1st Edition

Chinese Animated Film and Ideology, 1940s-1970s Fighting Puppets

By Olga Bobrowska Copyright 2023

    This book examines animated propaganda produced in mainland China from the 1940s to the 1970s. The analyses of four puppet films demonstrate how animation and Maoist doctrine became tightly but dynamically entangled.

    The book firstly contextualizes the production conditions and ideological contents of The Emperor’s Dream (1947), the first puppet film made at the Northeast Film Studio in Changchun. It then examines the artistic, intellectual, and ideological backbone of the puppet film Wanderings of Sanmao (1958). The book presents the means and methods applied in puppet animation filmmaking that complied with the ideological principles established by the radical supporters of Mao Zedong in the first half of the 1960s, discussing Rooster Crows at Midnight (1964). The final chapter discusses The Little 8th Route Army (1973), created by You Lei in the midst of the Cultural Revolution.

    This book will be of great interest to those in the fields of animation studies, film studies, political science, Chinese area studies, and Chinese philology.


    Part 1: Echoes of the National Salvation Movement, 1940s-1950s.

    Chapter 1.1: Denouncing Chiang Kai-shek: The Emperor's Dream by Chen Bo'er.

    Chapter 1.2: Unity in Resistance: Wanderings of Sanmao by Zhang Chaoqun.

    Part 2: Calls of the Continuous Revolution, 1960s-1970s: Films of You Lei.

    Chapter 2.1: "To Live is to Serve the People": Rooster Crows at Midnight.

    Chapter 2.2: "Bombard the Headquarters": The Little 8th Route Army.

    Final Notes.


    Olga Bobrowska is a scholar active in the fields of animation studies, film studies and cultural theory, as well as a film culture activist and curator.