Thursday, October 2, 2008

Calabash Brothers

Calabash Brothers is a Chinese animation produced by Shanghai Animation Film Studio. It is also referred to as ''"Bottle Gourd Brothers"'', ''"Hulu Brothers"'' and ''"Seven Brothers"''.


In the 1980s the series was one of the most popular animation in China. While it has been praised as much as Havoc in Heaven domestically, it was released at a point when the Chinese animation industry was in a relatively downed state compared to the rest of the international community. Still, the series was translated into 7 different languages. The episodes were produced with a vast amount of lead by Zhou Keqin who became the director of paper-cut animations in 1975.


Legend has it that two demons were jailed in the Calabash Mountains, one a scorpion spirit and the other a snake spirit. One day, a pangolin happens to drill a hole on the slope and the two spirits escape from the cave, causing grave harm to the nearby residents. The pangolin hurries to an old man and says that only by growing calabashes in seven colors can they annihilate the spirits. So the old man spares no time in growing seven calabashes, each a different color of the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, cyan, blue, and purple.

The calabashes ripen sequentially, falling off their stems to the ground, and transforming into seven boys. Each has a unique supernatural ability such as super-strength, enhanced hearing and sight, invisibility, and pyrokinesis, as well as a weakness. With a combined effort, they set on a mission to defeat the demons in a 13 episode-long adventure. .


Director: Hu Jinqing, Ge Guiyun, Zhou Keqin


* Won 3rd class award at the Cairo International Children's Film Festival in Egypt.
* Won best film of 1988 by the CPC Tibet Autonomous Regional Committee.

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