This article analyses and elucidates the factors involved in the animated reappearance of the Legend of the White Snake in Japan in the 1950s. Driven by the multiple demands of a new post-Second World War era in East and Southeast Asia, where the business of making new images was more urgent, profitable and competitive than ever before, the tale served both micro and macro purposes. Since the legendary tale was well known in the Chinese-speaking world and was initially a joint film project between Japan and Hong Kong, one would have expected the producers (Toei Animation Studio) to envisage the animated tale as primarily for Chinese audiences. However, the Japanese producers had, or later discovered, a wider hidden agenda in making the film that promised more lucrative and geopolitical rewards. Using the concept of ‘performativity’, this article interprets the course of the animated performance within several dimensions, and traces the history of the foundational role of Toei Animation Studio and its dream-making enterprise.
Hu, Tze-yue G.
Legend of the White Snake
animating the fantastic folktales
Japan and the West
Japan’s post-Second World War animation development
joint film projects in the 1950s
Toei Animation Studio
- The Animated Resurrection of the Legend of the White Snake in Japan
- The message in the works
- Concerning the Anime Directing Method for Limiting the Quantity of Drawings to 3500 Sheets per Each Episode of a TV Series in Toei Animation Studio Co. Ltd.: the Director Is Responsible for Limiting the Issue of Quantity Rather Than the Animator.
- Concerning the anime directing method for limiting the quantity of drawings to 3500 sheets per episode of a TV series in Toei Animation Studio Co. Ltd. (Part 2): The Directorial Strategy in Japanese TV Anime.