Like Americans, Chinese audiences will be able to see Kung Fu Panda 3 on January 29, but unlike Westerners, Chinese moviegoers will be able to choose between two different versions of the film: the American version subtitled in Mandarin, and the “Chinese edition” with new mouth movement and body language that matches the nuances of the Mandarin-language voice actors.
DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg concocted the two-edition approach to compel Chinese audiences into watching Po’s adventures multiple times. “You’ll have to see it twice to compare the differences between the English and Chinese versions,” he told Chinese cinema chain managers last month, according to the Hollywood Reporter. “But twice is not enough,” he optimistically pitched. “You’ll actually have to see it a third time to decide which is your favorite.”
The extra animation in the Chinese edition also allowed the animation crew at Oriental DreamWorks to gain production experience on a major DreamWorks project without affecting the workflow of the main production. DreamWorks is developing its Chinese outpost with the vision that someday it will produce films independently of the American operation.