By Jana Monji, AsAmNews Arts & Entertainment Reporter
Lion and hip hop dancers joined a dragon on stage to introduce American Born Chinese at D23 this weekend. After the dance performances, cast members Michelle Yeoh (Guanyin), Daniel Wu (The Monkey King), Ben Wang (Jin Wang), Ke Huy Quan (Freddy Wong), executive producer/director Destin Daniel Cretton and executive producer/showrunner Kelvin Yu were introduced by an announcer.
American Born Chinese is about a teenage boy, Jin Wang, who is struggling through the usual high school problems when he meets a new student on the first day of the academic year and suddenly becomes entangled in a battle of mythological gods, including the Monkey King and Guanyin. Guanyin is the East Asian representation of Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion.
It is based on a graphic novel by Gene Luen Yang.
“Gene Luen Yang’s graphic novel is a beloved, important work of literature for a whole generation of readers. So when they approached me about adapting it, I knew it was going to be a huge challenge, but I also knew that it was a story that deserved to be told. Luckily, I didn’t have to do it alone, said Yu.
Cretton added, “Building a creative family was definitely a huge part of why I was excited to be a part of this series. Everyone who worked on this show brought their unique talents along with a lot of personal experiences that we all drew from which made the experience very special for all of us.” He also noted “that as a bonus, I also got to bring along a lot of my friends from Shang-Chi.”
Before the sneak peek, Yeoh noted, “This is a show about the mysterious journey of finding your true self and realizing you don’t have to make that journey alone.”
American Born Chinese will be on Disney+ in 2023.
Disney introduced American Born Chinese as part of its D23 presentation entitled Disney’s Epic Entertainment Showcase: The Musical: The Extravaganza.
The show, which started over half an hour late, was a 90-minute presentation on different Disney-branded television with musical dance performances emceed by Lilly Singh and Raven-Symoné.
Singh is a Canadian YouTuber and former talk show host who was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario (Canada) to Indian Canadian immigrant parents. She was raised Sikh and became famous under the pseudonym IISuperwomanII. The presentations also included Big Shot, Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, National Treasure: Edge of History, Prom Pact, The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder, and “The Santa Clauses” as well as announcements about “Best in Snow,” Pentatonix: Around the World for Holidays, The Hip Hop Nutcracker, and Season Four of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.
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