Entertaining animated television programs often carry significant educational and national discourses that are rarely given much scholarly attention. This article examines the Chinese children’s animation program Boonie Bears and explores its narrative strategies in portraying heroism. By employing content analyses, in-depth interviews, and focus groups, the article discusses how producers construct animation heroes according to the ideological framework of the Communist Party, economic preferences embedded in the Chinese market, and broader cultural expectations held by society. Finally, this article offers a preliminary exploration of the collaboration between political power and market forces in children’s animation, thus revealing the changing needs and interests of the government, producers, and audiences in the process of modernization, and the social significance of animation in Chinese modernity.
Zhen, W. and Chan, K. (2020) Heroism as narrative strategy: Children’s animation and modernity in Chinese TV, TV and New Media, published online. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1527476420933584.