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China's Homemade Mulan to Resume Traditional Image
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Mulan, a well-known Chinese folk heroine who once inspired the Disney to make an animated blockbuster, will resume her original image in China's homemade cartoon series.

Jiang Tong Animation Co. Ltd. (JTAC), producer of the new animation, said Thursday that the 52-episode cartoon series titled Hua Mulan attempts to re-create a heroic image of Mulan based on the Chinese ancient poem called Mu Lan Ci, which dates back to the Northern and Southern Dynasties (420-581).

Mu Lan Ci is widely regarded as a literary work that best portrays the image of Hua Mulan. It tells the story of a brave Chinese girl who disguises herself as a man to substitute her aged father to fight against invasion of the nomads.

Based on the story, the Disney Picture produced a carton movie Mulan in 1998, which made the character world renowned. The animal characters and the clownish soldiers and Mulan herself tickled many viewers' funny bones.

To date, the Disney cartoon has been translated into six languages and attracted worldwide attention, making Mulan one of the most famous world figures like Cinderella and Aladdin.

However, the Chinese producer JTAC stressed that their portrayal of Mulan is different from the Disney version.

Zhu Youlan, chief executive officer of the JTAC, said Disney's Mulan targets the individual heroism from the American perspective, while the homemade animation tries to re-create a legendary grow-up story of a heroine against the Chinese background.

With the theme of "determination, growth and dedication to the nation", the homemade animation aims to set up a courageous and patriotic image for the Chinese youth, Zhu said.

The company has already started filming the Hua Mulan in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province.

Zhu said the length of each episode is about 22 minutes and the whole series is expected to be completed at the end of next year.

Founded in 2000, JTAC is one of the four major animation producers in China with a yearly production of 3,000 to 5,000 minutes of cartoons.

(Xinhua News Agency December 21, 2006)

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