2. Kung Fu Panda
In the absence of Wall-E and Horton Hears a Who, Kung fu Panda is the best animation film yet released on the Chinese mainland. It came to China just four days after its release in the US. Available both in standard theaters and on IMAX, it took in more than US$26 million at the box office, making it the mainland's highest-grossing animation feature ever.
The movie is authentically Chinese in almost every way, from scene settings through characterization, kung fu fighting, choreography, and music, all the way to the kung fu philosophy itself. At the same time it is packed with obvious and hilarious jokes that keep the audience in fits of laughter. The plot, about how the fat panda Po is transformed from big kung fu fan to kung fu master, is both positive and heartwarming. This well-made laughter package is irresistible to all ages. Many Chinese moviegoers watched the movie twice or more in theaters.
The movie also generated a debate in Chinese society. Many people questioned why a film packed with such a wealth of Chinese imagery was not the work of domestic movie makers. They also discussed how it might influence the future efforts of Chinese movie makers. Meanwhile, some irrational nationalist sentiments resulted in calls for a boycott of the movie. More absurdly, Zhao Bandi, a dedicated self-publicist who claims to be an "artist", mounted a farcical court case against the movie on the grounds that it insulted Chinese people.