DreamWorks Kung Fu Panda 3’s Chinese Version a 1st for Studio
For the first time DreamWorks Animation has created two versions of a film – one especially for the Chinese market. Kung Fu Panda 3 is the first release from the Shanghai-based Oriental DreamWorks, which worked closely with the Californian team. The film’s characters are animated so that their speech is in sync with both English and Mandarin.
The franchise has been embraced by China – the first Kung Fu Panda grossed $26 million in 2008, and in 2011 Kung Fu Panda 2 earned $92.2 million, setting a new record for an animated film in the country.
Teng Huatao worked as the Chinese consulting director and, according to the production notes, facilitated more nuances in the jokes and was able to incorporate improvisation by the Asian voice actors, an idiosyncratic approach to the material which is impossible to achieve with subtitles or dubbing.
According to the director Jennifer Yuh Nelson, the 200 Oriental DreamWorks artists, technicians and consultants also enabled her to achieve a greater level of authenticity in the English language version of the film. “Previously, we had to do things through research and extrapolate,” says Yuh Nelson in the production notes. “Now we have a Chinese team of actual creators.”