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September 28, 2017

Jackie Chan is a wise, old 'Ninjago' in new flick

The beloved actor and stuntman, who's been on screen since age 5, voices Master Wu in 'The LEGO Ninjago Movie'

Jackie Chan has an action movie career that is close to six decades old. He has starred in some of Hollywood's most memorable films and is, to many, the personification of martial arts. So, what made such a living legend want to sign on to a kid-friendly animated feature like, "The LEGO Ninjago Movie?"

"I wanted to do the movie because I do a lot of action movies – and sometimes, the action movies – kids can't go to see it," Chan told PhillyVoice

"So, that's why, I said to myself, 'How can I get the children to know me too?' That's the only way you can reach some of these kids."

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He talked about his previous forays into animation and how he has seen the global reach of that method of storytelling.

"I had a chance to do 'Jackie Chan Adventures' [an animated series starring Chan that ran from 2000 to 2005] and now, wherever I go throughout the world – Germany, Morocco – children point and say, 'Jackie! Jackie!'

"So, I was amazed at the power of a cartoon and children's things," he continued. 

"Even now, people come up to me and say, 'I loved your movies as a kid!' Everyone says that!...I have been making movies for 57 years now and I wanted to make something to be remembered by today's children before I pass away, to still remember. because Master Wu – and film – can never die!"

As far as kids who may be inspired to take up martial arts, Chan has nothing but encouragement.

"You just have to practice," he said. "You don't practice just to knock down somebody, but because martial arts are like exercise. They're good for your brain and good for your health. Good for everything.

"More importantly, when you learn martial arts, you learn to respect everybody – your parents, your teacher and nature – the whole world."