Hakujaden, Japan’s first animated film produced in color, is set to appear at the Cannes Film Festival in a 4K remaster.
The film, also known as The White Snake Enchantress and Panda and the Magic Serpent, has been digitally restored by Toei Lab Tech and Toei Digital Center, reports ANN. The film was originally produced by influential studio Toei Animation in 1958.
Directed by Taiji Yabushita and based on a Chinese folktale, the film featured the work of legends like Yasuo Otsuka and inspired many aspiring animators, including a young man named Hayao Miyazaki. Said Miyazaki of the first time he saw Hakujaden: “I was moved to the depths of my soul… after seeing the dedication and earnestness of the heroine, I felt awkward and pathetic, and I spent the entire evening weeping.”
If that’s not an endorsement, I don’t know what is!
Here’s hoping the Hakujaden remaster makes its way to both Japanese and American shores before too long.
Sources: ANN, Miyazakiworld: A Life in Art