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September 30, 2011

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New twist on life of famous general

GENERAL Yue Fei (1103-1142) has become known across China for his patriotism, courage and loyalty.

The Song Dynasty (960-1279) general spent most of his short life fighting to defend his country against invaders.

Although there are many films and TV series depicting his life, "Legend of the Young Yue Fei" produced by Shanghai Film Animation Studio may be the first animated version.

The film is slated for national release at the end of September.

It centers on how young Yue grows into a great military commander after a series of adventures and hardships in his childhood and adolescence.

According to director Tsai Min-chin, whose animated movie "Butterfly Lovers" received a nomination for Best Animated Film award at Taiwan's Golden Horse Film Festival in 2004, "Yue Fei" was not made into a mainstream kiddie film.

Instead, Yue's life is shot in a more light-hearted perspective to show the hero as an ordinary person with weaknesses and a romance with a young woman.

"As the hero, his battles against snakes, leopards and turtles will have elements of fantasy," Tsai says. "Of course, there will also be some martial arts."

The legend that Yue's mother wrote "Serve your nation with the utmost loyalty" on Yue's back is also included in the film.

The film intentionally skips over his famous military victories later in his life and his tragic death, when he was executed at the age on 39.

Popular actor Hu Ge does the voice of Yue while famous CCTV hostess Ju Ping is the voice of the general's mother.

Release date: Today

Where to watch: Yonghua Cinema, Shanghai Film Art Center, Stellar Cinema City, Studio City Cinema, Peace Cinema, Cathay Theater, Grand Cinema, Broadband International Cineplex


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