​New Chinese animation explores Sanxingdui Ruins

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, July 28, 2022
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A new animated feature adapted from the popular comic series "Crazy! Kwai Boo" will hit China on Friday, taking the audience on an adventure of Bronze Age China.

Comic artist A Gui (center-left) and director Wang Yunfei (center-right) pose for a photo with a Kwai Boo cosplay performer and the audience in a theater in Beijing at the premiere of "Crazy Kwai Boo: Sanxingdui Spirited Away," July 24, 2022. [Photo courtesy of Today Pictures]

"Crazy Kwai Boo: Sanxingdui Spirited Away," directed by renowned animator Wang Yunfei for the ITS CARTOON Animation Studio, will hit Chinese screens on July 29. At the premiere on July 24, Wang said he got his inspiration from a tour he took at the Sanxingdui Museum in 2016, a world-renowned Bronze Age site in Guanghan, Sichuan province.

"I was amazed that our Chinese ancestors could make these delicate and quality artifacts thousands of years ago and leave such a civilization. I decide to promote it and spread this great Chinese miracle to more people. I felt Kwai Boo could tell stories about the ancient civilization, Chinese culture, and folk flavors, as well as representing responsibility and friendship," the director said. 

Wang is ambitious to create a Kwai Boo Universe, making more franchise films to integrate the culture and comics and entertain, educate and inspire the children. 

Director Wang, known for his animated features of "Yugo & Lala" and "Monkey King Reborn," recalled that he felt delighted, reigniting his comic book passion while reading the "Crazy! Kwai Boo" comic books for the first time several years ago. After that, he wanted to do an animated feature based on the Kwai Boo comics. The director made the 3D movie "Kwai Boo" in 2015, which grossed 64.14 million yuan that year. In 2018, Wang again presented a 52-episode Kwai Boo TV cartoon series.

First published in 2009, the hugely popular comic book series was created by comic artist Gui Huazheng, more commonly known by his pen name A Gui. It centers on the title role, Kwai Boo, a hilarious child prodigy inventor going on adventures with his buddies. Gui also serves as the scriptwriter for Wang's movies and TV series.

"I'm thrilled to watch the new film on the big screen. This is so great," Gui said in tears after the screening at the premiere, describing Kwai Boo, the icon he created, as a representative of an unrestrained and free-spirited character who connects many children's longings and fantasies about the world. "I hope everyone comes to see it. I will also suggest going to the Sanxingdui site to experience ancient China's brilliant and rich culture and treat yourselves to a delicious Sichuan hot pot meal!"

The animated feature also showcases many local Sichuan elements, including landscapes, sightseeing places, songs, and its famously delicious food. The story is filled with adventure and sci-fi elements, including an underground city, a parallel universe, disordered space-time, and two giant robots controlled by Kwai Boo and his villain.

A poster for "Crazy Kwai Boo: Sanxingdui Spirited Away." [Image courtesy of ITS CARTOON Animation Studio]

The Sanxingdui Ruins in Guanghan, 40 kilometers north of Chengdu, cover an area of 12 square kilometers. They include the remains of an ancient city, sacrificial pits, residential quarters, and tombs.

The unique and otherworldly look of the relics has ignited the imaginations of many sci-fi writers. Wang Yunfei and his team combed many historical documents about the Sangxingdui and made field trips to capture the essence of the landscapes and locations they wanted to show in the film. They also got help from Sanxingdui Museum experts to ensure the basic knowledge was correct.

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