Farewell to Yan Dingxian and Lin Wenxiao, this memorial service hides the secret of the rise of Chinese animation

    Sun Wukong, Nezha, Snow Child, Proud General, Shuke Beta... On September 15, these familiar childhood friends gathered at the Shanghai Federation of Literary and Art Circles to bid farewell to the people who created them.

    On the afternoon of September 15th, the "Meiyi Film Festival" was hosted by the China Animation Society, Shanghai Federation of Literary and Art Circles, Shanghai Film (Group) Co., Ltd., and Beijing Film Academy, and hosted by the Shanghai Filmmakers Association and Shanghai Art Film Studio Co., Ltd. "Pursue beauty and strive for excellence" - A memorial service for animation artists Yan Dingxian and Lin Wenxiao was held at the Shanghai Literary Activity Center.

    Memorial service poster

    Yan Dingxian and Lin Wenxiao are a magical couple in the Chinese animation industry, outstanding artists with outstanding achievements, and important participants and witnesses of the Chinese animation industry. They regard animation as their lifelong understanding and belief, and devote all their efforts and energy to it. From a young boy to a gray-haired man, the two elders have worked side by side for the animation industry all their lives. China's first color animated feature film "Havoc in Heaven", the first ink cartoon "Tadpole Looking for Mom", the first wide screen animated feature film "The Proud General"...the animated images they created have distinctive personalities. The director's cartoons have various styles and integrate "truth, kindness and beauty" into the animation works, leaving beautiful childhood memories for generations of people, sowing the seeds of beauty in the hearts of children, and creating a good foundation for Chinese art films and "Chinese animation". School" and made great contributions to Chinese national animation.

    The two masters passed away in December last year and June this year, causing grief to the industry. This special memorial meeting also gathered young people from the animation and film industries. Many of the students they brought out later became the mainstay of the Chinese animation industry in different eras. The organizers collected and edited interviews with Yan Dingxian and Lin Wenxiao during their lifetimes. The two gray-haired old men detailed the details of their creations, their careful care for children, and their eager expectations for Chinese animation. Participants also gathered to talk about the two men's collaboration and interactions during their lifetimes. In these words, we see an era that will never return, and the people who pioneered the trend in the era. It can even be said that in these treasured memories, future generations can explore why the Chinese animation school was so famous at home and abroad. , the glory that affects several generations.

    Animated images drawn by Yan Dingxian and Lin Wenxiao

    Carefully hand-painted childhood memories in hard times

    The commemorative video played at the beginning introduced the audience into the art world of teachers Yan Dingxian and Lin Wenxiao. The two old men in the video are already gray-haired, but when they talk about animation creation, they can’t hide the sparkle in their eyes.

    Lifelike characters such as "Havoc in Heaven" and "Snow Child" have become beautiful childhood memories in many people's hearts as generations of people grow up. These excellent works contain the understanding and pursuit of a better life. They not only soothe the hearts of young people, but also calibrate their aesthetic height and value scale for them.

    Yan Dingxian

    Lin Wenxiao

    Yan Dingxian and Lin Wenxiao were classmates when they were at Beijing Film Academy. After graduation, they came to Shanghai Art Film Studio together and were responsible for "The Proud General", "Tadpole Looking for Mom", "Havoc in Heaven" and other landmark animations in the history of Chinese animation. Original painting work for the piece.

    In "Havoc in Heaven", Yan Dingxian was the leader of the original painting team, and Lin Wenxiao was the original painting designer. In that era when hand-painting was the only means of production, making the artistic images rich and vivid on the screen required the original animators to rack their brains. On the basis of Mr. Zhang Guangyu's design of the image of Sun Wukong, it is the work of the original painter to dynamically give the Monkey King the characteristics of the Monkey King and a personality that matches the character's characteristics. That year, Yan Dingxian and Lin Wenxiao were both young people in their twenties and had just graduated. And their hard work was recognized by director Wan Laiming as "energetic, brave and vigorous". It can be said that a new classic animated image was born on the screen and spread in the hearts of generations, and the original animator was the direct promoter. .

    In the interview video during his lifetime, Yan Dingxian talked about the process of creating "Havoc in Heaven". He spent a lot of energy observing the movements of monkeys, and also referred to opera and other elements to consider the characters' movements and expressions. Yan Dingxian recalled that in the studio of the Meiying Studio at that time, there was a small mirror on the table for each original painting. There were no professional actors to make expressions for you. All expressions and the psychology of the characters had to be made by themselves through the mirror and then painted on paper. superior. At the same time, there is a large full-length mirror in the workshop, which is used for everyone to observe the design and record the movements of the whole body.

    Lin Wenxiao recalled that when she was creating the original painting for "Mu Flute", she carefully observed the movements of the flute player Lu Chunling and found that not only the fingers of the flute player were moving, but also the wrists were also rising and moving. The music and the performance of the person were integrated into one, which made her feel To enjoy the beauty, she also restored her meticulous observation into delicate pictures.

    "The older generation of animators created touching classic works under extremely difficult conditions, one by one, frame by frame. These works are lifelike and rich in connotation. They have been cast in China as classics. People’s spiritual world has become an indelible memory of the times.” Ma Li, President of the China Animation Society, said in his speech.

    Teaching to several generations of animators, drawing pictures from the TV screen to compile teaching materials

    "Don't imitate others, don't repeat yourself" is the creative philosophy adhered to by a generation of old American animators. Two old artists also talked about this sentence in interviews. The success of a large number of films such as "Havoc in Heaven" allowed Chinese animation at that time to achieve remarkable results in the world under the name of "Chinese School".

    "The Chinese animation school was born in American Film. It was actually born in the deep soil of Chinese national culture." Ren Zhonglun, chairman of the Shanghai Filmmakers Association and former president of Shanghai Film Group, said that the banner of nationalization of Chinese animation advocated by many old directors is profound It has influenced the creation of generations of artists in Meiying, and also influenced the creation of Chinese animated films, becoming the soul of Chinese animated films. Ren Zhonglun recalled, “Chinese animation has been constantly impacted by Hollywood, American, Japanese and Korean animation, but we have gone through hardships, but we are stronger and more confident. Chinese stories, Chinese images and Chinese styles have always been our key to winning audiences and world honors. The most fundamental strength and source must be contributed by generations of Chinese animation artists, including Yan Dingxian and Lin Wenxiao."

    Signatures of Yan Dingxian, Lin Wenxiao and Sun Wukong

    Yan Dingxian's rigor and carefulness and Lin Wenxiao's gentleness and delicacy are vividly reflected in their works. As seniors, the artistic accomplishments and virtues of the two artists have deeply influenced their descendants. Chang Guangxi, former director of Shanghai Art Film Studio and famous animation director, recalled the sixty years of being "both teachers and friends" with teachers Yan Dingxian and Lin Wenxiao. After graduation, Mr. Chang Guangxi entered the American Film Studio and joined the crew of "Havoc in Heaven" (Part 2). He was assigned to the original animation team of teachers Yan Dingxian and Lin Wenxiao. Under their "preaching, help and teaching", he started his animation career at American Film Studio. Since then, they have also had tacit cooperation in films such as "Little Sisters of the Prairie Heroes", "Nezha Makes the Sea", "Snow Child" and "Clip to Save the Deer".

    In addition to excellence and open innovation in creation, one detail mentioned by Chang Guangxi is even more moving. After retirement, the two teachers still cared about Chinese animation. They returned to Beijing Film Academy to continue teaching and train the next generation. In the process of writing animation teaching materials, they will first input the disc onto the TV screen, then paste it on the TV screen with animation paper, copy the pictures frame by frame, and finally compile them into the original manuscript. "This arduous process of manual grinding cannot be completed without persistence and perseverance in the cause, not to mention that they were old people at the time, and we young people are ashamed of them."

    Chang Guangxi

    Sun Lijun, deputy director of the Beijing Film Academy, said that when he was a student more than 30 years ago, he heard Yan Dingxian invited to Beijing to take classes and talked about the design of the Monkey King in "Havoc in Heaven". "He was humorous and very vivid in his work," he said. She gave a demonstration and left a very deep impression on our classmates." In the 1990s, Lin Wenxiao said, "In the years when the School of Animation was first established, she came to the school almost often. During the exchanges, she always proposed that we should be firm. The creation of China."

    Zhou Keqin, the former director of Shanghai Art Film Studio and a famous Chinese animator, shared his experience working with teachers Yan Dingxian and Lin Wenxiao. "Teacher Yan Dingxian has a spirit of bold pioneering and continuous progress. He vigorously develops series production and promotes exchanges of Chinese and foreign animations; Teacher Lin Wenxiao is an outstanding representative of female original animation designers and directors in my country. Almost every shot is a Chinese animation textbook. example".

    In the themed dialogue session, Huang Yong served as the host, and met with teachers Yan Qing and Li Jianping, the family members of teachers Yan Dingxian and Lin Wenxiao, Fan Madi, an old artist of Shanghai Art Film Studio, Hua Yi, former deputy secretary of the Party Committee and Secretary of the Discipline Inspection Commission of Shanghai Art Film Studio, Chen Bo, deputy director of Shanghai Art Film Studio, jointly recalled the entire artistic career of teachers Yan Dingxian and Lin Wenxiao, from their studies, work, to their retirement, when they still cared about the development of the animation industry.

    Theme dialogue

    In interviews conducted by the two artists during their lifetime, they still expressed their ardent expectations for today’s Chinese animators, “I hope that today’s American animators can look back on the past, inherit the advantages of the past, and create new classics. This is the expectation of our older generation.” Hope, come quickly!" Lin Wenxiao's sincere and affectionate expression to the camera made many attendees cry.

    "Today we remember teachers Yan Dingxian and Lin Wenxiao to learn from their dedication and artistic character. Young animators will definitely inherit their last wishes, move forward bravely, pass on the legacy, and continue the glory of Chinese animated films!" Chang Guangxi said .

    At the memorial service, Du Liang, secretary of the Party Committee of Meiying Studio, revealed that the animated film "New Snow Child", a sequel to "Snow Child" directed by Lin Wenxiao in 1980, is also scheduled to be completed next year. "When the film was incubated, both teachers also participated and provided their valuable opinions on the story and art."


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