Adults as Audience: A Review of The Guardian

By Shaopeng Chen Historically speaking, Chinese animated films have always targeted children and ignored their entertainment appeal for adults. At the same time, the Chinese cultural authorities required animated works to be both instructive and interesting. Weihua Wu argues that animation in China is “the practice of hidden education in an appealing form,” which suggests … Continue reading Adults as Audience: A Review of The Guardian

Feelings of Mountains and Rivers: Minimalism and Monumentalism in Motion

By Rebecca Liptay and Shannon Brownlee Feelings of Mountains and Rivers (Shanshui qing, Te Wei, 1988)[1]  is the last of the four analogue ink-painting animations (shuimo donghua) made at the Shanghai Animation Film Studio. All but one of these were directed or co-directed by legendary animator Te Wei,[2] and all were filmed by Duan Xiaoxuan, the … Continue reading Feelings of Mountains and Rivers: Minimalism and Monumentalism in Motion

Call for Papers: The Inaugural Conference of the Association for Chinese Animation Studies, Zoom, Spring 2021  

The inaugural conference of the Association for Chinese Animation Studies (ACAS), originally scheduled to be held at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in May 2020, is highly likely to be conducted virtually via Zoom from Feb to May in 2021. The virtual panels will be scheduled on weekends when we are free … Continue reading Call for Papers: The Inaugural Conference of the Association for Chinese Animation Studies, Zoom, Spring 2021  

CGI Ink-Painting Animation in Contemporary China, 1989-2019

By Chen Hailu; translated by Yixing Li  From 1961 to 1988, Chinese animators at the Shanghai Animation Film Studio produced four traditional ink-painting animated films, winning numerous accolades at home and abroad. No new ink-painting animation had been produced since 1989. It was not until 2003 that ink-painting animation resurfaced in China with the production … Continue reading CGI Ink-Painting Animation in Contemporary China, 1989-2019

An Interview with Scissor Seven Director He Xiaofeng

Interviewed by Ma Xiaogua and Bi Fang (Anim-babblers Study Group); translated by Nick Stember Scissor Seven(2018) has become the first Chinese animated series ever to sign a Netflix Original distribution deal and be rebroadcast on the online streaming giant. According to official sources, Netflix will be deploying a fleet of pro dubbers to create English, Japanese, … Continue reading An Interview with Scissor Seven Director He Xiaofeng

The Ambiguous Superhero in Wan Laiming’s Havoc in Heaven

By 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 … Continue reading The Ambiguous Superhero in Wan Laiming’s Havoc in Heaven

Chinese Diasporic Life: A Review of Bao

By 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 … Continue reading Chinese Diasporic Life: A Review of Bao

The Question of Hong Kong Identity in My Life As McDull

By 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 … 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

By 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 … Continue reading Visual Effects and the Enchanted Technique of Elements: A Review of Ne Zha