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Title (English) The White Snake Enchantress
Title (Japanese) Hakujaden

book cover

Fantasy Novel

Notes Movie, 1959, 78 Mins (USA DVD = 73 mins).

Also known as:
Panda and the Magic Serpent
Legend of the White Snake
The Great White Snake

Classification -
Synopsis The story is set in China. Bai-Niang is a white snake imbued with magical powers that allow her to assume the appearance of a beautiful girl. Xu-Xiang is a local boy who falls in love with her. Their love is strong, but interfered with by the misguided efforts of Fa Hai, a wizard who believes Bai-Niang to be the embodiment of an evil spirit. Only through the efforts of Xiao Chin (Bai-Niang's faithful servant), Panda and Mimi (Xu-Xiang's animal friends) can true love survive.
Review This is considered by many to be the first animated colour film to emerge from Japan. The idea for the story is taken from the old Chinese folktale, Pai-She Chuan (White Snake).

Only two Japanese voice actors were used, providing the voices for all the different parts.

Though now over 50 years old, this is quite an enjoyable film and its Chinese setting is quite well realised. It's interesting to see such an early Japanese movie. A beautiful and important film.

I obtained the low-priced USA dub "Panda and the Magic Serpent". Production values are rather crude on the DVD, but it apparently preserves the original sound-track of the songs.

Credits Director: Kazuhiko Okabe, Taiji Yabushita
Script: Taiji Yabushita
Screenplay: Shin Uehara
Music: Chuji Kishita, Hajime Kabura, Masayoshi Ikeda
Art Director: Kazuhiko Okabe, Kiyoshi Hashimoto

Cast: Hisaya Morishige, Mariko Miyagi
Release USA: DVD
TV Showing See the whole series for free? This series may be syndicated to regional cable, satellite or terrestial TV stations. For Europe click here.
Date 1958-10-22
Production Toei Animation
References & Help Look up the latest data on this title at:
Richard Llewellyn's Animated Divots, or
Anime News Network (see Encyclopedia section) ,
or in "The Anime Encyclopedia" (Clements & McCarthy, Stone Bridge Press, 2001).
Help & further information.



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