1939: Niubizi & Sanmao

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Niu Bizi & Sanmao

Among the group of cartoonists, there is a character known as ‘Sanmao’ and another character known as ‘Niubizi’. The cartoonists of both these characters are able to draw their cartoon characters in just a few strokes and they are both famous because of their cartoon characters. Both of them are presently in Chongqing, under the government propaganda division. As this is organized under the military, they are both ranked as [lieutenants].

Huang Yao in Shanghai was already very famous. He has registered Niubizi as a trademark and had formed ‘Niubizi Company’ (that has published many of the Niubizi books in Shanghai) in order to produce Niubizi toys and stationary. He had to stop this project because of the war. He is now in Szechuan and continues to work on several of his incomplete projects. He is preparing to produce intelligent stationary for the education of children.

Huang Yao is very active in Chongqing, many people have suggested making an animated cartoon of Niubizi to supplement the movies. This plan has been discussed as both Niubizi and Sanmao are already popular and should the characters be animated this would be very useful for conveying messages. As Zhang Leping and Huang Yao are already part of the government’s propaganda division, this would be appropriate. They have both met with Chairman Guo to discuss making a cartoon movie and were asked to try Walt Disney’s method of making a movie. In the meantime, the script, photographers, assistants will need careful planning. The two of them are now in the testing phase, if the results are good then they will formally begin.

It is expected that it will not be long before Niubizi and Sanmao come alive like Mickey Mouse and Cinderella. Huang and Zhang will be Asia’s future Walt Disney."


Postnote: The propaganda division under Chairman Guo was disbanded soon after. The Wan Brothers returned to Shanghai.  Zhang Leping and Huang Yao remained in the interior of China. Huang Yao never met the Wan Brothers or Zhang Leping again.

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