Dragon Ball Director Praises Shen Yun

James Wong Director of Dragon Ball Evolution At Shen Yun

James Wong at Shen Yun

The Shen Yun performing arts company finished its encore tour in Los Angeles on July 11. James Wong, the director of Dragonball: Evolution was in the audience with his family and praised the Shen Yun show.

An article was written for The Epoch Times newspaper to convey his feelings.

From the article:

James said, “I think it’s incredible. The dancers are amazing, the synchronicity of the dances, the tradition, the traditional dances, along with the costumes, is fantastic. I’m really impressed.”

“His most recent film, Dragonball: Evolution (20th Century Fox) is based on the hit comic book and animated series Dragon Ball that finds its roots in traditional Chinese and Japanese culture, notably from Journey to the West, a Chinese classic. The triumphant climax of the epic Journey to the West is retold in Shen Yun as the final performance of the show. The Buddhist Monk Xuanzang and his faithful guardian, The Monkey King, make a glorious return to Tang Dynasty China where they distribute the Buddhist teachings to future generations.”

As a contributor to The Epoch Times I was asked to write this article because of its relationship with Dragon Ball. Shen Yun’s display of authentic traditional culture incorporates The Monkey King legend that inspired Akira Toriyama to create Dragon Ball. And I was happy to help with this unique synchronicity.

The full article: Hollywood Director Recommends Shen Yun: ‘It’s Spectacular’



4 responses to “Dragon Ball Director Praises Shen Yun”

  1. Edgar says:

    Reading this, makes me consider that I have been too rough on Mr. Wong. Maybe he was forced like Joel Schumacher into doing all those changes on DBE.

    • derekpadula says:

      I’ve watched and read all of the pre-release interviews for the film. James was the director and many of the choices were his own, but some of the decisions for the film were made by a marketing team, such as calling it Evolution. They did that on purpose to distinguish the movie from the actual series because they wanted to make it more marketable. The goal was to reach a broader audience and it was his job to make that happen. I’m not sure who decided this was a good idea, but it was his responsibility to put it into action.

  2. cheryl (shay) casati says:

    hey Derek,
    pretty amazing….did you approach the Dragonball originator?

    • derekpadula says:

      If you’re talking about James, then nope, somebody else interviewed him. I transcribed the interview and wrote the article.

      Though this did give me the idea of contacting James for a follow up about his movie. I wrote to his agent a few weeks ago. She replied and said that if he is interested I will hear from them. Still waiting to hear back.

      If you meant Akira Toriyama, then also no. However, I would certainly like to, as there are so many questions to ask. Every person I’ve spoken to on the American license holder side has told me it is a pipe dream and nearly impossible. Apparently every word the man says has to be approved by the Japanese license holders, and if it’s officially published somewhere, then that work has to be an official publication. Since my book is an independent work, it won’t happen.

      Now of course if it gets picked up by the Japanese license holder and becomes officially published, then all the better, presuming they still let me say what I would like to say.