Friday, October 18, 2019

Regional politics even inserts itself into the latest kids' blockbuster movie

Politics manages to worm its way into pretty much everything. The latest casualty is the Universal Pictures animation Abominable, which is about a Chinese girl who discovers and befriends a magical yeti, or abominable snowman.
Sounds innocent enough, no? But Vietnam has just pulled the movie from cinemas, and both the Philippines and Malaysia have ordered a  certain scene to be cut before the film can be shown. The culprit? No, not a full frontal shot of a yeti, not a salacious depiction of Mohammed or Jesus Christ. The problem is one short scene in which a map of China is shown which includes the U-shaped dotted line used on Chinese maps to include a controversial group of islands in the South China Sea.
The movie was produced jointly by Shanghai-based Pearl Studio and the American DreamWorks Animation. Somebody in Shanghai obviously figured that was the right map to show, and nobody in America had any idea that it might not be. Of course, if they had shown a different map, China would probably be boycotting the film right now, so you really can't win.

No comments: