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Po power for panda film
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Disney fashions a modern-day icon of girl power with its animated adaptation of the 2,000-year-old Chinese folktale Mulan in 1998, which awed the viewers from around the world.

A decade later, similarly stunning animation by DreamWorks explores the splendors of Chinese culture and landscape through martial arts cartoon Kung Fu Panda.

The film's main character Po, the big, lovable panda bear.

The film is the perfect combination of the two most famous Chinese elements - panda and kungfu.

With a colorful cast of animal warriors, the film is believed to be a great choice to launch a summer that will culminate in the spectacle of the Beijing Olympics.

But, after winning wide applause and topping box office charts in the United States, the film's main character Po - the big, lovable panda bear - faces another challenge: fierce judgment from Chinese audience in China on Friday.

The Hollywood film, set in mysterious China, was made by a mostly non-Asian creative team. With that in mind, there are many ways this film has the potential to go wrong.

But Kung Fu Panda comes as love letter, or tribute to Chinese kungfu and the country's profound culture, say first-time feature film directors John Stevenson and Mark Osborne.

"Po is not an American panda, or a Hollywood panda. Po is a panda belonging to the world," Stevenson says.

Transforming a panda into a kungfu fighter to save a threatened village in ancient times is essentially the entire movie.

The lazy and irreverent panda, Po (voiced by Jack Black), must somehow become a kungfu master in order to save the Valley of Peace from a villainous snow leopard, Tai Lung.

Set in the legendary world of ancient China, the story of Po - an unlikely hero - enters the rigid world of kungfu and turns it upside down. Po ultimately becomes a hero by learning that if he believes in himself, he can do anything.

Although the storyline screams traditional Hollywood - where the most unlikely character becomes the ultimate hero in order to save the world - the directors did incorporate Chinese philosophy in the film: the belief in oneself.

"'Be your own hero', which means don't look outside of yourself for the answer. Don't expect someone else to make things right. You are empowered to achieve anything you want, if you set your mind to it. Be the best that you can be," says Stevenson.

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