If you liked Bao, Pixar’s animated short starring a Chinese dumpling, then you’re going to love the new Chinese animated feature Kung Food, starring Super Bao, an “innocent and passionate steamed stuffed bun” who is out to save the food world from the threat of bland flavors. The film opened in Chinese theaters yesterday.
Created by Sun Haipeng, the Kung Food franchise has been around as a tv series since 2014, with hundreds of episodes already produced. Haipeng directed and prdouced the feature through his Guangzhou-based studio, Yi Animation, which he co-founded with Haiming Cheng.
Here is Kung Food’s English-language teaser:
Kung Food launched in China against Sony Picture Animation’s Hotel Transylvania 3, but despite its local flavor, it has been no match for the American film. In its first two days, Kung Food has struggled to reach the half-million dollar mark, while HT3 has racked up nearly $12.5 million. While it’s true that HT3 is playing on far more screens in China than the local film, it’s still earning more than 3x Kung Food’s gross on a per-screen basis.
No word yet about U.S. distribution, but the existence of an English-dubbed teaser indicates that at least there’s interest from the producer in distributing the film in Western markets.
[Correction: An earlier version of this article mistakenly stated that 21st Century Fox is an investor in the film. They are not involved in the production.]