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Chinese Elements


The Chinese elements are widely used throughout the Hollywood comedy cartoon Kungfu Panda, which is considered as another successful living example, using the Chinese subject matter in an American film. We can find it from the title: Kungfu--- the quintessence of Chinese culture; Panda---national treasure. When this film is shown all over the world, the Chinese culture is also disseminated into the world. Although the culture is cited in Kungfu Panda, yet it,s still permeated by their native cultures, such as American super imagination、fighting spirit of American Dream、enthusiastic sense of humor、powerful commerce sensitivity etc.

In my point of view, these cultures can be totally learned by our Chinese film company. Meanwhile, this is interchange of a culture, namely a process one culture absorbing、reforming and renovating into a new cultural form. Chinese element and culture is the core of this paper.

I. Chinese elements in Kungfu Panda

i.  Setting

Maybe the art director pay much attention to the setting, including the work of art、buildings and landscape, which correspond to Chinese culture. In this film, the vision style is particular, distinguishing from the general computer cartoons. They put the characters in the traditional Chinese buildings, which protrudes the features of every character.

The important settings such as "YuHuang Palace" and "Valley of the peace" represents the Chinese Palace building and landscape. The daily properties which combined with Chinese elements in this film are very important, such as Po,s noodles hall, fireworks、the acupuncture and moxibustion used by Mantis for curing Po, even that typical Chinese food like steamed dumpling、baozi、steamed bread etc. , which realizing the Chinese flavor.

ii Cartoon image

From the aspect of designing the cartoon image, we can easily find the research the makers have done into Chinese culture. There is no doubt that the leading role is Panda-- national treasure, which is the most important animal in China. Not only keep the Panda’s exterior features like clumisiness and naiveness, but also endow the panda with gluttonous feature, which make the panda image funnier. While just a national treasure finally become into the "Shenlong hero". It is considered as dramatic outcome, which attracts audience,s boundless curiosity.

In this film, there is another attractive point that is the peculiar presence of "Chinese Dragon". In common sense, the dragon is the symbol of evil, yet the western maker dropped it and changed into conforming to the label of Hollywood, the symbol of Chinese dragon is advertised into each corner of the world and become the justice incarnation.

iii Kungfu

The maker used a strange association such as Tigress、Mantis、Crane、Viper, which makes the Chinese culture figurative. This design came from the famous boxing---HuHeShuangXing, Monkey boxing, Viper boxing and Mantis boxing, which endows traditional Chinese cultures、Chinese Kungfu with figurative expression_r. This film also keeps the original pronunciation of Chinese elements, such as "Kungfu " "Wugui" " Tailung" "Majiang" "Toufu" etc.

IIChinese culture in Kungfu Panda

i Self-strengthen Spirits

The protagonist Po who is laziest animal in the Valley of peace is considered as a relationship image with Kungfu, while he always dreams to be the Kungfu Emoeror. However, in fact, he try his best to defeat Tailung, which gives publicity to the Chinese self-strengthen spirits.

ii Suitable Teaching

The reason Panda Po become the Shenlong hero can be contributed to his self-efforts and Master shifu found the Po can jump so high just to reach the food, he used food to stimulate Po’s boundless latent energy. From this point, Master shifu is the real Master who use the suitable teaching. According to Po’s characteristics, he finds a special way to train Po and finally succeed. While such kind of teaching concept is turned up by Confucius, thousands years ago and is promoted by our China now.

iii Chivalrous spirits

In the comedy cartoon, there is a moving setting. When the leader of five chivalrous swordsmen Tigress is running in the late night, the rest four just ran after her and claimed that they would fight shoulder to shoulder with Tigress. From this setting, we could find the Chivalrous spirits, which have been circulating in China.

iv Chinese philosophical reason

After watch this movie, I find there are several impressive lines, from which we can easily realize the philosophical reasons. Here I set some examples as follows:

III. Conclusion

While watching the Kungfu Panda, for the first sight, I think that movie is directed and produced by our Chinese. Maybe most audience also have such an idea, because the show of Chinese elements and expounding of Chinese culture make us feel so natural.

In fact, Hollywood studio endows their films with Chinese cultures and they do it better than us. We should think about it. Why don,t we learn it well and make good use of it. China has 5000-year-old glorious history; western world has 600-year-old social course. Do not criticize! Do not boycott! Just reflect on ourselves and learn. If we persist to do so, we can also disseminate Chinese culture into each corner of the world in any forms.


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