The Transnational Imaginary of the Other: A Postcolonial Study of Kung Fu Panda

 

Abstract:
This article critiques the representation of Chinese images as the Other from the postcolonial perspective, while exploring the polyphonic representation in the Disney cartoon Kung Fu Panda. Through a semiotic analysis of the signs in the films, it shows that though elements of both Chinese and American culture are shown as being hybridized together to weave a seemingly multicultural text, there is a subtle signification of the Chinese image as the Other and of American culture as being privileged with the continuing production of stereotypes and the portraying of the images of amiguous, ambivalent and polyphonic meanings as well as the narrative of the film. Said's Orientalist theorization and Ziauddin Sardar's criticism of postmodernism and culture are drawn upon to facilitate the understanding of the production and the consumption of the Other. Robert Robertson's criticism of the hegemony of American culture in the context of globalization is employed to critique the cultural imperialism and the commercial concern of this 'multicultural' strategy.

 

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