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Chinese Elements Embodied In Hollywood Films Cultural Studies Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Cultural Studies
Wordcount: 1381 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Abstract: Under the circumstance of the cultural globalization1; the movie ,as a way of media , has become the quick-launched bridge between the two sides in international cultural communication. The Hollywood cartoon movie-Kung Fu Panda2 ,a action comedy movie entitled with Chinese Kung Fu , shows the world the charm of Chinese culture. In the angle of cultural globalization, this essay forms a conclusion of the revelations people can get by demonstrating the details of Chinese elements and culture embodied in the film Kung Fu Panda.

Key words: cultural globalization, Chinese culture and elements , Kung Fu Panda

Kung Fu Panda is another cartoon film based upon the Chinese culture after the movie Mu Lan that draws people’ s attention to the Chinese traditional culture . Of course ,people can see the Chinese elements obviously from the name of this movie-Kung Fu Panda. “Kung Fu” and ” panda”, the two words are too meaningful although they are simple enough nearly known by everybody. At first , Kung Fu is the quintessence of Chinese culture; and the panda is the national precious treasure of China . When they are combined together as Kung Fu Panda is already attractive enough to draw the people’s curiosity. During the live show of this movie in the world , it has stirred a strong trend of learning Chinese culture in the whole world. The movie tells a story of a fat lazy giant panda that transforms himself into a great a great Kung Fu master – a “Dragon Warrior”. This dragon warrior was raised by a duck , and coached by a great Kung Fu master , WuGui ( a turtle). Although he lives a ordinary people’s life , he has achieved a great dream by saving the Peace Valley from the evil villainous snow leopard-Tai Lung. In the ancient China , a normal panda , Po, ultimately becomes a hero with his strong will and unwavering faith-A real warrior never quits.

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In this film , we can see lot of Chinese cultural elements everywhere. At first , what draws people’s attention tightly is that the distinctive animal panda .Although the panda , Po , in this film is a clumsy, naïve and fat a animal .But beyond that, we can see the determined and faithful qualities as well .The film maker makes the panda , Po, a Kung Fu lover who is always dreaming to be a warrior. The idea of letting a giant panda become a Dragon Warrior allows audience to give free rein to their imagination ,which tightly hold audience’s attention. As a ambassador , the panda make s people in other countries more interested in China and Chinese cultures.

Like the movie which is called Kung Fu Dream , the Chinese Kung Fu in this film is also a typical symbol of Chinese culture .The Chinese Kung Fu is said to be the most great point that push so many people at home and abroad to see Kung Fu Panda in cinemas. Undoubtedly, since Li Xiaolong, the first person who introduced the Chinese Kung Fu to the people in the world on screen many years ago , more and more people have been keen on the magic Wu Shu . In the movie , we can see all kings of Kung Fu , such as Tai Chi, the five elements boxing, 12-shaped boxing, etc.

Although it is a cartoon movie , the scenes in the cartoon film also show the Chinese Elements. All the props , sceneries and architectures in the film are designed carefully in Chinese style. Firstly , the scenes in the cartoon film visually look like the Chinese Monochromes. Besides, the mountains ,rivers , ancient temples and houses altogether with all the other beautiful natural sceneries somehow remind the audience of the image of ancient China.

There is no doubt that the music is the Chinese element that go through the whole movie. What comes first is the opening song -Hero, and then comes the sound of gongs played by Qiang Di and wooden flute with graceful and restrained voice, all these things send out a strong feeling of Oriental charm. The lively sound of Gu qin and XianZi , connected by a small section of the solo sound of the Duduk , makes people feel like listening to the Chinese classical music. Although all these songs are sung in English , yet people can also sense the Chinese style in the music.

In spite of the whole story of the panda and how he defeat the evil, the Chinese philosophical thinking is also embodied in some sentences. In this film, the directors implicate Chinese philosophical thoughts in some simple lines . For instance, the master Wu Gui in the film is a wise man. One of the most famous words given by master Wu Gui is that “Yesterday is history; tomorrow is a mystery; but today is a gift. That is why we call it the present.” The word “present” has two meanings-“gift” and “at present”. Here, the words are wisely used to tell a smart truth. In the movie , enlightened by the dragon scroll, the panda -Po also finally understand that he has to be his own hero. Once someone is empowered to achieve anything he wants, he has to set his mind on it so as to achieve his goals.

Also, there are still many other Chinese cultural elements which are embodied in the film. For example, the Chinese relationships between the apprentices and masters in the Kung Fu Panda.

Above all , Kung Fu Panda is embodied with the typical Chinese culture which is made up of a lot of things such as Chinese people’s diets , Chinese people’s lifestyles ,Chinese traditional medicines and so on .What people can learn from this phenomenon? And why the Kung Fu Panda isn’t made in China ?

Cultural globalization is happening in today’s world. As the cultural globalization spreads all over the world inevitably fast, nations are confronted with the clashes. When you are walking in the streets ,you can find the KFC and the McDonald’s restaurants at almost every corner of the street in most of the modern cities in China. You can also see the Starbuck located at the bottom of many office buildings in big cities like Shanghai and Beijing in China. We can find some of foreign movie actresses wearing the Chinese-style dress and actors wearing Chinese Tang suit to attend the important meetings. To some extent , the Chinese festivals, food, music and art are also affecting the world. Therefore, it is not surprised at all for us to find a Hollywood Kung Fu Panda .Through the Kung Fu Panda, the Hollywood DreamWorks successfully opened the biggest market with endless business opportunity. Today ,cultural globalization provides people a stage to present our Chinese culture to the whole world. As we all know, there are so many Confucius Institutes in many countries where foreigners are learning Chinese culture, Chinese language and Chinese custom well. From this point of view , it can be seen that the cultural globalization is an inevitable trend. Acting rationally towards intercultural communication is the only correct attitude towards cultural globalization. In the era of the rapid spread of cultural globalization, the development of national culture more and more relies on other countries and the promotion of the other countries’ cultures .Thus we Chinese people should not only inherit our ancestors’ valuable fortune-Chinese culture, but also make it known to the people in the world.


Cultural Globalization refers to the transmission of ideas, meanings and values across national borders. Through the process of sharing the ideas and values of one culture to another ultimately leads to an interconnectedness between various populations from diverse cultures.

Kung Fu Panda is a 2008 American computer-animated action comedy film produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by Paramount Pictures. It was directed by John Wayne Stevenson and Mark Osborne and produced by Melissa Cobb. Set in a version of ancient China populated by anthropomorphic talking animals, the plot revolves around a bumbling panda named Po who aspires to be a kung fu master. When an evil kung fu warrior is foretold to escape from prison, Po is unwittingly named the chosen one destined to bring peace to the land, much to the chagrin of the resident kung fu warriors.


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