China To Release 'Peppa Pig' Special Film On Chinese New Year

Peppa Pig
(Photo: Flickr)

China will be celebrating the Year of the Pig by releasing a special film about "Peppa Pig", a British cartoon character that is loved by a lot of kids and who also fell foul with Chinese censors just last year.

The special film, titled "Peppa Celebrates Chinese New Year," will hit Chinese screens this coming February 5 - the first day of the Chinese zodiac's Year of the Pig and the first day of Chinese New Year as well, the South China Morning Post reported. The movie is co-produced by Alibaba Pictures and Canadian media company Entertainment One (eOne).

The Peppa Pig special film is the first ever animated cartoon in China that will feature live shooting with a cast including household names like Liu Yun and Zhu Yawen. The movie will also highlight Chinese New Year traditions such as dumpling wrapping and dragon dancing. There will be two new characters included in the special film as well, Glutinous Rice Ball and Dumpling. The two were popular delicacies during Chinese New Year.

According to Wei Zhang, the president of Alibaba Pictures, Peppa Pig series shows the importance of family values and it is something that will deeply resonate with Chinese audiences. The special film is also a great opportunity, especially in promoting cultural exchange between the West and China. Olivier Dumont, the president of eOne, also said the cartoon character has a huge fan base in China after it was launched in the country in 2015.

However, Peppa Pig - which is based on the Peppa Pig television series created by Astley Baker Davies - has not been always welcome in China. Just last year, the cartoon series made headlines after being banned from an online video channel in the country as it was reportedly associated with "gangster" behavior. About 30,000 clips of Peppa Pig have been removed from the popular video-sharing platform, Douyin, and the #PeppaPig hashtag was banned from the site as well.

Meanwhile, a new rule proposed by the broadcasting watchdog makes it difficult for Chinese audiences to watch their favorite new foreign shows. The draft released by the National Radio and Television Administration stated online video platforms and TV stations will only be allowed to allocate no more than 30 percent of their daily screen time to programs produced overseas.

Aside from Peppa Pig, other cartoons reportedly banned in China over the past years include "SpongeBob SquarePants," "Scooby Doo," "Winnie the Pooh," "Death Note," "Attack on Titan," 'Bojack Horseman," and "Despicable Me 2."

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