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Panda artist brings 'Kung Fu Panda' to court
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Zhao Bandi (C) and his friends pose outside the Chaoyang District People's Court in Beijing, where he filed a lawsuit against "Kung Fu Panda"'s Dreamworks asking for an apology, July 16, 2008. [Photo: Zhao Bandi]

The Chinese artist who launched a sensational protest against Dreamworks' "Kung Fu Panda" has filed a lawsuit against the Hollywood studio asking for an apology.

Zhao Bandi, a painter and designer who features pandas in his works, brought the suit to the Chaoyang District People's Court in Beijing on Wednesday.

"I want Dreamworks to explain to me why the panda Po has green eyes," Zhao wrote on his blog. "A green eye is evil, and that's definitely not a Chinese panda." He also wanted an explanation as to why Po's father is a duck instead of a panda.

Zhao questioned Dreamworks' intentions in making "Kung Fu Panda," and asked the court to order Dreamworks and the film's distributor, Paramount Pictures, to make an official apology via Chinese and American media.

The Beijing court will decide whether to accept the case this Friday, Zhao says.

"Kung Fu Panda" opened in China on June 20 to strong box office demand. But Zhao has been calling for a boycott of the film, saying it "exploits China's 'national treasure' and its martial arts."

He also claimed the Hollywood comedy hurt Chinese people's feelings because it came out shortly after a devastating earthquake hit southwestern China's Sichuan Province, the primary habitat for giant pandas. The screening of "Kung Fu Panda" was postponed in Sichuan to "appease quake survivors," Xinhua news agency reported last month.

Zhao has fallen a subject to attack by many Chinese netizens, who accuse him of using the film to promote himself.

(CRI July 17,2008)

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