Cultural products for children in China: The case of Bonnie Bears
Department of Communication Studies
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AbstractThe China government have a strict control in ideology of cultural products for children. All TV programs for children should help them to develop morally, intellectually, and physically (Yang, 1996). A qualitative study of children’ television programs broadcast in China Central Television (CCTV) in 2003 found that these cultural products were dominated by educational contents and socializations for success and modernity (Chan and Chan, 2008). This tradition and strategy is gradually transformed in the recent years as television channels are moving toward market economy. TV ratings and audience engagements became new performance matrices for state and regional television stations. Children’s television programs now are shifting from education- focus to entertainment-focus. This case study examines the success story of Bonnie Bears, one of the most popular children animated television series in China since 2012. We shall first introduce the contents, including the storylines, the characters, and its “stickiness”. This study random samples four episodes out of seven series of this show for content analysis. Three major themes emerged in its narrative, including humor, animal-human’s love-hate relations, as well as social issues and technology.