Po of 'Kung Fu Panda' returns to his Chinese roots

By Xu Fan / Chen Nan ( China Daily ) Updated: 2016-01-21 07:50:31

Po of 'Kung Fu Panda' returns to his Chinese roots

A scene from the latest film of the Kung Fu Panda franchise, which will premiere globally on Jan 29.[Photo provided to China Daily]

In the Chinese version, veteran actor Huang Lei did the voice for Po, while Taiwan pop singer Jay Chou was the voice of the monkey warrior and sings the theme song Try.

Typically, it is rare to see so many big Chinese names behind an animated movie.

So a film with so many big Chinese movie and TV stars including Jackie Chan, Bai Baihe, Wang Zhiwen, Yang Mi, Jiang Wu, Zhang Guoli and Zhu Zhu is bound to make audiences sit up and take notice.

Though their voices were post-produced, the animation has been tailored to match the speech.

Nelson says: "As you will see, there are no seams, no subtitles. These animated characters are supposed to speak in Mandarin."

The local production means that the Mandarin pronunciation is authentic.

"They (the Chinese crew) have helped to ensure the Mandarin version feels natural to the Chinese, including idioms and sayings, and other nuances of Chinese culture," the director says.

With the glittering cast and positive reviews, some industry sources predict that the panda could become the biggest threat for domestic tentpoles competing for eyeballs during the highly profitable Spring Festival season.

As Zhang Zhiyuan, a box-office researcher, tells China Daily: "Most industry sources believe that the movie will surpass the 2-billion-yuan mark with its comic tone, scenes and likeable characters, as it makes up a good choice for families."

Though the results will not be known at least until the end of February, the film's director, like the panda, does not seem to be particularly perturbed.

Nelson says that after eight years, "Po remains the humble, fun, and rather childlike figure in the midst of progressively harder and harder obstacles."

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