Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read
Monkey King Awards for Cartoon Festival
Adjust font size:

An Oscars-type ceremony is planned for Chinese animators this year, 80 years after the country's first animated film made its debut.


The Monkey King Awards, named after a classical Chinese literary character, will form part of the Second China International Cartoon & Animation Festival, scheduled to take place from April 28 to May 3 in Hangzhou, capital of East China's Zhejiang Province.


Jointly developed by the festival's organizer and the Chinese Cartoon and Animation Association, the awards are aimed at boosting the country's cartoon industry, which enjoyed its heyday between the 1950s and 1970s, but which has been in decline since the 1980s, according to Sun Zhonghuan, mayor of Hangzhou, at a news briefing yesterday in Beijing.


The Monkey King character is the hero of Havoc in Heaven (Danao Tiangong), one of the few gems of the Chinese cartoon industry.


Based on the popular Chinese literary classic, Journey to the West, the two-part animation film tells the story of a monkey who wears an outfit made of tiger fur and wields a magic club, and leads a group of monkeys in a rebellion against the Jade Emperor in Heaven. The piece won several international film awards after its release in the 1960s.


Insiders say that while the Monkey King's success is a source of pride for the Chinese cartoon industry, such past glories also highlight the rarity of quality works in the past two decades.


"In this sense, the Monkey King Awards will remind people not only of the achievements but also the failures of the Chinese cartoon industry today. However, the industry has shown signs of rejuvenation," according to an Internet editor surnamed Shi.


Traditional Chinese animated cartoons were manually produced, a method that has been made redundant because of its low efficiency compared with digital techniques, Shi said. Since the 1980s, a large number of animations from Japan, South Korea and the US have poured into the mainland market, leaving domestic productions struggling to keep up.


But things look to be improving.


The cartoon festival was launched in 2005 and is the largest event of its kind in China. This year, the six-day carnival will treat animators and cartoon lovers to original cartoon and animation works, online games, cartoon parades and many other shows and plays, Sun said, adding that trade talks and professional seminars will also be held during the festival.


Competition categories for The Monkey King Awards include Best Cartoon Film, Best Cartoon Series, and Best Foreign Cartoon Work.


Statistics from the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television indicate an explosive growth of China's cartoon industry over the past few years. The total length of domestic cartoon works between 1993 and 2002 was 33,900 minutes. The figure for 2003 alone was 12,000 minutes. In 2004, running time hit 21,800, and last year it reached 42,700 minutes.


However, insiders say the country's cartoon industry still has a long way to go, since domestic cartoon productions are often criticized for being old-fashioned and boring because of a lack of originality, a dryness of content, and a persistent educational flavor.


(China Daily March 2, 2006)

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read

Related Stories
Hangzhou to Host Int'l Animation, Comic Festival
China's Favorite Cartoon Character Turns 70
Inanimate Animation in China
The Sprouting Chinese Cartoon Industry
Animation Targets Adults in China
Animation Festival Closed in Hangzhou
Hangzhou Anime
Hangzhou to Host International Animation Festival
Animation Projects Encouraged
Hangzhou to Host International Animation Festival

Product Directory
China Search
Country Search
Hot Buys
SiteMap | About Us | RSS | Newsletter | Feedback
Copyright © All Rights Reserved     E-mail: Tel: 86-10-88828000 京ICP证 040089号