From an award-winning graphic novel to Disney Plus original series, American Born Chinese is now streaming on Disney Plus.
American Born Chinese was a graphic novel written by Gene Luen Yang that was released back in 2006. Winning several awards, including the Michael L. Printz award (which honors the best book written for teens based entirely on its literary merit) and the best book award from The Chinese American Librarians Association, the book tells the story of tenth-grader Jin Wang and his involvement with the Chinese mythos, the Monkey King, all the while facing the hardships of high school, cultural identity, and his coming-of-age journey.
In October of 2021, Disney Plus green-lit the adaptation of the hit graphic novel for an original series on the streaming platform. Developed and with a teleplay written by Kelvin Yu, series creator, with the cooperation of the graphic novel’s author Gene Luen Yang. Destin Daniel Cretton (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings director) is one of the executive producers and directors for the series, having directed both the pilot episode and the season finale. Other directors include Lucy Liu, Johnson Cheng, Dennis Liu, Erin O’Malley, Dinh Thai, and Peng Zhang.
Meet the cast of American Born Chinese
The series stars Ben Wang as Jin Wang, Yann Yann Yeo as Christine Wang, Chin Han as Simon Wang, Jimmy Liu as Wei-Chen, Daniel Wu as The Monkey King, Sydney Taylor as Amelia, Mahi Alam as Anuj, and Leonard Wu as Bull Demon.
Rounding out the cast, we see the award-winning actors from this year’s Best Picture Everything Everywhere All At Once reunite for another fantastical adventure, as Michelle Yeoh plays Guanyin, Ke Huy Quan appears as Jamie, and Stephanie Hsu portrays Shi Ji.
Representation and Relativeness
It’s always important to tell and share stories, whether it is for entertainment purposes or to share knowledge. We live in a world of many cultures, backgrounds, and rich histories. Some of which even combine creating new ones. We must know as younger generations rise, it is important to have stories from their predecessors be shown and shared with them as they can aspire and be inspired to see themselves on TV and in film.
This series does a beautiful job depicting that with its Asian-American representation both on screen and behind the scenes, bringing both fantasy and reality in an action-packed and heartwarming way. It shows what it’s like when someone like Jin Wang faces the everyday threats of bullies, racism, and stereotypes.
Another success for Disney
Currently sitting with a fresh 95% score on Rotten Tomatoes, American Born Chinese is proving to be a hit with critics and audiences alike. With such positive feedback we may well be getting a second season sooner than later, but for now if you haven’t already, see what all the buzz is about in this fantastic new series the whole family can enjoy.
All episodes of American Born Chinese are now streaming only on Disney Plus.