Twenty-six episodes of a 52-segment cartoon starring Eight-Commandment Pig, one of the main characters from the Chinese classic A Pilgrimage to the West, has been completed and will be shown nationwide starting Wednesday.
Zhu Youlan, chairman of the board of Wuhan's Jiangtong Cartoon Co. Ltd., producer of the cartoon, said the company had blended philosophy into the mythical story and hoped that the cartoon "would be of positive significance in educating and enlightening children."
The company, one of China's four animation companies, began planning the cartoon three years ago and has spent 8 million yuan (about US$963,855) on the project so far, Zhu said. He expects the remaining 26 episodes to be finished in May.
The China Central Television spent 2.3 million yuan (about 277,108 US dollars) for the rights to the cartoon.
A Pilgrimage to the West is a mythological novel based on the popular traditions of many centuries. It was probably put into its present form in the 1570s in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) by Wu Cheng'en (1500-1582).
The book relates the fantastic adventures of the eminent monk Xuanzang as he travels to India in search of Buddhist scriptures with his three disciples, the irreverent but resourceful Monkey King, Eight-Commandment Pig and Friar Sand.
The stories of the three who protect Xuanzang against demons, goblins and other enemies are popular with both parents and children.
(Xinhua News Agency February 7, 2005)