Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
Home / Culture / Film and TV

Fighting for the top spot, Kung Fu Panda 4 hits Chinese theaters

By Xu Fan | China Daily | Updated: 2024-03-25 07:16
Share - WeChat
Actor Huang Bo, the voice behind the titular character in the Chinese version of Kung Fu Panda 4, strikes a martial arts-inspired pose at Universal Beijing Resort on March 14. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Stretching his arms and squatting slightly, actor Huang Bo demonstrates a classic martial arts gesture often depicted in movies as a ritualistic, pre-fight greeting. However, this time, it wasn't about gearing up for battle, but more about displaying his connection to an iconic animated kung fu master.

During a recent promotional event for Kung Fu Panda 4 on March 14, Huang struck the pose alongside Po, the titular hero of the franchise, at the Universal Beijing Resort.

Graduating from the Beijing Film Academy with a dubbing major, Huang has returned to familiar territory, lending his voice to the famous panda in the Chinese version of the movie, which opened across Chinese mainland theaters on Friday.

Since the first Kung Fu Panda film was released in 2008, the franchise has earned around $2 billion in global box-office receipts, and 1.8 billion yuan ($250 million) in the Chinese mainland market.

The latest film kicks off with Po facing a new hurdle. Reluctant to let go of the glories and benefits that come with being the Dragon Warrior, Po has to choose a successor to carry on his legacy, as he will soon assume the role of the Spiritual Leader, a loftier position.

Meanwhile, a new threat looms over the Valley of Peace — Chameleon, a cunning lizard with the ability to transform into any creature, sets her sights on Po's Staff of Wisdom, a mystical item that holds the power to resurrect all the formidable adversaries Po has defeated and banished to the Spirit Realm.

A poster for the film. [Photo provided to China Daily]

In an unlikely team-up with Zhen, a sly Corsac fox who Po catches trying to steal something in the valley's most sacred palace, the duo sets off on an adventure to Juniper City, a fictional Chinese metropolis under the rule of the notorious villain Chameleon. However, their newfound friendship is put to the ultimate test when hidden truths come to light.

A "Juniper City" was re-created at Universal Beijing Resort during the promotional event, drawing a lot of local visitors who joyfully admired the fictional city, including a mahjong parlor and a colorful paper kite workshop.

Aside from Huang, Chinese actresses Yang Mi and Jiang Xin do the voice-overs for Zhen and Chameleon, respectively.

Huang recalls that he felt thrilled to watch the first Kung Fu Panda movie, as it encapsulates Chinese elements so well, from the giant panda and kung fu, to mouthwatering food, despite being produced by foreign animators.

"It has been 16 years, and Po has transformed from merely an exceptionally gifted martial artist into a spiritual mentor," he adds.

Huang also reveals that the translated version has fully localized the English dialogue by incorporating well-known and internet-popular Chinese puns and idioms.

Yang, who lent her voice to Mei Mei, a supporting character in the third installment eight years ago, says she admires her new character, Zhen, who she describes as possessing courage and a sense of justice, even though the character has a checkered past.

As of Friday, the movie had earned over 90 million yuan, making it the new box-office champion in the country on its opening day, according to Beacon, the live film information tracker.

Most Popular
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349