Peppa Pig is getting a Chinese New Year movie in the Year of the Pig
Film to be co-developed by Alibaba Pictures and Entertainment One
Peppa Pig is huge in China. And next year’s the Year of the Pig. So what does that mean?
Well, China might be getting a Peppa Pig holiday movie in Lunar New Year 2019.
A government document listing upcoming movie projects shows a new film in the works titled “Peppa Pig spends the Lunar New Year”. Co-developed by Alibaba Pictures and Entertainment One, which currently produces Peppa Pig -- the film will feature not just the regular cast, but also two new characters named Dumpling and Glutinous Rice Ball, who are apparently siblings.
(Abacus is a unit of the South China Morning Post, which is owned by Alibaba.)
The news quickly drew a lot of interest online. The most liked comment on Weibo said, “So this movie is about Peppa Pig being made into a pork dumpling?” (Dining together as a family is a big part of Chinese New Year traditions.)
All jokes aside, China has a complicated relationship with Peppa Pig.
The show is insanely popular in China, racking up over 34 billion views in just two years.
But Peppa's sky-high popularity has also made the child-friendly character a source material for memes and video remixes intended for a more mature audience. In a strange twist of fate, Peppa Pig has now also become a cultist symbol for “gangster attitude” in China.
At one point, tens of thousands of Peppa Pig videos were temporarily banned from one of the country’s biggest short video platform, Douyin. Netizens speculated whether this was a government-led crackdown on the anthropomorphic swine.
At the time, the Communist Party’s mouthpiece People’s Daily commented, “It is worrisome to many that Peppa Pig has been made bad. Nowadays, there are quite a number of students trying to be special. Some people are in a vanity race to brandish their Peppa Pig-themed attire and watches.”