The first animated feature made in China, this was produced in Shanghai's French Concession. It has been credited as the third feature-length cartoon ever made (after Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Gulliver's Travels). For 20 years, it was the longest Chinese animated film.
Impressed by Disney's "Snow White," which was exported to China in 1939, the Wan brothers decided to produce a Chinese animated film of equal quality.
Their film took 16 months (some sources say three years), 237 artists and 350,000 yuan to make. Rotoscoping was used widely.
The film was a major draw in Shanghai (then occupied by the Japanese), playing for 45 consecutive days in three of the city's theaters. It was also popular in Japan, Singapore and Indonesia.
It had major influences, spurring Osamu Tezuka (then 16 years old) to become a comics artist. The Japanese Navy was goaded by its success to commission Japan's first animated feature, Momotaro's "Divine Sea Warriors," in 1945.
Adapted from an episode of the Ming dynasty novel "Journey to the West."
Tieshan Gongzhu Production Information
Traditional, Hand-drawn Animation.
English Titles: "Princess Iron Fan" and "The Princess With The Iron Fan."
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