Princess Iron Fan 鐵扇公主 (1941)

The film:

China’s first feature-length animated sound film adapts a story from chapters 69-72 of the Ming dynasty novel Journey to the West 西遊記. The Tang monk Tripitaka and his companions Sun Wukong (Monkey), Zhu Bajie (Pigsy), and Sha Monk (Sandy) arrive at the Mountain of Flames and find it impassible, so they seek to borrow the palm-leaf fan from Princess Iron Fan, who is not easily persuaded.

Made and released during Japan’s occupation of China, the film calls for people to keep the faith, work together, and literally go through fire to rid the world of a calamity.

Tieshan gongzhu
Alternative English titles: Princess Iron-Fan, The Princess with the Iron Fan
Producer: S.K. Chang (Zhang Shankun)
Screenplay: Wang Qianbai
Lead animators: Wan Laiming and Wan Guchan
Studio: China United Film Co. (Zhongguo lianhe yingye gongsi)
English subtitles translated by Christopher Rea

Learn more:

Watch other cartoons by the Wan brothers and other animators on the “Early Chinese animation” playlist.