How a Chow Yun-fat film inspired the viral ‘Chinese Beaver’ meme

How a Chow Yun-fat film inspired the viral ‘Chinese Beaver’ meme
via B teaches Animation (left), Chek Tao (right)

Millions of social media users have been captivated by the animated beaver's dramatic speech and expressive face

December 19, 2023
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The “Chinese Beaver” meme, a mashup of Hong Kong drama and internet humor, has captivated users online. 
What it is: The meme features an animated character, often mistaken for a beaver, delivering an emotional speech in Mandarin. The character has become a part of the “literally me” character meme subcategory, which is a representation of emotions one can’t quite articulate.
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Origin story: The animation comes from a 2022 Bilibili video by B Teaches Animation, inspired by a scene in the classic 1986 Hong Kong action film “A Better Tomorrow.” The cinematic masterpiece, directed by John Woo, was Chow Yun-fat‘s breakout role in the Hong Kong film industry. 

The meme recently gained traction on TikTok and X, where millions of users have been captivated by the dramatic speech and the character’s expressive face.
Decoding the dialogue: Voiced by Chow, the speech reveals a profound plea for action against escalating triad violence. The character expresses frustration at losing power in the criminal underworld and passionately declares his determination to reclaim what’s rightfully his.
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Meme magic: The humor lies in the disconnect between the character’s passionate Mandarin speech and the Western viewers’ cluelessness about its content. It has spawned variations, including another animation of the character in a different scene and even English-dubbed versions.
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      Ryan General

      Ryan General
      is a Senior Reporter for NextShark

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