Friday, October 3, 2008

Why Is the Crow Black-Coated

Why is the Crow Black-Coated is the first Chinese animation in color produced at the Shanghai Animation Film Studio by Wan Laiming and Wan Guchan.


The story is about an arrogant bird that enjoys life. He sang and dance in the forest in China, showing off his beautiful tail to everyone. Autumn would come and the other animals in the forest are busy preparing food for the winter. The bird continues to live life leisurely.

The winter would come instantly with a heavy snow storm. The bird is now homeless in the cold without preparation. To warm up, he found a random wild fire in the forest. The bird accidentally burned his tail and also lost his singing voice. From there on, the bird is no longer beautiful and is known as the black crow.


Two of the Wan brothers took part in the production. The film was created right before Shanghai Animation Film Studio became a government sponsored division which would later be affected by the cultural revolution under Mao Zedong.


It is the first Chinese animation to be recognized internationally in 1956 at the Venice Film Festival. In 1957 it was also awarded by China's .

Warrior (2007 film)

Warrior is a film produced by Shanghai Animation Film Studio.


Shanghai Animation Film Studio produced the film as its sixth animated feature, to mark its 50th anniversary. It took four years to produce and cost 15 million yuan . .


Based on a Mongolian folklore, the story begins with a young warrior Barter coming to Balin Grassland. He rescues a young girl from a herd of running horses and finds out she is the daughter of the wrestling coach working for the grassland lord. Barter starts learning wrestling while working for the grassland lord as a coolie. Barter falls in love with the girl he saved. However, there is a reason for his coming to the grassland – he is looking for the man who killed his father.

Uproar in the Studio

Uproar in the Studio is a black and white Chinese animation made in 1926 by Wan Laiming and Wan Guchan. The mini-film helped the Wan brothers become recognized as the official pioneer of the animation industry in China.


The film was combined with live footage. It is about an artist in his studio working and suddenly he is disturbed by a small paper person jumping out of the page causing an uproar. The artist in the footage was Wan Guchan


The segment was created for non-commercial use by the Wan brothers when they were working at the Great Wall Film Company. The animation ran for 10 ~ 12 minutes in black and white to showcase the technology.


In 1985 Marie-Claire Quiquemelle's essay "The Wan Brothers and 60 years of Animated Film in China" in stated that there are really 2 separate films produced in 1926. "Uproar in the Studio" is modeled after the U.S film Out of the Inkwell by Max Fleischer. The "Paperman makes Trouble" is called or . The content has to do with the paper person receiving a letter. Because the contents between the productions are so similar, there are a lot of confusion about the fact. It is believed the younger Wan brother's studio was bombed as part of the January 28 Incident.

Thru the Moebius Strip

Thru the Moebius Strip is the first - feature film, made in mainland China. The original story is based on a sci-fi adventure from comic book artist Jean Giraud.


The story is about the coming of age of a 14 year old boy who grew up refusing to accept the loss of his father. He reaches the planet Raphicca 27.2 million light years away to find that his father is prisoner in a kingdom of giant aliens who believe in magic and a medieval code of chivalry. In the midst of a raging battle between good and evil, Jac rescues his father, his new found family of aliens, the planet of Raphicca, and ultimately, the universe.


The film was financially backed by "GDC Entertainment" in Hong Kong and rendered in Shenzhen, China by the Institute of Digital Media Technology . The project began with 200 animators in 2000 and grew to employ more than 400 by the end of production. Unlike traditional Chinese films, the movie was dubbed into English first. Previewed at the Second International Animation and Cartoon Festival at Hangzhou, China on April 27 and May 3rd, 2006, it is considered a critical first for Chinese animation products in the international market.


The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2005 and received good reviews for the animation work. However film critics have emphasized that the story was mostly catered to the west with eastern elements added in, making it difficult to satisfy any group of audience in any one particular region. Most reviews also claim that it is more of a graphical showcase.


! width=25%|Name
! width=30%|Voiced by
| Narrator || Andrea Miller
| Young Jac || Michelle Ruff
| Simon Weir || Mark Hamill
| Caroline Weir || Peri Gilpin
| Young Ragis || Daisy Torme
| Shepway || Jean Simmons
| Jac Weir || Chris Marquette
| Allana || Kellie Martin
| Prince Ragis || Jonathan Taylor Thomas
| King ichael Dorn


*Directed by Glenn Chaika
*Animation director Kelvin Lee
*Written by James Cox and Paul Gertz
*Based on the Story by Jean Giraud
*Produced by Anthony Neoh, David Kirschner and Frank Foster
*Executive producers Raymond D. Neoh, Jun Aida, Christopher Tuffin, Fred DeWysocki, Gordon Steel, Roxane Barbat and C. Scott Votaw
*Co-producers Jean Giraud and Arnie Wong
*Art director Fred Cline
*Production designer Jean Giraud
*Editors Bob Bender and Lois Freeman-Cox
*Music by Nathan Lanier, Peter Breiner, Patrick Copeland and Oliver Lliboutry
*Visual effects supervisor Manny Wong
*Special effects department Wayne A. Kennedy
*Sound designer Stephen P. Robinson
*Casting and voice director Jack Flecther

Three Monks

Three Monks is a feature film produced by the Shanghai Animation Film Studio. After the cultural revolution and the fall of the political Gang of Four in 1976, the film was one of the first animation created as part of the rebirth period. It is also referred to as ''"The Three Buddhist Priests"''.


The film is based on the ancient Chinese proverb "One monk will shoulder two buckets of water, two monks will share the load, but add a third and no one will want to fetch water." The film did not contain any dialogues allowing it to be watched by any culture, and a different music instrument was used to signify each monk . The film also tell the story from the aspect of the bhikkhu.


A young monk lives a simple life in a temple on top of a hill. He has one daily task of hauling two buckets of water up the hill. He tries to share the job with another monk, but the carry pole is only long enough for one bucket. The arrival of a third monk prompts everyone to expect that someone else will take on the chore. Consequently, no one fetches water though everybody is thirsty. At night, a rat comes to scrounge and then knocks the candleholder, leading to a devastating fire in the temple. The three monks finally unite together and make a concerted effort to put out the fire. Since then they understand the old saying "unity is strength" and begin to live a harmonious life. The temple never lacks water again


Director: A Da

Screenwriter: Pao Lei

Cinematography: You Yong

Animation: , Ma Kexuan, Fan Madi


* Won the outstanding film award at China's Ministry of Culture.
* Won the Best animated film prize at the first Golden Rooster Awards in 1981.
* Won 4 international awards including a Silver Bear for Short Film at the 32nd Berlin Film Festival in 1982.

The Warrior (2006 film)

The Warrior is a feature film produced in Hong Kong by famous director Tsui Hark.


The film is an animation adaptation on the legendary story of kungfu master Wong Fei Hung in a fictional sense.


Once upon time, a war was waged and Huang Di defeated Chi You with the mystic power of the sacred stone that was used by Nu-WQ mended from the heavens. After the war, Huang Di created 4 treasures to seal the stone and ordered 4 Guardians to look after them. Yuan Boo led a group of hitmen including the legendary kung fu master Wong Fei Hung. Driven to protect the sacred stone, the party would eventually find the treasure only to be seized by the westerner Patton. Now the world has fallen into a catastrophe and only Fei Hung can save it

The Proud General

The Proud General is a featurette produced by Shanghai Animation Film Studio under the master animator Te Wei. It is also referred to as ''"The Conceited General"''.


The film was heavily influenced by Disney from the perspective of character design, movement and storytelling point of view. The music are derived from Beijing Opera. The clothing, architecture, and props do have a strong sense of influence. It was one of the first films to use the art of water ink painting in a lengthy production.


After a victorious military campaign, a general returns home to glory and prosperity. The king rewards him and claims that all enemies will be intimidated by the general. From then on, the general no longer practice martial arts. He eats, drinks, lives the glamorous life, and didn't bother anymore with sharpening his weapons. When the enemy one day returns, his own arrogance led to his defeat and eventually to the downfall of whole nation.


The DVD has been re-released under the ''Chinese Classic Animation Te Wei Collection'' set. The Conceited General do have English subtitles.