Animation in Asia

Today we got a lecture from Yuan on Chinese and Japanese Animation. Below are my notes on from the two lectures.

Chinese Animation

First Golden Era 1957-1977

  • Not meant for commercial and was kept traditional

Chinese School of Animation

  • “A group of painters, writers, poets, etc. whose work is similar.”
  • Chinese animated films consistently won international awards Most critics claim this success rests their concentration on their heritage and tradition
  • These films are said to belong to a recognizable school, called the Chinese school of animation.

Wan Laming

  • Directed his second animation feature.

  • Expressed the style of traditional Chinese art

  • Based on a classic novel, Journey to the West.

Havoc in Heaven by Wan Leming 

Te wei

  • His first ink wash animation
  • Had international success winning awards in various countries


National Styles

Classical Chinese Painting

Mount Emei by Zhang Daqain


Peking Opera

  • Music of gong & drums
  • Stylised movement and poses


Second Golden Era 1977-2000

A Da

  • Served in Shanghai Animation  film studio 1978-1986 for seventeen years

Three Monks

  • Comes from a Chinese proverb: “One monk shoulders water to drink; two monks carry water and there is no water to drink for three monks”
  • Three Monks has received most international awards in Chinese animation history.

Super Soap & The New Doorbell

  • During A Da’s last period he directed two animations; Super Soap & The New Doorbell
  • They became less traditional with slightly westernised philosophy
  • They narrate more modern subjects involving wider topics
  •  The new doorbells reflects a time in the second era. Westernised modern art; Piet Mondrian

Three Monks by A Da

Super Soap by A Da

The New Doorbell by A Da

Japanese Animation

Important figures in Japanese Animation

  • Toei company 1948
  • The White Snake 1958
  • Osamu Tezuka

Osamu Tezuka

  •  Created the first animated TV series called Tetsuma Atom (Astro Boy)

Astro Boy by Osamu Tezuka

Before 1970’s

  • Toei Company was established, along with others
  • A new Animation technique was developed – Full animation turned to limited animation.

After 1970’s

  • TV Animated series became very popular
  • Figures arose such as Hayao Miyazki,  Isao Takahata who founded Studio Ghibli

Studio Ghibli

  • Animated film studio based in Japan, Tokyo in 1985
  • The word Ghibli  coming from the Italian noun with the idea that studio would “blow a new wind through the anime industry”
  • Walt Disney bough over the rights to their works distributing internationally
  • In 2001 the museum was created in Tokyo

Hayao Miyazki

  • Is a director, animator, manga artist, producer
  • Co-founded Studio Ghibli
  • In 2013 , Hayao retired from the company.

My Neighbour Totoro

Isao Takahata

  • Worked in Toei Animation Company between 1959 to 1971
  • Co- Founded Studio Ghibli

The Tale of Princess Kaguya by Isao Takahata

Themes/ characteristics of Japanese animation

  • Dying/ Death
  • Spirits – Ghosts & Monsters
  • Violence
  • Steampunk
  • Pathos things – heavy handed



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