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China to mark Year of the Pig with Peppa Pig movie as ‘subversive’ cartoon rehabilitated

China is set to mark the Year of the Pig with a film starring “Peppa Pig,” the popular British cartoon character that fell foul of its censors earlier this year.

A government document listing upcoming movie projects shows a new film in the works titled “Peppa Pig celebrates Chinese New Year” to be released in February 2019 during the Lunar New Year holiday.

peppa pig

Photo: Wikicommons.

The film includes Chinese New Year customs such as a dragon parade and fireworks, state-run China Daily reported.

Co-developed by Alibaba Pictures and Canadian media company Entertainment One — which currently produces Peppa Pig — the film includes the entire “Peppa Pig” cast and two new characters named Dumpling and Glutinous Rice Ball, two popular Chinese new year delicacies.

The series, introduced in the mid-2000s in China, has become extremely popular through episodes dubbed into Mandarin.

This fervour intensified at the end of 2017 among a young adult audience. Many internet users including stars sported temporary “Peppa Pig” tattoos in selfies, and cups, watches and clothes appeared bearing the image of the heroine Peppa.

A Chinese internet platform in May gave “Peppa Pig” the chop as state media lamented the series had become a “subversive” icon for slackers and anti-social young people.

peppa the pig china crackdown

Peppa the Pig. Photo: Wikicommons.

At least 30,000 clips of the British cartoon were removed from the popular Douyin video-sharing platform, while the #PeppaPig hashtag was banned from the site.

People who upload videos of Peppa Pig tattoos and merchandise and make Peppa-related jokes “run counter to the mainstream value and are usually poorly educated with no stable job,” state-run Global Times said after the ban.

“They are unruly slackers roaming around and the antithesis of the young generation the [Communist] party tries to cultivate.”

China to mark Year of the Pig with Peppa Pig movie as 'subversive' cartoon rehabilitated