Oct 212010

Three Delivery wallpaper

Three Delivery is an American cartoon for older children (rated Y7) set in an American Chinatown. It features three teenagers who have been taught kung fu by their adoptive grandmother so that they can re-assemble a magical cookbook and protect it from their grandmother’s former friend, now turned evil nemesis.

The show does not overtly try to teach Chinese, but the characters do say the occasional word or phrase and you can pick up a bit by watching it. For example, an older brother frequently addresses his younger sister as 妹妹 mèimèi. There are also a good number of signs and things written with traditional characters.

The plots also tend to involve items of cultural significance, such as terra-cotta warriors (兵马俑 / 兵馬俑 bīngmǎyǒng).

The show has a nice website (unfortunately, Flash-based) that incorporates a lot of written Chinese; for example during the inevitable wait for the Flash to load, we get a message saying 下载中 xiàzǎizhōng. Up and down arrows are marked  shàng and  xià.

But if you visit the site on an iPhone, instead of a Flash error, you get a special page of mobisodes. You can also see these by going to <http://threedelivery.com/iphone/> in any browser.

For language learners the site includes a glossary of terms and names used on the show with traditional characters and a pronunciation guide (not pinyin or any standard system, I think).

The website also has activities related to Chinese culture, such as paper lantern making and illustrations of the kung fu styles (tiger, dragon, and snake) practiced by each of the protagonists.

I believe it only ran one season; you can buy the whole 26-episode season on iTunes.
Three Delivery, Season 1 on iTunes.