'Kung Fu Panda' success may see China loosen control on creativity

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New Delhi, July 5 : Animated film 'Kung Fu Panda' has motivated senior advisors to the Chinese Government to seek lesser control on creativity.

The film was the centre of discussions for a recent panel meeting of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Committee (CPPCC).

"Why can't we make a cartoon as popular as 'Kung Fu Panda'?" new agency Xinhua quoted the head of the China National Peking Opera Company as asking during the discussions.

After a lengthy philosophical discussion, the members of the Second Meeting of the Standing Committee of the 11th National Committee of the CPPCC agreed that the government should relax its control in order to open up of the cultural market, and to enhance China's cultural influence in the world.

"The film's protagonist is China's national treasure and all the elements are Chinese, but why didn't we make such a film?" China National Peking Opera Company President Wu Jiang said while kicking off the discussion.

Kung Fu Panda is a story of a panda in ancient China who becomes an unlikely martial-arts hero. The film vividly presents Chinese cultural elements like kung fu, noodles, firecrackers, the distinct landscape, shadowboxing, temple fairs, calligraphy, and acupuncture.

"Many lines in the film contain the sprit of Chinese Zen Buddhism," Wu said.

The production of this film took five years, and cost more than 130 million U.S. dollars. Its global publicity budget is estimated at 125 million to 150 million dollars.

"It's not that we could not produce such a film, but we lack an integrated industry base. In other words, we might have the ideas, but we lack the structure to realize them," said CPPCC Standing Committee member Sun Zhonghuan.

He called for drafting state policies to support cultural creativity, respect talent, and create a social atmosphere conducive to innovation.

Those participating in the meeting also heard that foreigners were often too ignorant of China's history to understand its TV dramas, something that was an obstacle to global sales.

Wu said: "We know little about foreigners' views and expectations of the Chinese culture. We should study their viewing habits and psychology. If we can find common points of interest, our cultural products will have greater success."

Standing Committee member Tian Congming, former president of Xinhua News Agency, said the international popularity of the classic Chinese work 'The Art of War' was indicative of worldwide interest in Chinese culture.

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