My original Qilin animation concept that I came up with several years back, was a part of my series "Eyewitness" (ALL RIGHTS RESERVED) which usually involves the lead character, Lively, experiencing something extraordinary that's rather unbelievable. But, it started to somewhat rub my wrong or uncomfortable since Qilin (at the time especially) was a Chinese cultural icon since ancient times. Lively is a mixed ethnicity girl, but generally appears mostly Caucasian. But, it kinda wasn't really working for me.
So, I had to come up with a new character for that specific short story. I was living in China in 2004, and also in 2006, and I often came back to that character.
The character was named Xiao Moli (Lil' Jasmine), and due to a number of stories in the news at the time, I felt it was better to make a victim character, much like old Shirley Temple films, but a lot more realistic like The Color Purple. If you have watched any number of Chinese films from last century, it often involved the lead female character getting raped by the villain. Also, at the time, I used to listen to a lot of Podcasts, watched Oprah's talkshow, Montel Williams, and I used to be very New Age. I am also a rape victim myself.
So, Moli is a totally innocent young girl, whom found herself unwanted, and her caregiver died, leaving her homeless, and then raped, and becoming a broken person.
This would be the strong contrast to her stumbling upon a Qilin, whom blesses her with good fortune afterwards.
I actually had to scrap this story line altogether, because it's JUST TOO HEAVY to start off with.
I am still rather proud of the original story, because I'd at 1 point even worked out how depict it without overtly doing it. Sometimes drama means you need tragedy. But, It's not going to happen in this this animated short. I want this new one to be less story driven, and more artistic, and more emphasis on making something that's beautiful, light hearted, and appealing to the eyes. Not something that's disturbing.
If you've even watched Fantasia, the animated shorts are less story driven than theme driven.
If you've ever watched the Greek Mythology inspired short in Fantasia, there's no real actual story or plot. It's more "A Day in The Lives of" and transitions from 1 group of characters to another, and is more musical based. the scenery its self is also a major emphasis because it's SO GORGEOUS that the setting is also like a character. You're in a beautiful work among beautiful beings.
Here's another example of a beautiful animated short. At the end of a Care Bear movie, there's this beautiful ending piece that is massive eye-candy!
It's SO GORGEOUS!
So, when I say I'm wanting to do something beautiful, and artistic, it's sort of like this.
There are also some Chinese animated films that are just so gorgeous!
Da Nao Tian Gong:
Da Nao Tian Gong is the Shanghai Animation Company's first major feature animated film in the 1960s. There were no animation schools in Communist China, so that fact that this was made is always mind-blowing to me!
I have watched this film so many times that I've lost count.
Altho' Nezha as some VERY heavy themes in it like child sacrifices and suicide, it's probably NOT for children outside of Asia due to cultural differences. My daughter, did however, grow up watching this in China, and so did my spouse.
However, this film is incredibly gorgeous, and the ending is a happy ending (unless you're a tyrant dragon god)
Hopefully, this might fully illustrate what I'm going for.