February 5th marks the first day in the Chinese New Year, which officially kicks off the Year of the Pig. While many families will commence with such traditions as cleaning house or decorating windows with red paper cuts, Disney have chosen to celebrate with a stunning series of posters promoting upcoming films.
Disney released the posters, which mix elements from several highly-anticipated Marvel, Disney and Pixar films with traditional Chinese imagery, on Weibo, a Chinese social media service.
For Captain Marvel, the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe film poster references the five classical Chinese Elements. Metal, Water, Wood and Fire all highlight the Earth, which is also the homeworld of Brie Larson's Carol Danvers.
The use of clouds could be a reference to her former career as a United Air Force pilot, and the stars twinkling in the sky could highlight her experiences as a member of the Kree military team Starforce. Captain Marvel's star logo is the centerpiece of the poster, looming over its surroundings in the same way that Captain Marvel is the guardian of Earth and the Kree Empire.
In Avengers: Endgame, the highly anticipated sequel to Avengers: Infinity War, the remaining heroes of Earth will gather together to fight Thanos in hopes of restoring the lives lost in their previous battle.
Within the signature Avengers "A," the artist includes symbols for Iron Man, Captain America, Hawkeye, Thor, Hawkeye, Hulk and Black Widow in an intricate mix of red and gold details. The use of paper lanterns highlights the friends and family who were lost after Thanos' lost in Thanos' snap, and the foaming waves could highlight the conflict that is to come.
For Dumbo, director Tim Burton's upcoming live-action remake of the 1943 animated Disney film, the poster has highlights which reference the Chinese element of Water and include elements of the story itself.
The centerpiece is the silver weather vane which portrays Mrs. Jumbo walking with a young Dumbo. The cranes flying in the background could be a reference to the storks which deliver the child to his mother and the pointed pattern roof with the red star a possible reference to the circus that both animals will star as a performer. The use of a weather vane and feathers could also be references to Dumbo’s eventual ability to fly with the use of his oversized ears as wings.
For Aladdin, the upcoming live action remake of the 1992 animated Disney movie, the poster relies on simple-but-intricate symbols that might reference the original movie's advertisements, which featured the lamp which contained the Genie in the Cave of Wonders.
The artist used Chinese gold ingots within the image as they are a sign of wealth and prosperity, possibly a reference to the other treasures buried along with the lamp.
For The Lion King, the poster for this live action remake of the 1994 animated Disney movie follows Aladdin’s example with simple and elegant symbolism. The artist uses an array of green and blue waves and trees to reference the lush jungle that the Simba's family watches over.
The center of the poster includes a stone with a small paw print meant to symbolize Simba and his tragic but hopeful story of growing up to succeed his father as ruler of the animal kingdom.
For Frozen 2, the poster for the sequel to the popular Disney animated feature film Frozen keeps its symbolism simple with a single enlarged snowflake in front of several smaller flakes.
The image is surrounded by red and gold patterned paper lanterns, red is a traditional symbol of joy that also symbolizes virtue, truth, and sincerity. Considering the journey Elsa and her sister Anna embarked in the first movie , the glowing lanterns could also be seen as a reference to the lanterns use on the 15th day of the new year which falls on Valentines Day. It could be a reference to love, a theme which was very prominent in the first film.
On the poster for Toy Story 4, John Ratzenberger’s Hamm takes center stage to celebrate the Year of the Pig. With Hamm in traditional Chinese garb, Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Jessie, Rex, Mr. Potato Head, Slinky and a Pizza Planet Alien all celebrate the prosperity of a new year.
Hamm is dressed for the occasion in red and gold, the colors meant to scare away evil spirits and bad fortune, and he's already enjoying gold ingots at his feet and hovering in the air.
While these probably won't be available in stores any time soon, this collection of artwork is a striking way to celebrate the beginning of the new year.
Captain Marvel opens in theaters everywhere on March 8. Avengers: Endgame opens in theaters everywhere on April 26. Dumbo opens on March 29. Aladdin opens on May 24. The Lion King opens on July 19. Frozen 2 opens on Nov. 22 and Toy Story 4 opens on June 21, 2019.