This Saturday May 1 at 9 a.m., Disney Channel takes us to Shanghai with Ladybug and Chat Noir, in the footsteps of the legend of Ladydragon. Creator Thomas Astruc presents this unique special episode.
Miraculous Shangaï: the legend of Ladydragon
- Saturday May 1 at 9:00 a.m. on Disney Channel
It’s the holidays and all is well for Marinette… until she finds out that Adrien had to leave with his father for Shanghai, China. Fortunately, this is where her Uncle Wang lives, whose birthday is approaching.
To find Adrien and discover his origins, Marinette decides to hand her gift to Uncle Wang. But shortly after her arrival, Marinette loses all her belongings, including her bag, Tikki… and the Ladybug Miraculous which allows her to become Ladybug! To find them, she will team up with Fei, unaware that she is the one who stole his things!
AlloCiné: Tell us about the movie “Miraculous World: Shanghai, the legend of Ladydragon” and the new season of Miraculous?
Thomas Astruc: Miraculous World: Shanghai, the legend of Ladydragon is a special episode, a kind of spin-off of the Miraculous series, which takes place in Shanghai and which plunges us into the world of Kung Fu. This is the second special episode after the one on New York aired in September 2020 (and currently available on Disney +, Editor’s note).
It’s the holidays for Marinette and she learns that Adrien had to go with his father to China, to the city of Shanghai. That’s good, because that’s where her uncle Wang lives. It is therefore a kind of return to the sources, to the country of its origins. She then goes to meet Fei after losing all her belongings including the Ladybug Miraculous which allows her to become Ladybug. And in fact … it was Fei who stole his things! The idea was to make Marinette travel and I think we will continue these trips from time to time.
Otherwise, this new season – the fourth which starts in France – is a decisive season for Marinette who becomes the new Keeper. With a lot more responsibilities. Let’s say it’s the season of maturity.
You will also be entitled to new superheroes and new super-villains as well as new places in Paris to discover. The idea is to create a sort of superhero universe like Marvel’s.
Kung Fu is at the heart of the episode in Shanghai and in the series: what do martial arts represent for you?
I love martial arts! We try to take great care of the choreography, stunts and fights. For me, martial arts are important values for learning to know yourself.
It is also a way of learning to control oneself at the level of his body as of his mind. It is an exploration of our mind and our emotions that sometimes make us do stupid things … or, on the contrary, good things.
Do you practice martial arts yourself?
Houla! No, I just did a little Kung Fu when I was very young. But anyway, I still love martial arts. I have a large collection of Kung Fu films. Moreover, studying martial arts films helps us in editing and setting up choreographies.
Otherwise I remember that we were inspired by the fights of the Street Fighter video game in an episode. But we’re not trying to cut and paste fight scenes that we can see in movies.
We like to invent fights, especially since we have characters with superpowers and therefore the hits are always more extraordinary. In any case, it is in the Shanghai special that I was able to put all my obsessions on the martial arts.
Besides, I went there several times. It was a fantastic and enriching experience. We have thus become well imbued with the city and the people. Hope it sounds authentic on screen.
Did the pandemic have any effects on the making of the series?
We write a lot in advance and so this new season was written two years ago. But it is certain that for a good year we have been working with a totally different production process, most of the time from a distance. It slowed us down a bit but we were able to continue production and finish our season.
How to explain the success of Miraculous around the world?
It is a combination of several factors. These are the ingredients that we put into it, but also the care taken by the team of people who work on the series. We always try to be careful what we do and we always try to surpass ourselves. There’s a lot of work on scriptwriting, storyboards, and animation and directing.
The other superhero universes have become hyper “dark” while ours is ultra positive and bright. That’s a very optimistic thought and that’s kind of what’s missing right now with everything we’re going through. I think people need a little oxygen and that’s what Marinette’s world gives them.
It is a vision full of hope and it is also exoticism with these trips. And then the fact that our stories take place in Paris always makes the fans dream.
What are the themes that are close to your heart in this series?
First of all, it’s a series about emotions, what we feel and what it makes us do. How to deal with your own emotions is an important topic. We discuss other topics such as ecology or responsibility and personal commitment to create a better world. I hope this will make people want to shake things up and bring them hope.
When I was young, I read comics with lots of positive messages to change the world. That’s what we’re trying to do with this universe. I hope this will make people want to do good around them. I hope our universe will give them inner strength to help change the world, for a better world.