Disney In China

FT: When Walt went to China
Yet Disney’s journey to Shanghai has been long and fraught, underlining Beijing’s schizophrenic relationship with mass American culture. Western brands are a particular neurosis for China — Mark Zuckerberg, for example, is treated as a celebrity whenever he comes to China, but Facebook remains blocked. Luxury brands such as Gucci count China and Chinese tourists as their main market, but also their most prolific copier and counterfeiter. That China has not yet created a globally successful brand is a peculiar source of humiliation in Beijing amid soul searching as to why.

The Disney launch date had been set for the numerologically fortuitous 6/16/2016. Six is a revered number in China, a homonym for the word “liu”, meaning “smooth”. But bidding for the smoothest karma possible also placed the opening ceremony during Shanghai’s rainiest month.
Why does almost every Monkey King movie suck? The most popular adaptations are the 1980s low budget TV show, a mostly true to the book adaptation.

The Stephen Chow comedy version loosely based on Journey to the West.

And the 1964 cartoon:

Chinese cartoons, even by Wile E Coyote standards, are violent. Pleasant Goat was targeted by broadcast regulators for “excessive violence” in 2013, including boiling alive, assault with a frying pan, and electric shocks. But at Ritan Park, a small amusement park three metro stops from Tiananmen Square and two blocks from my home, these characters come alive, encapsulating the eccentric nuttiness of China’s cartoon world.
The show is a slightly toned down Itchy and Scratchy.

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