese innovation.