Cartoon capers

By Sun Shuangjie Source:Global Times Published: 2013-2-5 18:18:01

A pair of octopuses living in a glass tank in a fish shop enjoy a contented life together. That is until one day a human hand reaches in and wrenches one of them out and onto a set of weighing scales. What follow is the story of the octopus's lovelorn partner jumps out of the tank in pursuit of his mate.

This is the plot of a short animated film called Oktapodi, which was nominated for Best Short Film (Animated) at the 81st Academy Awards in 2009.

And currently this, together with other 58 short animated films, are being screened on the second floor of the Liuli China Museum in Tianzifang.

This is the first time the venue has hosted an animated film showcase.

A character from Scrap Metal Dog
A character from Scrap Metal Dog

Prestigious institutes

All of the films are the work of three well-known animation institutes and teams: the Gobelins L'École de L'Image from Paris, the Graduate Institute of Animation and Film Art of Tainan National University of the Arts from Taiwan, and the A-hha Studio set up by the founder of the Liuli China Museum in 2002.

Gobelins L'École de L'Image, founded in 1974, has established a long-term collaboration with the Annecy International Animation Film Festival in Annecy town, France. Among the 37 films from the institute being screened, six were shown at the opening ceremony of the Annecy festival, among them Hello Brooklyn, Matches and Hurley's Irish.

The Tainan institute, set up in 1997, is dedicated to nurturing Chinese talent. Among the dozen of their works being screened are Lucky Me and Magical Painting, both winners at the Golden Harvest Awards in Taiwan.

Meanwhile, the A-hha Studio for the first time showcases 10 of their works, among them Scrap Metal Dog, Nüwa Mends the Sky, Black Bum, and a trailer for their 3-D animation Black Bum.

A scene from the animation Oktapodi Photos: Courtesy of Liuli China Museum
A scene from the animation Oktapodi Photos: Courtesy of Liuli China Museum

Distinctive styles

"The works from Gobelins are imaginative and vigorous, while the Tainan institute usually focuses on profound themes that are thought-provoking. Meanwhile, A-hha works around themes that help people think," said Yu Wei-yen, manager of the A-hha Studio.

Yu is also known as a film producer, who has collaborated with the famous Taiwanese director Edward Yang (1947-2007) on a series of movies including Yi Yi: A One and a Two, which won Yang the Best Director Award at Cannes in 2000.

"There has long been a misunderstanding of animated films in China in that many people simply regard them as entertainment for children," said Yu.

A-hha Studio's current staff of 50 includes people from Shanghai, Taipei and Kunshan in Jiangsu Province.

"Animation gives filmmakers much more possibilities than traditional film because they can achieve visual effects that are impossible in real life," said Yu.

Date: Until April 28, 10 am to 5 pm (closed on Mondays)

Venue: Liuli China Museum


Address: 25 Taikang Road


Admission: Free till February 28, and 20 yuan for per adult and free for children and students from March 1 till the end of the exhibition

Call 6467-2268 for details

Posted in: Metro Shanghai

blog comments powered by Disqus