MUMBAI: Dreamworks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda 2 hits movie theaters on 26 May and ahead of the release, art director Raymond Zibach, will visit Chengdu for the premiere in China, and to explore the hometown of real pandas.
In Chengdu, Zibach will share how his research into Chendgu’s thriving culture helped inspire the film and how he incorporated new elements of the region into the movie. In the sequel, the famous panda Po will travel to Chengdu, his hometown, where he finds out more about his Kung Fu origins and family history.
During his three days in Chengdu, Zibach will visit locations featured in Kung Fu Panda 2 including historic Taoist site Mt. Qingcheng, where he can see the beautiful "Peace Valley" from the movie in reality, plus the Jinsha Cultural Relics Site and the famous Wide-and-Narrow Lanes. During production, the Dreamworks film crew traveled in Chengdu in 2008 to ensure the region was depicted accurately, even meeting the baby panda who inspired the Kung Fun character Po, who lives at the Panda Breeding Base. As the core member of the creative team, Zibach’s unique experience in Chengdu brought him inspiration for the creation of Kung Fu Panda 2.
The cooperation between DreamWorks Animation and Chengdu began in 2008, when CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg and the creative team behind the first Kung Fu Panda film visited the hometown of the giant panda.
"We found the secrets of Po’s mysterious origins during the trip to Chengdu," said Katzenberg.
"The subtle incorporation of Chinese culture has become a stepping stone for Hollywood to enter the Chinese market. The Chinese elements in Kung Fu Panda were well-received by Chinese audiences, and the film broke the Chinese box office record for highest-grossing animated feature," said Katzenberg at a press conference in Los Angeles.
The movie follows the 2008 global hit, which was the third biggest movie that year. Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman and Jackie Chan are the voices behind the animation.
"By incorporating elements of Chengdu into Kung Fu Panda 2, we hope that people around the world can learn more about Chengdu’s unique culture and scenery, including our status as the hometown of the Giant Panda!" said a representative of the Chengdu Municipal Government.