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Princess Iron Fan

2 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Nov 06, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

Adapted from the popular Chinese folk tale "Journey to the West," and produced by the Wan brothers in the midst of World War II, Princess Iron Fan is the first feature length animated film produced in China. We follow the Monkey King and his friends on their journey to the west. As they reach Fire Mountain they are unable to pass because of the fire but learn that a special iron fan can quench the flames. However, the fan belongs to Princess Iron Fan and she will not willingly lend it to them.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Directors: Wan Laiming, Wan Guchan
  • Format: Animated, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: Mandarin Chinese
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Cinema Epoch
  • DVD Release Date: November 6, 2007
  • Run Time: 73 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000V02CLO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #217,992 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Andy C. on February 3, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I bought the movie here two years ago and find it an interesting curiosity. From modern standards it's not captivating. Scott BB seems to say the same in his review here. Like the fable it's based on, "Princess Iron Fan" is a series of episodes without much character development and without an intense animation style. The Wan Brothers didn't have Walt Disney's master artists to bring clean lines or weight to the art, and they didn't have Walt.

What was the state of animation when "Princess Iron Fan" was made over three years, through 1940? Surely "Felix the Cat," the 1920s fleshed-out character, would have made its way to China. The Wan Brothers, who created "Princess Iron Fan," had become leading Chinese animators by the 1930s by merging live action with cartoon. Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was released in 1937. Would the Wans have seen it? Yes. Yet Japan invaded China in '37 and there are reports the Wan workshop was bombed in the Shanghai invasion. "Princess Iron Fan" began then, crafted by 237 animators drawing on pieces of paper.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By theboombody VINE VOICE on May 8, 2010
Format: DVD
This is the first full-length animated feature film from China, but what separates it from being comparable to Snow White isn't really the artistry or the cinematography. It's the story. Although Princess Iron Fan isn't a short, it feels like it is. It has the same kinds of gags and lack of character development you'd see in a 15 minute feature of the time. Snow White has the feel of a real film.

While Princess Iron Fan may be disappointing when compared to Snow White, or its lengthy literary inspiration Journey to the West, it's still not bad overall. The quality of the animation is actually better than I expected it to be, and many of the scenes are still quite imaginative and true to the book. It actually looks a lot like an American cartoon short to me. Even the music and bad sound effects aren't all that different from the old American cartoon shorts.

In summary, Princess Iron Fan is simply too long for a short and too undetailed for a film. Still, for historic reasons, it's well worth watching once if you're able to find it.
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