Optimus Prime becomes new Chairman of China
Published August 1, 2007
Not really, although from reading this article posted by those hippies at Treehugger.com, we think it might just happen:
Transformers are huge in China, and I dont mean just the devices used to transfer energy between circuits. The alien robot car disaster movie may not have earned more money in China than the US (you can watch the movie free on Chinese websites), but its got enormous buzz. Every Chinese (boy) I know under the age of 25 in Beijing has seen it, and gasp even paid to watch it on the big screen instead of on bootleg. Director Michael Bay even started his own Chinese language blog to tie in with the release.
Part of the reason for the films popularity is that Transformers which began as a set of toys (made in China of course) before quickly becoming a TV cartoon exploded on the scene here in the late 80s, just in time to catch the first generation of kids born under the one-child policy, for whom television was a novel and ground-breaking form of entertainment. And the educational childrens programming that flooded CCTV at the time was no match for Optimus Prime, Megatron and company. (Party bureaucrats also could not halt the show, which, in early 1989, they blamed for promoting excess consumption and, ahem, violence.) Chinas changed faster than an Autobot since the 80s, and while theres not much looking back on those rough years, Transformers is a perfect nostalgia trip. It doesnt hurt that the Hollywood blockbuster eye-candy of the movie which is really fun, for the record stands out in a mostly drab film landscape. (Unlike a number of big Hollywood films, Transformers only lost some dialog to the government censors.)
Then there is the issue of Great Wall making their own Transformer range from their upcoming models.