I’m not sure what’s harder to believe: that China still hasn’t released its own homegrown 3D CGI animated feature or that the first one they are releasing later this month is something called Boonie Bears (Xiong Chumo). [UPDATE: Chinese media reports that this is the country’s first 3D CGI film may be inaccurate; our pals at YAM remind us that there was another Chinese feature in 2011 called Legend of a Rabbit.)
Boonie Bears is based on a popular TV series currently broadcast on Central China Television. Over 200 episodes of the show have been produced, expounding the general theme of peaceful coexistence between man and nature. In the show, man is represented by a logger named Vick and nature comes in the form of two bears, Briar and Bramble. Tons of episodes are posted onto YouTube; here’s a typical example:
A 70-minute TV special, Boonie Bears: Homeward Journey, aired last spring in China, and will be released next week on DVD in the United States. The English-language trailer for the special is memorable, but for all the wrong reasons.