Journey to the West – The Monkey King 2 is a highly anticipated film, scheduled to release during Chinese New Year this year. But in promotional billboards in Malaysia, one of its key characters is nowhere to be found.
The character of a pig has disappeared off billboard in Kuala Lumpur advertising the Hong Kong action fantasy film ‘Journey to the West – The Monkey King 2’which is due to be screened come Chinese New Year.
The original poster of the film, by a China and Hong Kong production house, showed the monk Tang Sanzang and his disciples Monkey King Sun Wukong, Sha Wujing and Zhu Bajie.
Zhu Bajie, which is part human and part pig, is pictured on the right of the Monkey King in the poster but is missing on a billboard erected on Jalan Loke Yew.
The missing character, a pig character called Zhubajie, is one of four key characters in the movie based on popular Chinese folklore ‘Journey to the West’. It’s character is usually represented by the animal pig, and probably removed from billboards to avoid complaints by local muslims.
Films screened in Malaysia have to go through vetting by the Film Censorship Board, under the purview of the Home Ministry. Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed told Malaysiakini that the censorship board will make a decision “in the best interest of the country not the movie producer”. “I think it must be because the movie did not follow the guidelines of the censorship board. “Anyway it is too trivial an issue to comment on,” Nur Jazlan said. – Malaysiakini
The movie, produced by a China and Hong Kong production house, is one of the biggest Chinese productions this year, with an all-star cast including legendary characters like Aaron Kwok and Gong Li.
According to Chinese folklore, Zhubajie was originally a general in heaven, but was punished to accompany monk Tan Shan Zhang in his journey, for his inability to control his urges.
One of the other more popular character is Sun Wukong, a monkey monster that is seen in various movies, stories and even Japanese animation. Son Goku, a character from legendary animation Dragon Ball, is loosely based on the character.
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