Dear J—

We went to watch Kung Fu Panda 3 yesterday morning; the earliest show we could catch was 10AM at Tanforan, so we finished up our breakfast and hustled up to the old racetrack. It was so early, in fact, that the mall was not even open and we had to come around through the food court instead of cutting through Target like I thought we could. Mall theaters are interesting; the prior evening’s cleanup did not appear to have occurred and the snack stand was in disarray; we instead had to scrounge up trays from where we could in order to share the popcorn. 

In the back of my mind I was remembering how I’d read the Kung Fu Panda series was immensely popular in China and not just from a novelty standpoint, not just because here was something set in China that didn’t exoticise it in a fawning manner (cue cymbal crash and twangy pentatonic scale), more that it was like a plausible legend of yore, albeit with talking animals. During the closing sequence – what would be the happily-ever-after epilogue in the book – they started playing Kung Fu Fighting but instead of singing in English, they went with Mandarin and I love them all the more for it. Clearly, KFP3 was written as celebration of their largest market, which isn’t the United States.



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