2019 is the year of the pig, here are five famous pigs in China and why they are so significant.
Zhu Bajie (猪八戒) is a popular character from the 16th Century Chinese novel “Journey to the West” — one of the classics of Chinese literature. In English, he is sometimes called “Pigsy”. The story goes that he was once a commander in heaven’s naval force, with the title “Marshal of the Heavenly Canopy”. He was made into half-man, half-pig by the Jade Emperor after he flirted with Chang’e, the moon goddess and banished from heaven and sent to Earth. Zhu Bajie is known for always working to find a way out of his duties and indulging in food, drink, and the pursuit of love.
GG Bond (猪猪侠) is the main character of a 3-D Chinese animated TV series created in 2005 by Guangdong Winsing Company Limited. The series follows an orphaned pig who was born with superpowers and has a love for inventing new gadgets. The popular show has aired for 10 seasons, and there have been five movies and four stage plays made featuring the lovable GG Bond.
Peppa Pig (小猪佩奇) is a British TV cartoon series that follows the lives of Peppa, her brother and parents. She also has friends that are all different animals. After the series was dubbed into different Chinese dialects by netizens, Peppa gained widespread popularity throughout China. A Chinese Peppa Pig movie is even in the works produced by Alibaba Pictures and Canadian media company Entertainment One. The film will debut in 2019 on Chinese New Year.
Winnie the Pooh’s best friend Piglet (小猪皮杰) is a popular character in Chinese pop culture. Piglet is known to be brave and warm-hearted — and Pooh’s constant companion. The character and show became popular when “The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh” aired in China on the CCTV Children’s Channel 14 in 2003.
In 1994, “The Lion King” was one of Disney’s first films to be released in China and it introduced the country to Pumbaa (彭彭), the comedic warthog that is best friends with main character Simba and the meerkat Timon. China became quickly infatuated with this story. The musical version of the film has had more than 500 performances at the Shanghai Disney Resort since it premiered in 2016. Many Chinese netizens say they can’t wait for the photorealistic animated Lion King film that is due out this year.