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Prolific animation producer's light has dimmed

By Xu Fan | China Daily | Updated: 2017-08-12 09:50

Prolific animation producer's light has dimmed

Hero sisters on the Prairie [Photo provided to China Daily]

"The magic of animation is that it can be audience-friendly and handle serious subjects in an appealing way," Qian says.

After he returned to China in 1959 he worked for the Shanghai studio for almost 40 years, during which time he directed about 10 animated short films, features and TV series.

Qian says quality works need to be "unique, funny and beautifully crafted"-a slogan the Shanghai studio has worn with pride since the 1960s-and Qian has applied that rule to most of his works.

Other critically acclaimed animated movies of his include Caoyuan Yingxiong Xiaojiemei (Hero sisters on the Prairie, 1965), based on a true story of two children heroes, and Nyu Wa Patches up the Sky, inspired by a Chinese myth about the origin of humans.

Secrets of the Heavenly Book, an 89-minute feature about three fox spirits stealing the titular book, is one of his best known directorial works.

The movie was inspired by the BBC, which coproduced it with the Shanghai studio in the early 1980s. But the original tale written by a foreign scriptwriter disappointed the Chinese side.

"There were too many characters from a wide range of mythologies that were ultimately irrelevant," Qian says. "In addition, the plotline was very confused, with too many twists and turns for Chinese audiences."

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