The Ambiguous Superhero in Wan Laiming’s Havoc in Heaven

Olga Bobrowska “Look how nice it is to be Monkey King. No parents, no control. Just do as he will. And no shifts of WTO (World Trade Organization),” says Guo Binbin, a tragically passionless hero in Jia Zhangke’s film Unknown Pleasures (2002). Binbin is an unemployed 19-year-old who does not dare to kiss his teenaged … Continue reading The Ambiguous Superhero in Wan Laiming’s Havoc in Heaven

Chinese Diasporic Life: A Review of Bao

Shannon Brownlee California-based Pixar Animation Studio is not, at first glance, a likely producer of Chinese animation. However, Bao (Domee Shi, 2018) proves otherwise (Fig 1).[1]As Disney and Pixar’s opening logos appear, they are accompanied – even eclipsed – by the strings of the guzheng, then pipa and erhu, playing a pentatonic theme. The film’s … Continue reading Chinese Diasporic Life: A Review of Bao

The Question of Hong Kong Identity in My Life As McDull

Lokyi Tsoi My Life As McDull is the first attempt to make a full-length animation film of the McDull series, as a collaboration with director Toe Yuen, screenplay writer Brian Tse, and story writer Alice Mak (Fig 1). Released in Hong Kong during Chinese New Year 2001-2002, the film achieved remarkable success, grossing a total of … Continue reading The Question of Hong Kong Identity in My Life As McDull

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!