Posted by Joel Martinsen on Thursday, March 5, 2009 at 11:26 AM
Lei Feng, in a new cartoon to be released June 1
March 5 is Lei Feng Day, a day set aside to celebrate the life of the PLA soldier who became a model for selflessness and obedience after his untimely death in 1962.
Even with stories about the NPC and CPPCC sessions filling up newspaper pages this week, the media has still found time to report on "living Lei Fengs" doing good works in various communities, and to complain that people no longer celebrate Lei Feng Day like they used to.
To make sure that Lei Feng stays alive in the hearts of the Chinese people, CPPCC member Liu Jianglong, has submitted a proposal suggesting that the government apply for UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage status for the "Lei Feng Spirit." From today's Chongqing Morning Post:
Liu contrasts the sad state of the Lei Feng Spirit in China with its supposed popularity overseas by bringing up a couple of dubious examples of Lei Feng's international stature:
Are UNESCO's heritage lists really that influential with kids today? They're probably more concerned with cartoons and games.
With that in mind, an animation studio in Shenyang is hard at work on a thirty-episode series, The Story of Lei Feng, which will air on CCTV starting on June 1, International Children's Day.
The 20-million-yuan program will use a combination of 2D and 3D animation, with characters brought to life through motion capture techniques.
Pang Baochun, chairman of Shenyang Chunqiu Animation, which is producing the series, explained the difficulties the company faces in bringing an icon to the screen:
Pang is counting on success. Come June, the marketplace will be filled with Lei Feng-branded tie-in book bags, school supplied, books, and DVDs. And Lei Feng's three treasured possessions, the "scrap box," "keepsake chest," and "sewing kit," will be turned into a line of toys so that today's youth can cultivate their own sense of conservation and altruism.
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