Sunday, August 3, 2008

Kung Fu Singa?

Kung Fu Panda, the movie, has brought about both loves and hates. Some equate success with extreme emotions. You can't be said to be successful if you do not draw extreme opposing forces alongside with those propelling you.

The Panda movie viewers laughed along with some caramelised pop corns and have generally received it with a positive note albeit in varying degrees. However, extreme reactions is drawn from China where the panda is, but of course, their treasured national symbol. I did not watch the movie but it is not difficult to understand how the Chinese view the matter.

Traditionally, heroes in the Chinese folklore are flawless, equipped with the most upright characters and virtues. Such are the deep set values brought down for centuries under the Confucius teaching.
Try to picture a national hero, symbolised by a panda, constantly struggling with will power problems. Not a good sight to start with. Now, add this on... he has eating disorder and a tendency to run away from danger. Hmmm... not quite the image of a Chinese hero. The thought of him showing disrespect to his kungfu master was hard to stomach. Well, what do you expect from a raccoon? If that is not enough, the hero has some serious biological mixed-ups. Where did he get his greens eyes from? His goose father? It is looking really unacceptable now.

If a similar movie were to be made based on materials lifted from Singapore, what would be the symbol of the heroic character? Singa? Ah Meng? Not many names come to my mind.

The question is: Would Singaporeans react if animations techniques bring about much laughters towards the lack of heroism of the chosen character? If I were to put this question to a straw poll I would probably struggle just to get some response. "Why should I care?" So, I heard someone says.

In many ways, global surveys have put Singapore high up on the charts and this suggests some kind of achievement. For decades, we strive to become a world class city. We created many unique formulas which brought about changes beyond the imagination of many. We continuously create, improvise and replace the ingredients we put into the national cooking pot. We yearn for a perfect dish, relevant to the taste of the time. But are we forgetting something? Is this island state blessed with world class hardware but badly lacking in heartware?

Somehow, I have this naggy feeling that, Kung Fu Singa will, at most, be another character introduced, just to spice up the contents of the primary school Social Studies text books. The more appreciative and less judgemental kids may accord more justice to the status of the hero.

Forget about making Kung Fu Singa, the movie!

See other movies:
Mama Mia

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