A Q&A with ODW’s Justinian Huang ’09


CEM Member Spotlight


Oriental Dreamworks’ Director of Global Animation, Justinian Huang, riffs on the collaboration between Hollywood and China, life in Shanghai, and insanely cute pandas.

Your top three favorite things about living in Shanghai 

1.  The revolving door of fascinating expats, mostly snobby fashion designers from Europe whom I find full of hubris and hence hilarious

2.  When it’s after midnight and the old streets are wonderfully deserted, which is shocking for a city of 25 million

3. Chinese millennials, the most impressive and conflicted young people I’ve ever met

What most excites you about what you do?

Given ODW’s unique position as a co-production studio based in Shanghai, we are directly in the trenches of the unique chaos that is the collision and collaboration of Hollywood and China. Our development team here is part ABC (American-born Chinese) and part Chinese nationals, and the creative dialogue in which I have the honor of engaging every day has not only taught me so much about the craft of storytelling, but also on a personal level, about my own identity as a Chinese-American. It’s been a blessing, truly.

Your favorite Kung Fu Panda character

My favorite Kung Fu Panda characters (beyond Po of course) are the so-cute-it’s-sickening baby pandas in KUNG FU PANDA 3. Spoiler alert: everyone will be squealing loudly in the theatre when they first appear, so brace yourself or just give in and join them. Mei Mei, a new female panda, is a close second. She’s a confident, sassy, and empowered woman, and Kate Hudson does a brilliant voice performance as her. KFP3 comes out on Friday 1/29, so you can meet all these new panda faces right now. Please watch it in 3D, it’s stunning, I promise.kung-fu-panda-5024d7fecb1a3

A lesson you learned the hard way

Treat every person you meet like they might change your life. I think when we are younger, we have a lot of walls up and we try so hard to act cool or whatever. I’ve realized now that it’s just easier and healthier to be kind… it’s especially appreciated in the industry.

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