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Pleasant Goat and Grey Wolf: Creative Industry, Market and the State-animated Modernity in China

Anthony FUNG
IJCCI volume 1, issue 1, September 2013

Animation/comic industry is one of the core creative industries in China. This paper is a case study of the most popular domestic animation Pleasant Goat and Grey Wolf since 2009. This exemplary case is an epitome of the creative industries in China representing a popular hype that is promoted by the commercial as well as the political discourses in China. On the one hand, Pleasant Goat and Grey Wolf demonstrates a real commercial success, and its perpetual influence and populism are precipitated by the online discussion among the major social network sites in China. This discussion is not only bottom-up but also commercially driven by the producers and above all supported by the united front of the state found online and other official television stations. It is a domain in which the audience’s taste and the state’s top down strategies align. The rationale for the state’s support is clear: this animation illustrates how the state-driven and statecensored animation can serve to produce a kind of modernity that can mesmerize the young generations. The paper argues that Pleasant Goat and Grey Wolf represents a conjuncture in which the state’s interest is resonant with the market sentiments; it is then able to manufacture the consent and popularity among the market, and at the same time embody the current social contradictions at large. For the latter, rather than being left uncontrolled and inciting further dissidence in society, the discourse produced by Pleasant Goat and Grey Wolf offers an imaginary solution to the problem. The animation as a creative industry sells a kind of modernity that reflects and echoes the state’s hegemonic discourse of harmony.

Keywords: Animation, China, Comic, Hegemonic discourse, Pleasant Goat and Grey Wolf


Category: Industry Insight