new Peppa Pig movie made exclusively for the Chinese market looks destined to be a mega-blockbuster thanks in part to a brilliant promotional video which has moved hearts across the country.
The film, Peppa Pig Celebrates Chinese New Year, will be released on February 5th, the first day of the Chinese New Year, a time when people across China travel back home to be with their families and often go out to the movies together. Auspiciously enough, this will be the first day of the Year of the Pig.
The more than 5-minute-long ad stars a grandpa, named Li Baoyu, who lives in a small village out in the countryside. He is looking forward to his son’s family visiting him for Chinese New Year. Over a bad cell phone connection, he asks his son what he should get for his grandson as a present. Before the call cuts off, he only hears one word, Peppa (佩奇).
With no clue what “Peppa” means, Li sets off to try to find out, looking up the word in the dictionary, asking his friends, and even using the village intercom system, but receiving no answers. When he goes to a shop, the woman behind the counter suggests that “Peppa” might be a brand of shampoo.
Finally, he learns Peppa’s true identity from a woman who used to work as a nanny. The woman describes Peppa as being a cartoon character who looks like an old-fashioned Chinese fire blower.
Equipped with this information, he quickly gets to work, preparing the gift, cleaning up his home, and rolling some dumplings. However, when he calls his son again to ask when they are coming over, he receives a devasting reply, “We are not coming.”
Walking dejected back to his village, Li is then stopped by his son who pulls up behind him in a car, explaining that the call cut off again and that he had been trying to tell him that they would all celebrate Chinese New Year in the city instead. At dinner at his son’s home, Li finally unveils his gift to his grandson.
You can watch the full video below on YouTube:
Or on Tencent Video:
Despite a bit of trouble last year involving becoming a subversive counterculture icon, Peppa Pig is hugely popular in China with theme parks set to open in Beijing and Shanghai this year. In order to cash in on this popularity, Entertainment One, which holds the right to Peppa Pig, and Alibaba Pictures have collaborated on the upcoming feature-length holiday film.
Though they aren’t the only ones cashing in, already vendors on Chinese online shopping sites are selling replicas of Li’s design.