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What to know: Wonderful collection of a diverse animation styles pulled together with a central theme.
MAGIC TRAIN, THE is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
Recommended age 8-18
87 minutes
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MAGIC TRAIN, THE cover image
Joe Chang is an award-winning director, animator and artist. He studied at Lu-Xun Academy of Fine Arts in Shenyang, China and Tama Art University in Tokyo, Japan and the animated short the Chinese Violin (2000) was his first animated film with the National Film Board of Canada. His most recent animated feature film is The Magic Train (2015). Currently, Joe is an artist and independent filmmaker, and he also working at the School of Art, Zhejiang University of Technology as a Dean and professor in Hangzhou, China.
From the opening scene, I enjoyed this film and its animations. Some of the animation reminds me of the motion capture executed in films such as The Polar Express. Some animations are a bit dark at times which makes them difficult to see. I love the blend of animation and live action. It gives it the viewer a somewhat surreal experience as it incorporates some amazing animated shorts into a loose storyline. Time and again, we come back to the girl on the train who seems to be dreaming of all the incredible things she saw while in China. This is an animator's dream with its many animated shorts, each one visually beautiful and well executed. The background music, adapted from traditional Chinese music suits the film quite well. There is little dialogue in this and what there is, is in Chinese with English sub-titles. But, dialogue is not necessary as the animations each tell their own story. Recommended for KIDS FIRST! Film Festival, for ages 8 to 18. Julie S. for KIDS FIRST!
The story of Magic Train was based on a girl called Lin Lin, who was an American Born Chinese and brought up overseas. During her trip to China on a traveling train, she had experienced series of amazing things from what she saw in China. The film was particularly concerned about different aspect of artistic levels. From the unique style and technique of animation, the film had shown the humanistic feelings from the combination of Chinese traditional cultural and modern life. It also had a lot of entertainment and artistic affection, too. The whole film was consist of ten different little stories in sequence, and had 87 minutes in total. The dialogue was little and the music was adapted from Chinese traditional well-known music scores. The audiovisual feeling of the film was like a song, a picture, a poem and a dream. These could touch deep through the heart of different age group audiences.
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