China’s popular animated character Pleasant Goat is getting some politically powerful competition. Founder of Communist China Mao Zedong will reportedly be the subject of an animated movie, slated for a December release in that country. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the $4.9 million feature about modern China’s founding father’s teenage years is being prepared as a propaganda effort to boost the late leader’s image in time for the 120th anniversary of his birth.
The pic is produced by movie and TV production subsidiary of propaganda flagship Qiushi Journal and two filmmaking companies based in Hunan. Lu Huasheng, art director at Qiushi’s film and TV center, told the South China Morning Post that the movie aimed to teach young audiences about the revolutionary hero.
“Children like to watch cartoons. The old and stereotypical style [of presenting leaders] can’t engage them anymore. This is the 21st century. We can’t be stuck in the old ways. We need to be innovative,” said Mr Lu. We can’t use the old and dull methods to cultivate [young people's] patriotism.”
Qiushi plans to deliver a series of animated movies about the country’s other revolutionary heroes, including late premier Zhou Enlai, former president Liu Shaoqi and Marshal Zhu De are also in the works.