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Chinese animation film about a cat making waves at the box office

On the heels of runaway hit Ne Zha, a new domestic animation is performing well in the Chinese box office.

The movie, The Legend of Hei, a 2D animation, has grossed around 230 million yuan ($32.50 million) since it opened across China on Sept 7. It was simultaneously released in Japan.

The first feature-length film derived from a flash cartoon series, which was released online in March 2011, the movie is a prequel of the series, which has just 28 episodes, each spanning five minutes.

Speaking about the film, the director, who calls himself MTJJ and is a graduate of art design, said that the film took a long time to make because of the huge amount of drawing involved.

Every second of the 101-minute movie required 12 drawings, so the entire production took five years and involved more than 70,000 high-quality paintings.

Luo Xiaohei (right) and his master Wu Xian, a scene shown in The Legend of Hei. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The inspiration for the film came from a stray cat called Xiao Hei adopted by the director.

Though he built a comfortable home for it, the cat loved to wander and returned home occasionally for meals. So, six months later, the director had to let it go.

But he then decided to create a cat who was not homeless. And Luo Xiaohei, a black cat goblin which gets a master as well as a home, was born.

The movie has received 8.3 points out of 10 on China’s most popular review site Douban.

Director MTJJ shares the behind-the-sequence stories of The Legend of Hei. [Photo provided to China Daily]
Source : China Daily

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