Panda and the Magic Serpent
The Great White Snake
The White Snake
Keywords: , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - Toei
As a young boy, Xu-Xian is forced to free his pet, a small snake. Unbeknownst to him, the snake is actually a young snake goddess named Bai-Niang and she is in love with him. Many years later, when they are both adults, the princess is magically transformed into a human and sets out to find her love. But the local wizard believes her to be a vampire, and banishes Xu-Xian from the village in order to save him. Xu-Xian's pet pandas Panda and Mimi set out to save him and bring him, in the process becoming leaders of an animal gang.
(Summary Courtesy of Anime News Network)

78-minute film released on October 22, 1958.
Animated by Toei Animation.
Known historically for being the first color Japanese animated film and being among the earliest Japanese animated titles brought into the United States during the early 1960s.
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Watch 7 6 6 5 5 Ggultra2764 [series:4275#1552]
Hakujaden has its historical significance in anime being the first color Japanese animated film and among the first three Japanese animated titles to be brought to America. Based on a Chinese folktale called "Legend of the White Snake," Hakujaden tells a simple story about a young man named Xu-Xian who falls in love with a beautiful woman named Bai-Niang, who is actually the spirit of a pet snake that Xu-Xian gave up years earlier. Attempts for the two to come together are often thwarted by a local monk believing Bai-Niang to be an evil spirit. The storytelling and characters are as simple as they get with their developments and motives, something that may turn away many fans of more recent titles that have more elaborate plots to dabble into. For its time, Hakujaden is nicely animated with its visuals taking inspiration from Chinese painting techniques in the designs of scenery and characters, and having some decent animation and visual effects depicted. Also amazingly from what I gather, the film only has two voice actors voicing all the characters in the original Japanese version of the film. I'm not sure of the entertainment value this film may have for many folks nowadays. But at least for historical significance, I'd at least recommend folks give this at least a watch given this was one of the very first anime titles to hit American shores.

Last updated Thursday, March 18 2021. Created Thursday, March 18 2021.

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