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The H1N1 HipHop Pigs Cartoon in China

The second most surprising animation I’ve seen during this stay in China was a blast from my childhood:  the “Silly Rabbit” hawking TRIX cereal is now a primetime bunny on China’s Saturday night commercial slots.

But the strangest cartoon in Sino-world has been an ‘educational’ video on the H1N1 virus, shown as part of the pre-flight videos on domestic flights (right after the find-the-exit-nearest-you video), and screened in constant loops on video monitors in various public places such as transportation waiting rooms.

The layers of readable signs and metaphors the Chinese government animators have crafted leaves me slack-jawed.  It opens with a rappin’ cartoon pig dressed in traditional Chinese attire, who talks about the waves of viruses coming from America, while behind him a map of North America materializes with animated waves of H1N1 cooties attacking China.

[At this moment, if you’re a Westerner on a domestic flight, all the other passengers start looking at you and placing their surgical masks over their mouths and noses.]

The rappin’ pig and his girlfriend then show the desirable behavior to prevent H1N1 infection:  boil your vegetables (for an airborne virus?), open your windows (again:  for an airborne virus?), cover your mouth when you cough, throw away your used Kleenex in a responsible manner, and listen to the news.

Here’s the video —

Doug / PoMo Joan

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