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The Butterfly Lovers (2004)
"Liang Shan Po yu Zhu Ying Tai" (original title)

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The Butterfly Lovers (2004) is an animated re-telling of the classical Chinese story of two lovers, Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai... See full synopsis »


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The Butterfly Lovers (2004) is an animated re-telling of the classical Chinese story of two lovers, Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai... See full synopsis »

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22 January 2004 (Taiwan)  »

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The Butterfly Lovers  »

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The animated legend of Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai
30 April 2009 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

The world has lots of wonderful stories to love and to share with other people. Here is one of those stories, straight from China and about centuries years old. The legend of Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai is a beautiful, doleful, and moving love story that is set in China's Eastern Jin Dynasty, and I thought it was beautiful too. The story had the privilege of being adapted to stage plays, operas, TV series and movies, like this beautifully animated film I had watched online. And after watching it I love it.

The film begins with a beautiful, intelligent young woman named Zhu Yingtai from Shangyu, Zhejiang, who is the only daughter of the wealthy noble Zhu family. Of course in the story, Yingtai is the youngest out of 9 siblings- eight boys and one girl. So after much effort, she convinced her father to let her disguise herself as a young man traveling to Hangzhou to study, because back then, women aren't allowed to go to school. With a servant girl named Xīn Yín (disguised as a servant boy), Yingtai set off to school. During her journey, she encountered Liang Shanbo, a scholar from Kuaiji (now known as Shaoxing), in the same province, and his servant boy named Xì Jiǔ. They felt like old friends at the first meeting. Therefore, they took a vow of brotherhood by the river.

Over the months, Yingtai spend her school days with "Brother Liang," and she develop an infatuation for him. So her love for Liang grew to consume her, and she thought of nothing else. Soon Yingtai's mother began to send letters to her, asking her to come home. At the fifth letter, Yingtai relented and planned to tell Brother Liang her real identity before she left school. Meanwhile, a wealthy (and unattractive) rival, Ma Wen Tsai, suspected Yingtai's real identity the whole while after their school's play, where Yingtai actually put on her dress and letting down her hair to play the part of the girl who is be sacrificed to the River God; while everyone in the school thought she is an effeminate man. Well anyway, Ma snuck up on Yingtai, who thought Ma was Liang and foolishly told him her confession that she is a girl. Ma told her then that he likes her and would like to marry her. He also tell her that she should give up any dreams of marrying Liang Shanbo. Eventually Liang arrived, and after her confession, Liang and Yingtai promise one another that they will be together forever, this time as man and wife.

When Yingtai arrives home, she is shocked to find that Wen Tsai is already there with his wealthy and influential father. They pressure Yingtai and her family into a marriage to the Ma family, with Master Ma threatening calamity upon the Zhu family and Liang Shanbo if Yingtai does not comply, and she is given three days to decide. That's all I could tell you folks, you will have to see the film for yourself how it ends. Overall, I enjoyed this film and it's soundtrack too.

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