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A Chinese Ghost Story:
The Tsui Hark Animation


Stills from A Chinese Ghost Story
Chinese: 小倩
Year: 1997
Director: Andrew Chen Wai-Man    
Producer: Tsui Hark
Cantonese
Voices:
Jan Lam Hoi-Fung (Ning), Anita Yuen Wing-Yee (Siu Sin/Shine), Vivian Lai Shui-Yun (Lan), Tsui Hark (Solid Gold), Eric Kot Man-Fai (Ten Miles), Raymond Wong Lau-Man (White Cloud), James Wong Jim (Red Beard), Charlie Young Choi-Nei (Butterfly), Kelly Chan Wai-Lam (Madame Trunk), Jordan Chan Siu-Chun (Mountain Evil), Ronald Cheng Chung-Kei (Fu)
Mandarin
Voices:
Nicky Wu (Ning), Sylvia Chang (Siu Sin/Shine), Linda Wong Hing-Ping (Lan), Tsui Hark (Solid Gold), Tommy So Yau-Pan (Ten Miles), Sammo Hung Kam-Bo (White Cloud), Lee Li-Chun (Red Beard), Liu Jo-Ying (Butterfly), Yon Fan (Madame Trunk), Lo Ta-Yu (Mountain Evil), Ronald Cheng Chung-Kei (Fu)
The Skinny: This animated flick is as uneven as any Tsui Hark Hong Kong film, but it's also irresistibly charming.
 
Review
by Kozo:

Tsui Harkís animated Chinese Ghost Story is enjoyable, though in a definite HK vein. As uneven as the series that inspired it, this retelling jettisons the original plot for something more wistful and romantic. Tax collector Ning (voiced by Jan Lam) wanders the land with his pet doggie Solid Gold (voice of Tsui Hark!), lamenting over his lost love Siu Lan (Vivian Lai). Along the way, he runs into such interesting characters as ghostbuster Red Beard (James Wong Jim) and his two rivals, White Cloud (Raymond Wong) and Ten Miles (Eric Kot). 

Ning ends up being targeted for consumption by the villanous Madame Trunk (Kelly Chan), who enlists Siu Sin (called Shine in the subtitles and given effective voice by Anita Yuen) to bring her Ningís soul. As fate would have it, Ning ends up charming Siu Sin through his naive (but misplaced) faith in her goodness. Madame Trunk is no longer the primary bad guy in this story - instead itís everyone and everything that stands in the way of Ning and Siu Sinís burgeoning romance. This includes all the ghostbusters, fellow ghost Butterfly (Charlie Young), and popstar/ex-boyfriend Mountain Evil (Jordan Chan). 

As frenetic as any Tsui Hark production, HKís first animated film also proves to be incredibly charming and entertaining. The animation is great, though the disparity between the computer and cel animation is glaring. Sometimes the two elements donít mix, but itís still visually exciting. This film isnít Hayao Miyazaki, but Iíll take it. (Kozo 1997)

 
Notes: • This movie was previously available on a Chinastar DVD and featured both Mandarin and Cantonese language tracks, as well as a widescreen transfer. However, the source print happened to be worse than the Pioneer U.S. release.
Availability: DVD (USA)
Region 1 NTSC
Pioneer/Viz Video
Pan and Scan
Cantonese or English Language Tracks
Removable English Subtitles

image courtesy of Carnival Home Entertainment, Ltd.

   
 
 
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