Visual Effects and the Enchanted Technique of Elements: A Review of Ne Zha

Hang Wu Animation renders visible the nonhuman energy that is otherwise hidden. The visualization of this nonhuman affective energy is exemplified by the animated feature film Ne Zha (2019), which reaches its climax during the fight of fire vs. water between Ne Zha and Ao Bing. As Ne Zha was born with the power of … Continue reading Visual Effects and the Enchanted Technique of Elements: A Review of Ne Zha

Next Gen: Out-of-control “Prototype Memory” in a Futuristic Machine City

Maggie Chunning Guo The animated film Next Gen, released in 2019, presents a series of dualisms, such as stereotypes of humans vs. machines and the dilemma of deleting memories vs. unloading weapons. These confrontations lead to a war between the humans and machines, climaxing in a final fight between the robot “7723” and Justin Pin, … Continue reading Next Gen: Out-of-control “Prototype Memory” in a Futuristic Machine City

Transborder Fairy Tales: Princess Iron Fan and the Discourse of Children

Ying Chen Princess Iron Fanis the first Chinese animated feature film produced by the Wan Brothers at Xinhua studio during the Orphan Island period of Shanghai’s film industry. Adapted from a well-known story in Journey to the West, the film was made as a response to Disney’s first animated feature film, Snow White and the … Continue reading Transborder Fairy Tales: Princess Iron Fan and the Discourse of Children

Puppets, Gods, and Brands: Theorizing the Age of Animation from Taiwan, by Teri Silvio. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2019. 270 pp.

Peng-yi Tai Puppets, Gods, and Brands: Theorizing the Age of Animation from Taiwanis a truly unconventional book about animation. It is unconventional not because it is so deeply interdisciplinary, ranging from religion, film and media studies, psychoanalysis, sociology, to East Asian studies, but because it is essentially an anthropology of animation. Rather than discussing any … Continue reading Puppets, Gods, and Brands: Theorizing the Age of Animation from Taiwan, by Teri Silvio. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2019. 270 pp.

Narratological Analysis of Fellow Ants, Please Be Aware!

Nick Stember Published in May 1980 by the Shanghai Fine Arts Press, Fellow Ants, Please Be Aware!is a 46 page long, full color lianhuanhua (linked pictures) with an initial print run of 400,000. While traditional narratological analysis (as exemplified by Vladimir Propp) is perhaps difficult to apply to this story given the distinct cultural and … Continue reading Narratological Analysis of Fellow Ants, Please Be Aware!

Conference Program: The Inaugural Conference of the Association for Chinese Animation Studies, May 11-14, 2020

Lecture Theater (G/F), Lo Ka Chung Building, Institute for Advanced Study, Lee Shau Kee Campus, HKUST   May 10 (Sunday)  2:00-7:00pm: Registration at the Lobby of Conference Lodge, Lee Shau Kee Campus    May 11 (Monday) 8:00-8:30am: Registration at the Lobby of Conference Lodge, Lee Shau Kee Campus 9:00-10:50am: Keynote Speeches, chaired by Daisy Yan Du, Hong … Continue reading Conference Program: The Inaugural Conference of the Association for Chinese Animation Studies, May 11-14, 2020

Animated Encounters: Transnational Movements of Chinese Animation, 1940s-1970s, by Daisy Yan Du. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2019. 276 pp.

Ling Zhang The extraordinary commercial success of recent Chinese animated films such as Monkey King: Hero is Back (2015), White Snake (2019), and Nezha: Birth of the Demon Child (2019) has rekindled the domestic Chinese audience’s interest in Chinese animation, and has also attracted considerable attention from both popular media and academia. However, these animations … Continue reading Animated Encounters: Transnational Movements of Chinese Animation, 1940s-1970s, by Daisy Yan Du. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2019. 276 pp.

“Our Comrade Sun Wukong”: On Fantasy and Exaggeration in Mountain of Flames

Linda C. Zhang In 1958, the Shanghai Animation Film Studio released a 35-minute, color, stop-motion puppet animation film, Mountain of Flames (Huoyan shan), directed by Jin Xi. The movie retold a familiar episode from the novel Journey to the West, where Sun Wukong – the Monkey King – must try three successive times to borrow … Continue reading “Our Comrade Sun Wukong”: On Fantasy and Exaggeration in Mountain of Flames

A Literature Review: Lianhuanhua

Rebecca Scott Lianhuanhua, while varying in size and format are generally palm-sized serial picture stories which emerged in China’s cities, particularly Shanghai during the Republican period and by 1949 were a ubiquitous form of urban-based popular culture read by adults and children alike. While comic publication boomed in the 1950s and 1960s, as the medium … Continue reading A Literature Review: Lianhuanhua