Tonight, renowned Chinese-American film producer Janet Yang ’78 will be on campus to give a talk at the Granoff at 6 pm on her work in portraying Asian and Chinese culture in Hollywood, as part of the University’s efforts in the Year of China event series. Her past work includes films such as Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun and Amy Tan’s Joy Luck Club.
One of her more recent works involves doing the exact opposite: Bringing Hollywood to China. Released last year, Disney High School Musical: China is basically the exact same story as its multi-million dollar American counterpart. Nonetheless, the task of transplanting an entire culture across the Pacific is no easy task. Lyrics weren’t just simply pumped through Google Translate. Yang and her team had to reinvent and reimagine an entire universe in order to make the story comprehensible to China’s millions of tweenage boys and girls.
With this, Disney High School Musical: China will join the ranks of Disney’s international media empire (did someone say hegemony?), which includes Brazil’s High School Musical: O Desafio and Argentina’s High School Musical: El Desafio–not to mention the Korean rip off, Dream High.