Da Nao Tian Gong is a Chinese animated feature film directed by Wan Laiming and produced by all four of the Wan brothers. The film was created at the height of the Chinese animation ...
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Da Nao Tian Gong is a Chinese animated feature film directed by Wan Laiming and produced by all four of the Wan brothers. The film was created at the height of the Chinese animation industry in the 1960s, and received numerous awards.--from WIKI. Written by
Peak achievement of Chinese cartooning makes us re-consider the form
Our knowledge of animation in China is, to say the least, patchy but this is represented as their most important work, an account of the adventures of the painted face monkey king who leads the little monkeys of the Fruit and Flower Mountain, despite the traps and combatants launched by the King of Heaven.
It's sobering to realise that the opera tradition that this film's moves and costumes echo is the one shown under attack in FAREWELL TO THE CONCUBINE which is set in the period in which this was made. The childrens' films of the socialist countries were often their only product to be dogma free and it's hard to accept proposition that the drunken, destructive monkey is a rendition of young Chairman Mao upsetting the authorities.
The flattened, scroll painting design is one of the film's distinctive features.
UPROAR IN HEAVEN doesn't have the animation set pieces of the major Disney films, the zip of the Looney Toons or the sophistication of European cartoons but it has a quality of it's own which appeals and even occasionally impresses - the battle with the gem headed scarlet serpent, the horses bathing in the clouds. Monkey King, who apparently did have a further career, may not make any Journey to the East with Pigsy but he is a more effective cartoon character than Mickey Mouse, Mr McGoo or many of those we know better.
Tinies may have difficulty taking two hours of this but segments would be sure to get them in. It is, in a good copy, one of the best examples of the Orwo process even if they never could cope with the violet-mauve-purple bit of the spectrum.
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