Da Hu Fa aka “Fatty”, the protector of Yiwei has lost the land’s Prince. The missing Prince does not care about becoming the Ruler. He is a pacifist. A peaceful artist inspired by the landscape to create beautiful (albeit subversively perverse) paintings. In writer-director, Busifan’s animated feature, Da Hu Fa, Fatty deals with the reluctant Prince’s retrieval, while strange creatures are being killed after contracting a mushroom-like virus. Alternately gunned down, or consumed for their sought-after brain ‘seeds’, the untalkative creatures start to drop like flies. But a mysterious pair have learned how to speak, and are unraveling the mysterious circumstances of their existence. What or who are they? Seen as a threat by the human population, it is only our charming Prince who sees their value as living beings.
The events are overseen by a strange peanut in the sky (No, seriously. It looks exactly like a giant hovering peanut). The enigma is worshipped and feared as a Godlike presence, yet no one seems to know exactly what it is or how it functions. As murderers, crooked men in power, and our handful of flawed but somehow loveable protagonists meet head on, Yiwei’s social constructs and belief systems come into question.
Da Hu Fa, is well designed, funny, quirky and violent. Colorful with plenty of action, this is one of the more inventive fantasy-worlds in Chinese animated cinema. Strange creatures, unusual folkloric puzzles, and a bit of mischief! A must see!
Da Hu Fa – Tuesday, July 24th 2 PM – J.A. De Seve