Chinese authorities open £420m facility to help homegrown films compete with animated blockbusters such as Kung Fu Panda.

Dan Gould
  • 31 may 2011

Powered by
This article titled “China picks cartoon fight with Hollywood” was written by Ben Child, for on Tuesday 31st May 2011 13.27 UTC

It is designed to be the creative hub that catapults local film-makers towards the heights achieved by Hollywood animation giants such as Pixar and DreamWorks. China has opened a .5bn yuan (£420m) facility in Tianjin, near Beijing, aimed at producing films that can compete with the best of the west.

Chinese authorities say more than 180 firms will be present at the new 190-acre facility, which is located about 30 minutes from the capital via high-speed rail.

The move follows the opening of Hollywood’s latest animated blockbuster, the Chinese-themed Kung Fu Panda II, in the US and China at the weekend. The first instalment broke box office records in China three years ago but was criticised in some quarters as western exploitation of Chinese culture. FHowever, many questioned why the DreamWorks film had not been made by a local company.

Chinese animated films have struggled internationally, but a forthcoming project, Legend of a Rabbit, appears to be a bid to redress the balance. Like the DreamWorks film, it features an anthropomorphic hero who learns kung fu, in this instance a lowly bunny who takes on a skilled panda to save a martial arts school. The m 3D project, which has been in development for three years with a team of more than 500 animators, is set for a June release in China.

It appears to be a reaction to a large degree of soul-searching in China following the success of Kung Fu Panda. After the film became the first animated movie to pass the 100m yuan mark at the box office, award-winning director Lu Chuan wrote an article in the state-run China Daily newspaper questioning why Chinese animated films were not able to compete.

“I cannot help wondering when China will be able to produce a movie of this calibre,” he said, adding that he had tried to make an animated film for the 2008 Olympics but was forced to give up as a result of government interference.

“I kept receiving directions and orders on how the movie should be like,” he wrote. “The fun and joy from doing something interesting left us, together with our imagination and creativity.”

At Friday’s opening ceremony for the new Tianjin facility, China’s minister of culture, Cai Wu, said that production of animation films was part of a plan to develop the country’s cultural industries before 2015.

Kung Fu Panda 2 opens in the UK on 10 June. © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

Published via the Guardian News Feed plugin for WordPress.


Plastic Wind Trees Are Bringing Sustainable Power To Residential Homes

Work Today

Amazon Is Experimenting With A 30-Hour Work Week

The online retailer is launching a pilot program that will allow a technical team to work with a considerably shortened schedule

Fitness / Sport Today

How The Rio Olympics Stood For More Than Just Games

PSFK rounds out the Rio Games with our picks for the finest moments beyond sports


Get PSFK's Latest Report: Future of Work

See All
Retail Today

Mobile Travel App Embraces Cognitive Computing

The Orlando Tourism Board is looking to IBM Watson to provide personalized local recommendations for visitors

Automotive Today

Bike-Friendly Apartment Building For Swedish Cyclists

A residential space is being designed for commuters to easily transport goods

Advertising Today

Nike Takes Over An Entire City Block With A Giant Running Track

The Unlimited Stadium is shaped like a 100-meter sole print of the brand's LunarEpic sneaker

Gaming Today

Fortune Cookie Service Brings Bad News To Your Doorstep

To promote their new delivery service Blackbox, the creators of Cards Against Humanity are delivering unfortunate messages in an edible form


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

PSFK Op-Ed august 24, 2016

Why Building Better Offices Is The Key To Employee Engagement

Interaction Designer and Audio-visual Technologist at ESI Design illustrates the value in creating environments filled with surprise and delight

PSFK Labs Today

New Mentorship Ecosystems Benefit All Levels Of An Organization

PSFK’s Future of Work report explores how technology is being leveraged to support cross-team communication

Arts & Culture Today

This Picture Frame Could Be The Lava Lamp For A New Generation

Slow Dance makes real objects appear to move in slow motion

Work Today

Editorial Roundtable: How Will Companies Staff The Workplace Of The Future?

Managed By Q, Soma, Workbar, Primary, AltSchool and thinkPARALLAX examine the ways that a people-first workplace might disrupt the job hiring process

Arts & Culture Today

Airport Mural Puts Passengers In The Clouds

The installation in an Amsterdam terminal lets travelers float through a series of billowing 3D digital shapes

Automotive Today

DevBot Is An Intelligent, Driverless, Electric Car

The unmanned test vehicle from RoboRace is a preview of upcoming AI race models

Fitness / Sport Today

Turn Any Wearable Into A Mental Health Tracker

Cognition Kit is a software platform that lets people track and better understand their cognitive states


Rio Olympics
Innovation Coverage From The Rio Games

Augmented / Virtual Reality Today

AR Ski Goggles Make Racing Down The Slopes Even More Immersive

Israeli startup RideOn weaves digital overlays into the thrill of skiing with an unconventional pair of protective eyewear

Advertising Today

Japan Wants To Make 2020 Olympic Medals From Recycled Electronic Waste

The Tokyo Games could showcase the first-ever gold, silver and bronze awards made from discarded phones and computers

Culture Today

This Small Town Has Become A Hide-and-Seek World Championship Destination

An old abandoned village in Northern Italy has become a massive playground for over one hundred competitive players

No search results found.