Zhejiang TV in China is stopping airing the hugely popular children’s animated series Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf, says The Hollywood Reporter, after receiving complaints about the show being too violent. Beijing TV also said that it’s unclear whether the series will return to its lineup after the summer break.
CCTV said the show showed excessive violence and inspired copycat behavior by young viewers. For example, last April, a 10-year-old boy in Jiangsu province reportedly set fire to two brothers, aged eight and four, after getting the idea from the TV show. The boys were badly burned.
Guangdong-based Creative Power Entertaining, which produces the highly watched animated series, said it would spend more than 10 million yuan ($1.63 million) to improve the show, including episodes that have already aired.
“Cartoons have a social responsibility but they are not for educating people,” a spokesperson told local media. “We have already started adapting the cartoon step by step and we are planning to invest hundreds of millions of yuan,” the company said, adding that it backed efforts by the government to regulate the industry better.
Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf was created by Huang Weiming, Lin Yuting and Luo Yinggeng and centers on a group of goats living on the Green Pasture, Qing Qing Grasslands/Plains. The story revolves around a clumsy wolf who is constantly trying to eat the goats and failing miserably. The cartoon became popular with Chinese school children after its debut in 2005. The property, which has close to 1000 episodes, inspired an animated feature (The Super Snail Adventure) in 2009 which made over 130 million yuan (US$ 19.6 million) during the Chinese New Year that year The fifth installment, I Love Wolffy 2, made over $7 million in its first week when it was released in August. Disney picked up the rights to broadcast 100 episodes of the show on Disney Channel in 46 countries and regions in 2010.