You've enjoyed them separately but battling robots and Chinese mythology will finally meet-up in the ultimate crossover as state broadcaster CCTV and toy maker Hasbro have agreed to collaborate on a cartoon that will feature the Transformers and Nezha, a popular Chinese mythological character.
The deal allows CCTV to produce an animated cartoon that will feature Hasbro's toy line from the 80s that recent made a pop culture comeback as a blockbuster Hollywood film franchise.
CCTV and Hasbro have agreed to certain production standards, the show's air date, and IP ownership, but no specific details have been released.
CCTV announced the news on its own website, but would not specify anything about the upcoming show. And yet, the state broadcaster whose news program is seen on every TV channel at 7pm across the country were willing to reveal that Hasbro President Stephen J. Davis came to Beijing last week to seal the deal, and that there were 10 people accompanying him.
What we can tell you is that apart from Sun Wukong, Nezha is one of the most popular mythological characters in China and despite being worshiped and well-received, doesn't dominate the media like the Monkey King.
Often depicted in his "battle stance" of three heads and six arms, Nezha is famously known as the deity that who was born fully-grown after his mother carried the pregnancy for over three years. A number of cartoons show Nezha famously fighting with his nemesis, the Dragon King of the East Sea, after refusing to be offered as a sacrifice. You can watch a recently made cartoon of Nezha here or here.
It may seem strange to combine Chinese mythology and the Transformers, but the two share a number of similarities:
- Ressurection: Like Optimus Prime's habit of refusing to stay dead, Nezha also came back to life after dying.
- Transforming: There is more to meet the eye when considering Nezha, who will grow extra appendages to allow him to defeat his opponents.
- Cool accessories: Nezha shows he is ready for merchandising like his toy commercial peers by being equipped with his own set of personalized gear: a fire-tipped spear, a universe ring (which is like a hula hoop he uses to fight), and wind fire wheels that would come in handy for those aerial chase scene set pieces.
Although it's hard to imagine what this finished product will look like, we can still refer to other CCTV cartoons. Unfortunately, CCTV cartoons aren't overly imaginative or fun to watch.
For example, the animated cartoon Mask Masters (shown above) is about a bunch of rock 'n' roll teenagers who transform into kung fu-fighting warriors, each patterned after a specific earth element to help distinguish them from each other. And if yet another Power Rangers clone isn't your thing, CCTV animation has also produced Thunderbirds are Go, a re-imagining of the puppeted children's show from the 60s that still seems just as stiff and wooden.
But since we're here and imagining the coolest crossovers between China and pop culture, we hope to see these inspired match-ups one day:
- The HuLu Brothers vs the Seven Dwarves: Considering they both fight a sexy witch queen, this one is at the top of our list.
- Constable Black Cat meets Tom & Jerry: We'd also have settled for Itchy & Scratchy.
- Shaolin monks in a Dirty Dozen remake: With Charles Bronson in the background wearing a robe, nodding wistfully.
- The Romance of the Three Kingdoms in an interconnected cinematic universe: Don't pursue Lu Bu: The Movie with an end credit scene teasing the next film in the series, a buddy cop movie featuring Zhou Yu and Zhuge Liang.
- Wong Fei-Hung vs James Bond vs Rocky: For no reason except to say these three film franchises have the most recognizable film themes in history.
- The Wudang Sect vs the Wu-Tang Clan: There can be only one.
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