Attractive Chinese Scenery in Movies (Episode 2)

Kung Fu Panda II (2011)

Director: Jennifer Yuh Nelson

Stars: Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Jacky Chan, Lucy Liu

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Kung Fu Panda sets its background in the homeland of panda — Chengdu, Sichuan province. Actually, Dreamworks gets a few many ideas of setting from the landscapes, architecture and streets in the city and areas around, lending an original favor of ancient China to the film. One of those is Mount Qingcheng, the so-called backyard of Chengdu which is also the birthplace of Taoism. In the film, Po achieved inner peace when learning kung fu in Peace Valley, the gate of which exactly refers to the gate of Mountain Qingcheng. It is easily accessible by driving or light rail from Chengdu.

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Art director Raymond Zibach was visiting Mount Qingcheng and learning Tai Ji.

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Besides MountQingcheng, “Kuanzhaizi Lane”, a famous old street in Chengdu combining modern and antiquity, is also an important reference.

Hero (2002)

Director: Yimou Zhang

Stars: Jet Li, Maggie Cheung, Ziyi Zhang, Donnie Yen

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Hero stands out among Chinese swardplay movies by demonstrating fight scenes with aesthetic frames. The director uses various fight settings to portray different moods of the characters.

The fight scene of Maggie Cheung and Ziyi Zhang was shot in Ejina Populus euphratica forest is in TarimBasin, Inner Mongolia. It is one of the only three populus euphratica forests in the world. 

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Jiuzhaigou Valley witnesses the fight scene of Jet Li and Tony Leung. Jiuzhaigou is a nature reserve and national park located in northern Sichuan province of southwestern China. It takes the name from the nine Tibetan villages along its length. Jiuzhaigou Valley was inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

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Avatar (2009)

Director: James Cameron

Stars: Sam Warthington, Zoe Saldana

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Though not directly depicting Chinese scenery or any scenic spots in the world, the landmark of Pandora —Hallelujah Mountain was modeled on the “South Pillar” in Zhangjiajie, a city in the northwestern part of Huan province in China. Director James Cameron mistook it with the Yellow Mountain in AnhuiProvince, generating discontent among Hunan folks. 

Image Hallelujah Mountain in the film

Image the “South Pillar” in reality

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