The Monkey King: Uproar in Heaven 3D
Da Nao Tian Gong
Directed by Da Su, Chen Zhihong
This remarkable new film is actually a painstaking frame-for-frame restoration and 3D rendering of the original 1961 Wan Laiming masterpiece, a national treasure and China’s most celebrated work of animation. Composed of gorgeously flowing animation created by hand from over 130,000 ink drawings and an opulent soundtrack inspired by the Beijing Opera, the film follows the adventures of the magical Monkey King of Flower Fruit Mountain, a mischievous character who creates havoc by refusing to bow down to the authority of the Celestial Jade Emperor.
After stealing a powerful cudgel from the Dragon King of the Eastern Sea, the cheeky Monkey King challenges the established order of heaven, freeing horses from the imperial stables, disrupting imperial banquets, and entering into epic battle with one colorful god after another – while snubbing his nose at the pompous formality of the heavenly court. Based on the classic Chinese story Journey to the West, the original film was made at the height of the country’s golden period of animation. Released mere months before the entire film industry was shut down by the Cultural Revolution, it is a stunning work of animation and mythological storytelling, far surpassing anything China has produced before or since.
—Film Society Lincoln Center
Co-presented by: International Buddhist Film Festival
Executive Producer: Frederic Rose, Wang Tianyun
Producer: Qian Jianping
Writer: Li Keruo, Wan Laiming
Editor: Xu Zhenzhu