8/18/2011 12:22pm, #1
"Legend of a Rabbit": Kung Fu Panda 'Shanzhai'?
I was amazed to recently find out that just a few weeks ago in China, the Beijing Film Academy released an animated Kung Fu movie that took three years to produce.
China's answer to 'Kung Fu Panda 2': Kung Fu rabbit
It is groundbreaking in that this is the "first Chinese animation to be screened worldwide.", but they are battling accusations of ripping off "Kung Fu Panda".
Many people with some common sense may realize that "Kung Fu Panda" itself is largely a rip-off of Chinese culture.
Given the centuries-old association between CMA and animals, you'd think that unless stories were identical, it wouldn't matter so much that anthropomorphic characters would be used in an animated movie about kung fu...but according to the Youtube comments at least, there can only be ONE movie with animals doing kung fu, and that has to be the OFFICIAL Dreamworks production from Universal City, California.
A few highlights:
- The protagonist is a Big, Fat, Rabbit who cooks pancakes for a living.
- His master is a dying monkey.
- The antagonist is...a lean, evil Panda Bear.
- They are planning a US release involving (maybe) the following:
- One anonymous insider revealed to Sohu that the film is currently planning its English-language version and is targeting Hollywood A-listers. According to various Chinese media, the list of candidates includes Daniel Craig, Robert De Niro, Ralph Fiennes, Hugh Grant, Madonna, Shaquille O'Neal and Michael Tyson.
Battling accusations of ripping off "Kung Fu Panda", the director Sun Lijun responded thus:
"If 'Legend of a Rabbit' were really a shanzhai version of 'Kung Fu Panda,' why didn't Dreamworks come to us for copyright [fee]?" Sun asked.
Last edited by W. Rabbit; 8/18/2011 12:28pm at .
8/18/2011 12:26pm, #2
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I read the title and I thought it was your biography.I feel like you eye-bawlin' me, dawg!
8/18/2011 1:18pm, #3
8/18/2011 1:31pm, #4
I wonder how they both feel about the film Karate Dog
8/18/2011 1:39pm, #5
The LA Times just ran a feature on this yesterday..
The $18-million "Legend of a Rabbit," which was made at a smaller animation facility in Tianjin, is China's most expensive animated feature to date. The movie, which arrived in theaters in July and took in $2.4 million in its first two weeks, centers on a hare because 2011 is the year of the rabbit in the Chinese zodiac; in all, a dozen films are planned over 12 years to celebrate each zodiac animal.
Chinese animation studios realize the dearth of originality and are trying to combat it by looking to box-office record holder "Avatar."
"A unique visual style and storytelling is a priority," said Jon Chiew, general manager of Crimson Forest Films, a Beijing company with an in-house animation studio that uses some of the same technology found at the Tianjin animation base. "We've adopted similar filmmaking techniques that were used in 'Avatar,' which allows for a more interesting visual style compared to prior locally made animated films."
Massive government investment in creative sectors has had some disappointing results in the past and in some cases has even harmed it.
"There's a lemming mentality where everyone is trying to follow government patronage," said Duncan Clark, president of Beijing research firm BDA China. "Too many people jump on the bandwagon and that actually ends up stifling creativity."
Although Chinese-made cartoons may receive preferential treatment in the domestic market, that coddling doesn't ensure that the characters will be popular with the public. A 2009 study by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences found that only one of Chinese teens' favorite 20 animated characters came from China. All the others were Japanese.
Shanghai film critic Wu Renchu sees the industry constantly playing catch-up with animation developed overseas.
"U.S. and Japanese animated films have influenced young people in China and set the standard," Wu said. "When Chinese films don't live up to that level, they don't do well."
Still, if there's any question that this industry is looking to take down Hollywood titans, look no further than "Legend of a Rabbit." The story follows a rabbit, initially a cook with no kung fu knowledge, who learns quickly and must ultimately battle an evil kung fu master: a panda.
8/18/2011 1:43pm, #6
Is it Americans crying? I mean it isn't like we have any movies that look like old foreign language films.
8/18/2011 2:01pm, #7
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I hope they get Jack Black to do the voice of the evil panda.
8/18/2011 2:46pm, #8
When you compare what Japan and the US have done for animation compared to China it's a welcome sight. There is a lot of potential here...unfortunately iconography and animation go hand in hand and things like Avatar:TLA (an American show/movie based in Chinese-ish fantasyland) and Kung Fu Panda (an American movie based in China with maybe one or two Chinese voice actors total) is going to be the "face of" animated kung fu for years to come.
From the look of it, the animation is well done. Obviously this took a lot of work from a lot of people, and the story is not the same. And of course the director pointed out he was not sued for infringement...I guess that's a good thing. Who knows if he could have been...
I think the Y/internet generation is too big on cut and paste and post to realize it's not like they sat down in a day and developed this film and posted it on Youtube... it was the accomplishment of a legion of talented artists and animators over a three year period.
If I see comparisons to American or Japanese animation (which has refined itself globally over decades) as a way of criticizing emerging Chinese animation, I'll personally just shut it out. It's ridiculous.
I'll bet (and I hope to confirm if I can get a copy) that this film stands on it's own.
GASP the plot and story might even be better than Kung Fu Panda.
Ooops? Did I offend our Hollywood Gods?
Never fear, I am protected by Tuer Ye, the Rabbit God.
Last edited by W. Rabbit; 8/18/2011 2:54pm at .
8/18/2011 3:05pm, #9
How fun that the Chinese even steal when it comes to their own stuff.
Anybody remember this one?
Oooooooooooh, Rabbit will go X-TEA-TICK!
8/18/2011 3:28pm, #10
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They got that Chop Stick Panda out as well, why didn't that draw any heat?
And BTW, how can you hate pancakes?