By Sean Macdonald “Humanity is far from understanding itself. The turning point of civilization’s recklessly unrestrained exploration of the abyss of consciousness has been slow to arrive. Actually, we already know that Hell is our ideal way home (31).”[i] Hu Xiaojiang, The Father on the Moon Before I read this book, I was … Continue reading The Father on the Moon (Yueqiu shang de fuqin), by Hu Xiaojiang. Guangzhou: Huacheng, 2021.
By Jason Cody Douglass Armed with a Type-38 rifle to protect herself from bandits, 16-year-old camerawoman Duan Xiaoxuan ventured into the countryside outside of Changchun with half a dozen fellow animators to complete research and preproduction for Thank You, Kitty (1950). Duan had already worked at the Northeast Film Studio for two years at that … Continue reading Chinese Animation and Socialism: From Animators’ Perspectives, edited by Daisy Yan Du. Brill, 2022. 287 pp.
By Jeremy E. Taylor John A. Crespi’s Manhua Modernity: Chinese Culture and the Pictorial Turn represents an important contribution to the study of print and visual cultures in mid-twentieth-century China. Given the prominence of Republican Shanghai in Crespi’s narrative, this book might also be seen as part of a broader attempt to re-assess the place … Continue reading Manhua Modernity: Chinese Culture and the Pictorial Turn, by John A. Crespi. University of California Press, 2020. 198 pp.
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 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 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 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.
By Belinda Qian He While the field of animation studies has expanded in the past decades, scholarly attention paid to the world of animation has been limited to either major works or dominant theoretical approaches from the United States, Europe, and Japan. Among the few exceptions, the launch of the Association for Chinese Animation Studies (ACAS) and … Continue reading Chinese Animation, Creative Industries, and Digital Culture, by Weihua Wu. New York: Routledge, 2017. 206pp.
By John A. Crespi Over the past half century or so, Chinese literary studies and film studies have expanded to where those fields have themselves become objects of scholarly research and retrospection. When it comes to Chinese animation, however, so little work has been done that one hesitates to refer to it with the plural … Continue reading Animation in China: History, Aesthetics, Media, by Sean Macdonald. London and New York: Routledge, 2016. 251pp.
By Giannalberto Bendazzi A world acclaimed author and researcher, Rolf Giesen presents the Western audience with the first history of Chinese animation ever written in the globalized English language. He chooses a linear narrative, chronologically structured in decades (the 1920s, the 1930s, and so on), and for each decade he provides the list of the … Continue reading Chinese Animation: A History and Filmography, by Rolf Giesen. Jefferson: McFarland, 2015. 216 pp.