This book examines animated propaganda produced in mainland China from the 1940s to the 1970s. The analyses of four puppet films demonstrate how animation and Maoist doctrine became tightly but dynamically entangled.

The book firstly contextualizes the production conditions and ideological contents of The Emperor’s Dream (1947), the first puppet film made at the Northeast Film Studio in Changchun. It then examines the artistic, intellectual, and ideological backbone of the puppet film Wanderings of Sanmao (1958). The book presents the means and methods applied in puppet animation filmmaking that complied with the ideological principles established by the radical supporters of Mao Zedong in the first half of the 1960s, discussing Rooster Crows at Midnight (1964). The final chapter discusses The Little 8th Route Army (1973), created by You Lei in the midst of the Cultural Revolution.

This book will be of great interest to those in the fields of animation studies, film studies, political science, Chinese area studies, and Chinese philology.

chapter |56 pages


part I|46 pages

Echoes of the National Salvation Movement, 1940s–1950s

chapter Chapter 1.1|22 pages

Denouncing Chiang Kai-shek

The Emperor's Dream by Chen Bo'er

chapter Chapter 1.2|22 pages

Unity in Resistance

Wanderings of Sanmao by Zhang Chaoqun

part II|56 pages

Calls of the Continuous Revolution, 1960s–1970s: Films of You Lei

chapter Chapter 2.1|22 pages

“To Live is to Serve the People”

Rooster Crows at Midnight

chapter Chapter 2.2|32 pages

“Bombard the Headquarters”

The Little 8th Route Army