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'Kung Fu Panda 2' premieres


The sequel to the Hollywood blockbuster, 'Kung Fu Panda' hits the big screen worldwide on Saturday.

The sequel to the Hollywood blockbuster, "Kung Fu Panda" hits the big screen worldwide on Saturday.

The sequel to the Hollywood blockbuster, "Kung Fu Panda" hits the big screen worldwide on Saturday. The first installment swept movie audiences off their feet in 2008, raking in 200 million yuan on the Chinese mainland alone. In Kung Fu Panda 2, its lead character, Panda Po, is once again set to steal the limelight.

The sequel is taking off from its predecessor.

The story follows Po, the clumsy, Kung-fu fanatic panda bear. Po continues his journey as the chosen one who must fulfill an ancient prophecy while mastering the art of Kung Fu. But first, Po must confront his past.

"Po is very brave in this installment. He appears dauntless when making an attempt to save his friends. And, if you want to get out of your stressful daily life for a while, go see 'Kung Fu Panda 2'. It is so funny."

The scenic landscape of China's southwest Sichuan Province are set as the background for "Kung Fu Panda 2".

A heavy dose of Chinese culture and culinary delights characterizes the sequel, which is expected to be a big draw for Chinese audiences.

"I'm reluctant to acknowledge that Po comes from America. I feel close to him. Everything about the panda is so Chinese, including his way of talking, living habits and even his understanding of Kung Fu."

"Kung Fu Panda 2" is already stirring excitement with Chinese movie goers. A majority of the tickets to its premiere have already sold out.

Just days ahead of the world release of the movie, the film's production designer Raymond Zibach visited Chengdu to talk of how his research into Chinese culture helped to inspire the film.

During his trip Zibach held a real panda for the first time. Afterwards he explained what his aims for the sequel were.

Raymond Zibach, Production Designer of "Kung Fu Panda 2", said, "I was hoping that after the first film, if I did it correctly, people would want to, if they could, come to China and experience from themselves. But if they couldn't, they could actually watch the movie and get a good idea of what's here. So that was the big surprise, I think, when the first movie came out, and the second movie will do it too. People will appreciate the culture here more."

Though the bumbling panda named Po is popular around the world, the film's creative team hadn't come into contact with real pandas before creating the character.

But in October 2008 they traveled to China, visiting cities and tourist spots including Sichuan, the home of the panda.

Their experiences during the visit inspired them when creating "Kung Fu Panda 2".

(CNTV May 30, 2011)

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