DreamWorks film ‘Abominable’ banned in Vietnam over South China Sea map

Vietnam has banned the DreamWorks film "Abominable" from playing in its theaters because the film features a scene with a map containing the controversial South China Sea nine-dash line, according to state media.

The nine-dash line, used by China to mark its claim to the disputed South China Sea, has been a subject of condemnation by Vietnam and others with claims in the sea. The waterway is crucial for global commerce and rich in fish and potential oil and gas reserves.

(from left) – Peng (Albert Tsai), Everest, Yi (Chloe Bennet) and Jin (Tenzing Norgay Trainor) in DreamWorks Animation and Pearl Studio’s Abominable. 

(from left) – Peng (Albert Tsai), Everest, Yi (Chloe Bennet) and Jin (Tenzing Norgay Trainor) in DreamWorks Animation and Pearl Studio’s Abominable.  (DreamWorks Animation)

"Abominable," produced by DreamWorks Animation and China-based Pearl Studio, follows three teenagers who journey across China to help a yeti reunite with his family on Mount Everest.

It was shown in Vietnamese cinemas for a week before being removed, Tuoi Tre reported Monday.

"We will be more alert and more vigorous in censorship," the head of the government's cinema department, Nguyen Thu Ha said.

The cinema department is responsible for censoring movies that contain violence, sex and unfavorable political messages in communist Vietnam.

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Trailers and other associated information for "Abominable" have been removed from the Vietnamese distributors' website and social media channels. The movie's trailer and posters were removed from advertising screens in theaters.

Vietnamese movie fans quoted by The Associated Press also criticized the film calling it, “an insult to Vietnam.”

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Nguyen Mai Huong, a student, said: "I wouldn't watch it even if it still showed in the cinema. The (nine-dash) map is straight-up wrong. And I am absolutely not going to support it."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.