British animation introduces Chinese character

A brand new Chinese character was created in the latest film of popular British children's TV series and films Thomas & Friends.

The new film The Great Race unveiled its trailer earlier this week, showing the full lineup of 13 new international engines, which include the Chinese engine named Yong Bao, which means courage and precious baby.

Yong Bao is featured as a kind and faithful tender engine in the film. His bravery and cleverness once diverted an accident saving hundreds of passengers.

The bright red Chinese engine has been designed with a red tiger decorated on his tender, which incited a sense of awe and admiration and embodies the spirit of being driven to achieve and make progress.

Other engines from across the world include Ashima of India, Racing Vinnie, Axel of Belgium, Shane of Australia, Raul of Brazil, Etienne of France, Gina of Italy, Frieda of Germany, Ivan of Russia, Carlos of Mexico, Rajiv of India and Britain's The Flying Scotsman.

"China is a really important country for Thomas & Friends. We have many fans and followers in this country and we thought it would be great to have an engine that honors and represents their country in some form," the film's Executive Producer, Christopher Keenan, told Xinhua.

"Further to this, the theme of the new film (International race) was perfect to bring in a new engine from China to the storyline and made perfect sense," said Keenan.

The new movie sees Thomas, the leading role, in an exciting adventure, where the fun-loving engine pulls out all the stops to find a way to test his mettle against a host of new engines at the Great Railway Show, making some special new friends along the way.

"We spent a lot of time researching the right kind of engine and developing the look and character for the film. On research we found that like India, China used to dress their steam engines beautifully with ornate decorations and our local team in China advised us that red would be a good color for the engine because of what it represents in the country," he added.

The Great Race is the eleventh animated feature film for the world-famous train engine series, which is expected to hit screens worldwide from May 2016.

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