The Columbia Critic

A place to debate anything we want to. We'll talk Columbia campus issues. We'll talk up the homosexual problem. We'll talk China. And we'll talk without resorting to partisan rhetoric. We may be left. We may be right. But we aren't going to be quoting any party line. We're leading the discussion. But feel free to chime in. Hannity and Colmes this is not.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

China bans Elmer Fudd and Roger Rabbit

Economic protectionism takes on many forms, especially in countries that are seeking to nurture domestic industries. But amidst the big debates on fixed exchange rates and labor wages, there is still room to be found for the not so crucial industries. Word now comes that China is banning foreign films that mix animation and live action, like Space Jam and Who Framed Roger Rabbit?.

Aiming to both curb foreign influences on Chinese youth, and also to foster the domestic animation industry, the move faces two huge obstacles: 1) China doesn't have much of an animation industry and 2) the Chinese love foreign cartoons. While these are obviously remediable problems, it remains to be seen how effectively the government can reshape viewer preferences without further investments in developing oh-so-crucial animators who can create a Chinese Daffy Duck or a Blue's Clues with Chinese values.

This surely does not rank up with other forms of censorship for importance. It is more amusing than newsworthy so far. Though the Muppets had better watch out in case the Chinese become opposed to American-operated puppets...


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