Film: The Amazing Panda Adventure
The Amazing Panda Adventure is a Kids Wilderness Epic released by Warner Bros. in 1995. A Novelization was written by Todd Strasser.Ryan Tyler (Ryan Slater, Christian's half-brother) is a rather bratty American kid upset that his Disappeared Dad (Stephen Lang) has spent the last two years working with pandas. One day, Ryan is sent to China to visit his father's panda reserve. There, he meets his father's associate Chu (Wang Fei) and Chu's young granddaughter/interpreter Ling (Yi Ding of The Joy Luck Club). After a mishap with a Rope Bridge, Ryan, Ling, and a panda cub are separated from the adults. For the rest of the film, the adults try to find the kids, the kids try to find their way back to the panda reserve, and Evil Poachers try to get ahold of the panda cub. And the main characters have to get the panda cub to the reserve or else it will be closed down by Obstructive Bureaucrats.
This film provides examples of:
- A Boy and His X: A boy and his panda
- As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Averted. The Chinese characters are really speaking Mandarin and their untranslated dialogue fits the story.
- Blunt Metaphors Trauma: Ling, a couple times. When she explains an ancient Chinese legend about the panda, Ryan says that it's "bull" and Ling replies that no, the story is about a panda. When Ryan claims rather outrageously to be a "lady's man", Ling interprets it as "half lady, half man".
- California Doubling: Averted. The movie was really filmed in China, mostly in Jiuzhaigou Valley. Played straight with the U.S. scenes, which were shot in Vancouver, Canada.
- Daddy Didn't Show: Dr. Tyler forgets to pick up Ryan at the airport.
- Eagleland: Ryan is the "boorish" version prior to his Character Development
- Evil Poacher: A pair of these are the movie's villains.
- The Family for the Whole Family: The poachers are pretty incompetent.
- Foreign Queasine: In the Tibetan village
- Green Aesop: Pandas are in danger of going extinct, as the film repeatedly reminds us. (The situation has improved since the time when the film was made, although they're still endangered.)
- I Choose to Stay: At the end, Ryan decides to stay in China for the whole summer.
- Instant Leech, Just Fall in Water: After getting swept down a river (for the second time!), Ryan and Ling emerge covered in leeches. This prompts them to frantically strip off all their clothes and run into a river, leading to a scene of naked awkwardness between the young boy and girl.
- Made of Iron: Over and over again, Ryan and Ling (not to mention the panda) go through crazy stunts which should kill or severly injury them, but which they survive without a scratch.
- Malaproper:Ling: You are a Mormon!
Ryan: I think you mean "moron".
- Mood Whiplash: At one point, we're treated to a scene of the mother panda walking, her cub frolicking adorably, gentle music, and then BOOM. Mother's in a trap and both are utterly terrified.
- No Name Given: The poachers aren't named in the film itself, but the credits identify them as Shong and Po.
- Panda-ing to the Audience: Do we even have to say it?
- Putting a Hand over His Mouth: Chu does this to Ryan when Ryan cluelessly calls out to the poachers for help
- Reality Has No Subtitles: There's a good deal of Mandarin in the film, none of which is subtitled. Everything we need to understand is either translated by Ling or is obvious from context.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Ryan is Red Oni and Ling is Blue Oni
- Scenery Porn: Jiuzhaigou Valley is spectacular and they Shot the Money.
- This Loser Is You: Ryan is a self-centered, materialistic brat and the person whom the child audience is meant to relate to.
- Workaholic: Ryan's father