Michelle Yeoh Brings Chinese Myths to Life in New Disney+ Series ‘American Born Chinese’

A Celebration of Asian Representation

Esteemed actress Michelle Yeoh, famed for being the first Asian woman to clinch an Oscar, is all set to dazzle audiences once again. This time, she will be introducing a television show, “American Born Chinese,” which is firmly rooted in Chinese mythology. Speaking about her role, Yeoh expressed her delight in showcasing the mythological characters she grew up with to a broader audience, particularly her American friends.


Embodying a Goddess

Taking on the role of Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy, Yeoh is all set to portray a character rich in mythological background. The acclaimed actress is keen on providing her audience with a unique insight into Chinese mythology, a subject that is often unfamiliar to Western audiences.


A Graphic Novel Brought to Life

The intriguing new series is an adaptation of the 2006 graphic novel “American Born Chinese” by Gene Luen Yang. The graphic novel, renowned for its exploration of serious issues such as Asian stereotyping in America, has long resisted adaptation. However, the dedicated efforts of an Asian-led cast, along with the reassurances from show producer Melvin Mar and series creator Kevin Yu, finally convinced Yang to bring his work to the small screen.


Premiering on Disney+

The wait is almost over for fans, as the action-comedy-drama series is set to premiere on Disney’s popular streaming service Disney+ this Wednesday. The show promises to be a unique blend of humor, action, and drama, all while exploring themes of identity and cultural heritage.


A Star-Studded Cast

Yeoh is not the only big name in the series. Fellow Oscar winner Ke Huy Quan, Stephanie Hsu, and James Hong, all of whom starred in this year’s Oscar-winning film “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” are also part of the cast. Their shared Oscar glory, according to Yeoh, validates Disney+’s faith in the importance of stories about people who look like them.


A Journey of Self-Discovery

Central to the story is high school student Jin Wang, portrayed by Ben Wang. Jin finds himself wrestling with his identity while trying to navigate the complexities of school and home life. His world turns upside down with the arrival of a new Taiwanese exchange student, Wei-Chen, played by Jim Liu. Wei-Chen unknowingly thrusts Jin into an epic battle between Chinese gods, providing a thrilling twist to the narrative.


Drawing From Rich Chinese Folklore

“American Born Chinese” is a vibrant tapestry of Chinese folklore and animation inspired by the 6th-century Chinese novel “Journey to the West.” Beyond the allure of kung fu action, the show delves deep into Jin’s struggle to reconcile his Chinese and American identities while navigating the trials and tribulations of adolescence.


A Tale of Teenage Angst

Ben Wang, who plays Jin, reflects on the challenges of being a teenager. He believes that teenagers are caught in a paradox of being smart enough to recognize their problems and those of the world but are often powerless to do anything about them. This sense of impotence, Wang suggests, is a central theme of “American Born Chinese.”



“American Born Chinese” is more than just a TV show. It is a celebration of Asian representation, an exploration of cultural identity, and a tribute to Chinese mythology. With its premiere on Disney+ just around the corner, audiences worldwide are eagerly waiting to be part of this unique cultural journey.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *