A still from the popular trailer.
Cartoon character Peppa Pig was once censored for being a “gangster icon.”
Now, she’s back, and spreading peace and love.
A 6-minute trailer for a Peppa Pig movie has gone viral on the Chinese internet, with over 330 million views on Weibo as of Friday. The live-action trailer stars real villagers, not actors, in Northern China’s Hebei.
In the trailer, an elderly peasant named Li Baoyu asks his friends and neighbors in the village who “Peiqi” is after hearing his grandson talk about it on a phone call from Beijing. Peiqi is Peppa’s Chinese name. In the end, Li figures it out – and presents his a Peppa Pig made out of scrap metal to his grandson for Chinese New Year.
The heartwarming film is a major change of pace for Peppa, who just last year was banned from appearing on some social media platforms including Douyin.
The cartoon figure and her family were deemed subversive after certain Chinese subcultures adopted her as a mascot. Rebellious kids wore stickers featuring Peppa as a symbol of their gangster-cool.
But her censorship on various platforms did not diminish Peppa’s fame. Produced by Alibaba Pictures and Entertainment One, the upcoming film is about Peppa learning Chinese New Year rituals, and will debut on Feb. 5.