On 4 July, 2015 a brand new Chinese-produced animated feature film will get a wide release of 5,000 theaters. It’s called Qiche Ren Zongdongyuan which is Anglicized as The Autobots. Now, with a title like that and coming out of China you might assume this to be some kind of rip-off, but after learning a little more we think you’ll agree that this is in no way a blatant rip-off of Transformers. You know, that movie where cars turn into robots…

The Autobots revolves around a genius engineer who develops three cars with sentient AI for the ultimate in interaction with humans. In a world…where people normally drive cars, three plucky autobots will go on an adventure and find that what truly drives us all…is friendship.

Sure, the whole idea of a movie about cars with personalities does remind us of a particular Disney movie, right? But I’d still say that this is an original work and far enough removed from Herbie the Love Bug. Nevertheless, online reaction in China has been surprisingly harsh with comments such as:

“F***king funny!!!”
“That’s terrible.”
“Who made this thing?”
“Isn’t this like something that came out of America?”
“Even children would see through this. Are they stupid?”
“Disney’s gonna be angry…”

Ah well, haters gonna hate. Personally I’m excited for Qiche Ren Zongdongyuan since I haven’t set foot near a movie theater since 2005. I tried to find a trailer online but instead the search engine suggested I actually wanted Qiche Zongdongyuan which had the Anglicized title of Cars. The names seemed close enough so I guess it was right and something must have just got lost in translation.

OK! Buckle up, sit back, and enjoy a sneak peek of this new Chinese animation that’s sure to be a worldwide hit!

Source: Fenhuang Wang (Chinese), Youku
Video: YouTube – HKTOYSRUS
Original article by Meg Sawai

▼ A brief news clip on The Autobots (These Youku players can be temperamental, so playback not guaranteed at all times)

▼ The title card for Quiche Ren Zongdongyuan or The Autobots. Notice how the “Ren” character is obscured by a tire leaving Quiche Zongdongyuan – which is the Chinese title for Cars.

[ Read in Japanese ]