By Muyang Zhuang Manhua, a Chinese term that can be translated into English as cartoon or caricature, was a popular art form that flourished in early 20th century China. Emerging in treaty ports such as Shanghai and Tianjin in the late Qing Dynasty, most manhua was published in newspapers or pictorial magazines. Mainly serving as … Continue reading A Literature Review on Manhua Studies
By CHEN Yishui; adapted by Yixing Li While Chinese animation originated in the 1920s and had an early impact on world animation, animation studies in mainland China remained rudimentary until the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. The field developed steadily after the Reform and Opening-up and has made significant progress in … Continue reading An Overview of Animation Studies in Mainland China, 1949-2020
By Isabel Galwey Chinese Independent Animation: Renegotiating Identity in Modern China offers a systematic, academic study of contemporary Chinese independent animation theory and practice. Written by Wenhai Zhou as part of the Palgrave Animation series, intended to explore and theorize animation in an accessible way, Chinese Independent Animation combines close case studies of individual animators … Continue reading Chinese Independent Animation: Renegotiating Identity in Modern China, by Wenhai Zhou. Palgrave Animation, 2020. 222 pp.
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
By Peng-yi Tai Puppets, Gods, and Brands: Theorizing the Age of Animation from Taiwan is 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 … 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.
By 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 … Continue reading Narratological Analysis of Fellow Ants, Please Be Aware!
By 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 … Continue reading Animated Encounters: Transnational Movements of Chinese Animation, 1940s-1970s, by Daisy Yan Du. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2019. 276 pp.
By 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 … Continue reading A Literature Review: Lianhuanhua
By Weihua Wu Mainland China has been enjoying a renewed appreciation for animation—one that links cyberspace with the box-office, and that extends far beyond the categories of children’s “donghua” or “meishu film.” The problems encountered by Chinese animation during the past 30 years has been the unnegotiated conflicts between the marketization of Chinese animation filmmaking and … Continue reading Can We Talk about the Rejuvenation of Chinese Animation?
By Lawrence Zi-Qiao Yang Edited by film and media scholars Li Guo and Jinying Li, the two special issues of the Journal of Chinese Cinemas—Animating Chinese Cinemas I and II—not only mark an important milestone in the study of Chinese animation but also point toward a series of historical, theoretical, and methodological questions central to the … Continue reading Review of Animating Chinese Cinemas I & II (Special Issues of the Journal of Chinese Cinemas), edited by Li Guo & Jinying Li, 2017.