China to mark Year of the Pig with ‘Peppa Pig’ movie

China is set to mark the Year of the Pig with a film starring “Peppa Pig,” despite a backlash against the popular British cartoon character earlier this year.

A government document listing upcoming movie projects shows a new film in the works titled “Peppa Pig Celebrates Chinese New Year” to be released in February 2019 during the Lunar New Year holiday.

The film includes Chinese New Year customs such as a dragon parade and fireworks, state-run China Daily reported.

It is co-developed by Alibaba Pictures – part of the vast Alibaba technology group – and Canadian media company Entertainment One, which currently produces the series for the BBC.

The film includes the entire “Peppa Pig” cast and two new characters named “Jiaozi” or dumpling and “Tang yuan” or glutinous rice ball – two popular Chinese New Year items.

The series, introduced in the mid-2000s in China, has become extremely popular through episodes dubbed into Mandarin.

The fervour intensified at the end of 2017 among a young adult audience. Many internet users including stars sported temporary “Peppa Pig” tattoos in selfies, and cups, watches and clothes appeared bearing the image of the heroine.

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