Vietnam pulled Dreamworks' 'Abominable' movie because it used a map staking China's claim over the disputed South China Sea

Bill Bostock
nine dash line abominable

Twitter/Movie Details


  • Vietnam pulled Dreamworks' new movie, "Abominable," from cinemas because it used a map acknowledging China's claim over the disputed South China Sea, also known as the "nine-dash line."
  • Vietnam, China, and many other countries have overlapping claims to the sea. Chinese vessels have been increasingly active in Vietnamese waters in recent months.
  • "We will revoke [the film's license]," Ta Quang Dong, Vietnam's deputy culture minister, said on Sunday.
  • "Abominable" follows a Chinese girl who meets a Yeti on her roof and travels with him to the Himalaya mountains.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. 

Vietnam outlawed Dreamworks' new animation "Abominable" on Sunday because it showed a map acknowledging China's claim to a disputed part of the South China Sea.

Multiple countries — including China, Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines — have overlapping claims to the sea. Beijing claims a large portion of it as its own, and calls the U-shaped region demarcating it as the "nine-dash line."

Dispute over waters near Vietnam flared in October after Vietnam claimed a Chinese ship rammed and sank a fishing vessel.

A still from "Abominable" circulating widely on Twitter on Sunday showed a map clearly showing a variant of the dashed line in the South China Sea.

Tweet Embed:
//twitter.com/mims/statuses/1183474903808462849?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
DreamWorks' new movie Abominable features a map supporting total Chinese ownership over the disputed South China Sea area pic.twitter.com/Xm5yUDjXu8

"We will revoke [the film's license]," Ta Quang Dong, Vietnam's deputy minister of culture, sports and tourism, told the country's Thanh Nien newspaper on Sunday, Reuters reported.

The decision was directly a response to the map scene, Reuters added, citing an employee at Vietnam's National Cinema Center.

9 Dash Line South China Sea Skitched

CSIS/David Choi/Business Insider

The movie, directed by "Monsters, Inc." writer Jill Culton, follows a young Chinese girl who wakes up to find a Yeti on her roof, and and is led on to a journey to the Himalaya mountains to find his family.

The Vietnamese-language edition of the movie — titled "Everest: The Little Yeti" — premiered in the country on October 4, Reuters reported. It appeared to play for nine days before the culture ministry banned the movie.

Read more: Calls to boycott 'Mulan' trended after the star of Disney's live-action remake backed the Hong Kong police in the city's chaotic protests

abominable gallery 5

Dreamworks

Sen. Tom Cottons of Arkansas criticized the ban on Tuesday, saying in a tweet that Dreamworks' display of the nine-dash line was an example of "kowtowing to the Chinese Communist Party by American liberal elites."

Tweet Embed:
//twitter.com/mims/statuses/1183912828543131650?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
More kowtowing to the Chinese Communist Party by American liberal elites, this time by DreamWorks. Politically correct & woke at home, communist supplicants abroad. Sad. https://t.co/oc7tmlCLf3

Last Wednesday, broadcasters at ESPN used a map of China which incorporated Taiwan and the "nine-dash line" as part of its territory, sparking fresh criticism among Beijing's critics.

Country sovereignty is a sensitive topic in China too: Multiple Western designer brands have also landed in hot water in China for identifying the semi-autonomous cities of Hong Kong and Macau as countries, rather than Chinese regions.

Read more: The NBA faces a billion-dollar crisis over one executive's tweet about Hong Kong. Here's why China is so hard for Western brands to break into.

South China Sea Map_05

Mike Nudelman/Business Insider

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