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Chinese animation – masterpiece of Chinese culture and art, part 1
Chinese animation – masterpiece of Chinese culture and art, part 2
Chinese animation – masterpiece of Chinese culture and art, part 3
Chinese animation – masterpiece of Chinese culture and art, part 4

The following titles are some of the most famous masterpieces that represent the highest level of Chinese animation in technique innovation and aesthetic expression. They are also typical representatives of Chinese culture and art.

Snow Kid (1980)
Snow Kid is a Chinese animated film produced by Shanghai Animation Film Studio. It is also referred to as Snow Child.

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The story is about a rabbit mother leaving her young rabbit at home alone. At first the young rabbit builds the snow kid and they entertain one another. Afterwards the young rabbit fell asleep and accidentally started a fire in the cabin.

The snow kid saves the rabbit, but sacrifices himself melting in the fire. In the end, the snow kid melts into a puddle of water, and evaporates under the sun to become a fluffy cloud in the sky.

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Three Monks (1980)
Three Monks is a Chinese animated feature film produced by the Shanghai Animation Film Studio. It is also referred to as Three monks, No Water.

The film is based on the ancient Chinese proverb “One monk will shoulder two buckets of water, two monks will share the load, but add a third and no one will want to fetch water.” The proverb is close in meaning to the saying “Let George do it,” wryly noting how individuals shirk group responsibilities.

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A young monk lives a simple life in a temple on top of a hill. He has one daily task of hauling two buckets of water up the hill. When a second monk joins him, they share the task, with diminished efficiency. After the arrival of a third monk, no one fetches water though everybody is thirsty.

At night, a rat comes to scrounge and then knocks the candle holder, leading to a devastating fire in the temple. The three monks finally unite together and make a concerted effort to put out the fire. Since then they understand the old saying “unity is strength” and begin to live a harmonious life. The temple never lacks water again.

This story teaches a gentle, humorous lesson about responsibility, while the phrase Three Monks, No Water becomes a Chinese expression trotted out when children try to avoid chores.

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Three Monks, directed by late cartoonist A Da, won the best animation film in the first Golden Rooster Awards. It also won a Silver Bear for Short Film at the 32nd Berlin Film Festival in 1982, Silver Prize at the 4th Odense International Fairytale Film Festival in Denmark, and Best Film Awards at Portugal International Film Festival. The film does not contain any dialogues, allowing it to be watched by any culture, and a different music instrument was used to signify each monk.

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Related posts:
Chinese animation – masterpiece of Chinese culture and art, part 4
Chinese animation – masterpiece of Chinese culture and art, part 3
Chinese animation – masterpiece of Chinese culture and art, part 2
Chinese animation – masterpiece of Chinese culture and art, part 1


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