Globalisation and Diversity: details variation in different cultures in animations

Though globalisation is an inevitable trend, the animation makers or distributor still did lots of variation to avoid taboos or even pander to the preferences in different cultures.

Unlike Asian countries, the problems of races and religion in western countries are highly sensitive and untouchable. But that happened to Dragon Ball. On May 4, 2000, Mr. Popo was claimed to be a derogatory stereotype due to his black skin, big lips and lacking of teeth in an article written by children’s book author Carole Boston Weatherford. Asides Viz Media downsized Mr. Popo’s lips in the American release manga, in the 4Kids version of Dragon Ball Z Kai, his skin was painted into royal blue but not originally black.

mr. popo

Diversity of details could also be a way to make the audiences under various cultural backgrounds feel rather familiar and promote the favour degree. To cater to the preferences of the audiences in different regions, Zootopia made some small changes in this news broadcasting scene. The original version, including that in America, Europe and Russia, the newscaster on the right is a moose. But in the Chinese version, the moose is replaced into a panda, which is a symbol of China. In Japan, it becomes a raccoon, which means happiness and Japan. Meanwhile, in Australia and New Zealand, it becomes a koala for an obvious season. However, the truth is, there are no koalas in New Zealand, the symbolic animal is Kiwi. But it seems that the film makers made some wrong judgements on that, and draw some New Zealand audiences’ mocking.


Zootopia is not the first animation film doing that, to attract audiences with different cultural background, lots of animation film makers have done the same thing, and those little details could become some pleasing bonus showing the concerns to the local audiences from the film makers.

Written by Liang Cao





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s