A Chinese Ghost Story: The Tsui Hark Animation (1997)

Rating: B-

Dir: Andrew Chan
Star (voice): Jan Lam, Anita Yuen, Vivian Lai, Eric Kot

Producer Tsui Hark chose to remake his classic in animated format, though there is not much left here beyond the bones of the original story: boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy discovers girl is actually a little short on the pulse front. Instead of a haunted temple, the hero stumbles into an entire city of ghosts, but many of the characters, such as the rapping ghostbuster, will be familiar.

The animation mixes traditional cel animation and computer graphics: when this works, the results are impeccable, and even when they don’t quite fit, you merely feel like you’re watching Final Fantasy VII. While the gloss does wear off a little after the first hour, and there’s no significant sense of progression in the story, animation allows full rein to the imagination and so is an ideal medium for Hong Kong cinema. Now, can we have Heroic Trio: The TV series?