China Military Media Accuses US Movie Zootopia of Brainwashing

China Military Media Accuses US Movie Zootopia of Brainwashing
Photo Credit:Disney

Compiled and translated by Yuan Ling-Liang.

Zootopia, one of Hollywood’s highest grossing films in China, has been accused of brainwashing by a Chinese military magazine.

An article in the People’s Liberation Army Daily, which is owned by the Chinese military, labels the film as the latest example of ongoing foreign propaganda against China.  

The article calls for a boycott of the Disney animation and for China to further develop its culture to compete against the West. China should tell its own stories to reinforce the confidence of its own citizens towards their own country, the author says.

The article was shared widely on Weibo, a popular Chinese online social media platform. Some Chinese netizens criticized the article as “brainless,” saying it over-analyzes the film, and shows China’s officials “lack self-confidence.”

One netizen said Beijing was “doing too much” by boycotting films offshore and restricting them onshore.

Invisible hand at work?

The article’s criticism of Zootopia relates to film’s sheep and rabbit characters – China and US respectively. It alleges that the sheep’s ultimate downfall is an example of the “invisible hand” that works to strengthen the cultural hegemony of the US.

The blockbuster, like other Hollywood movies, online games and Japanese animation that are popular in China, is used by foreigners to convey messages to Chinese youth, the article says.

According to the article, the US enjoys great influence via its wide-reaching entertainment industry, which portrays the US as a strong country and pushes its values on other countries.

Through online gaming, the US promotes its military as high-tech and powerful, reinforcing the image of the US as the world’s global police force, the article says.

Japanese animation, likewise, is used to belittle China’s international role, the article said. The author gives several examples, including Moonlight Mile, Night Raid 1931, and Jormungand.

The author also points to 2013 animation film Pacific Rim, in which robots battle monsters in the South China Sea, as further proof of American propaganda at play.

Edited by Edward White


Liberty Times


South China Morning Post