I have a wǔxiá wish list, so, Lā Fēng, I want one of your multi-lingual people to find this, all right?
Why Lā Fēng? Well, Inuyasha is Japanese. Holy Pearl is based on that. If I want something with a foreign background these are the guys to go to, right?
Lā Fēng, come, come, and hear of my latest obsessions. All of them are perfect for wǔxiá adaptations. All of them are, I promise. I swear on my eternal heart and the path to Hell that these are perfect. It will most likely cost you more than just a pretty dime, but I trust that these will make huge profits both overseas and in the main land!
Oh, dear, where to start?
Oh… Um… Ah!
The Wild Swans! Oh, of course!
I am an old soul. I get rather sentimental at times. Thus, I have been searching for movies from my childhood!
I truly loved The Wild Swans. It’s an old tale but could easily work if you could turn eleven or so princes into swan spirits or the like! You just need an emperor who marries an evil woman with powers. She will turn the princes to birds and order the guards to kill them! Wait, wait, there’s a princess too! The evil step-mother changes the princess’ outward appearance and makes the emperor forget all about his children – or not! Twist this plot if you feel it!
After that you need a way to revert her back to her original appearance and a ‘cure’ for her brothers that makes her seem like a witch so she’ll be hunted down in another kingdom!
I love that movie!
I had the DVD back when I lived in China. Admittedly, it was most likely a pirate version because all the DVD’s we bought in China were from a café. However, it was from a collection called Mikhail Baryshnikov’s Stories From My Childhood. I have since watched more and they are where these suggestions have come from!
The Wild Swans is a tale from Hans Christian Anderson. Most of them are. That’s why they’re probably going to be quite expensive to adapt…
Please do it! Please try! I beg of you!
If you don’t want to take a risk with The Wild Swans then please think about my favourite of these movies – The Snow Queen (1957).
Oh, I just love these old animated Russian movies! You’ll never believe the difficulty I had in finding the other movies.
It was when I had just found The Wild Swans again. I’d chosen to watch it in Russian because – even though I started it in the beloved English dub that I had seen when I was five or so – I just had to hear it in that dub. Unfortunately, as I typed in Mikhail Baryshnikov I kept finding ballet results or something about Alice and the Third Planet (which I have yet to watch).
The Snow Queen is wonderful in Russian. I would really recommend that you watch it. It’s such a lovely language to listen to…
Oh, but please, Lā Fēng, please, look at doing The Snow Queen.
I’m sure you could do something wonderful. It suits the values of wǔxiá perfectly. Gerda (I give no complaints to you changing the name) is a young girl who is friends with a boy called Kai. They live next to each other and have their own little garden. As the Winter draws in they are with Gerda’s grandmother. The wise grandmother tells them about the Snow Queen and Kai jokes that she isn’t someone to fear and that he could stick her on a stove and melt her! The Snow Queen sees them through the flurrying snow flakes and summons her powers. She curses two shards of ice from her ice mirror. One will enter the eye of one child and distort the child’s view of the world. The second will pierce the heart of one child and darken it.
When the snow storm breaks through the window Kai races to shield Gerda from the blizzard and both shards pierce him. The snow calms soon after and Kai runs out – but not before causing destruction in the room. He goes with the Snow Queen the next day in her chariot and Gerda decides to pursue them in an effort to bring back her friend.
Here is the power of friendship, a strong female protagonist, a strong female antagonist, a wonderful journey with hardships and kindness all in abundance, the repentance of cruelty and brashness, the wildness of the Autumn land tamed by the ‘tsundere’ choosing to give aid. Where there is little kindness there is always a truth behind it – a motive. Kindness is selfless and devout to its cause. The love between Gerda and Kai is beautiful.
No one but Gerda could save Kai. He wouldn’t pay heed to any other person’s efforts. Its their friendship and the strength of that which moves people to help and heals the aches of the troubles endured during their separation.
Perhaps not a snow queen for a wǔxiá adaptation. It can simply be someone with spiritual arts or great power. It could be utilised through the use of a flute! Instead of ice shards you can use some sort of poison! The Gerda of this adaptation could travel through four provinces – each in a different season.
Please, Lā Fēng, please consider this.
That’s not my only suggestion so please keep reading!
I think there’s great promise for 12 Months. It’s about a vain princess wanting her word to be law: law over everything – including the seasons. She wants her favourite flowers even though it’s near New Years and the world is white is snow. She decrees that she will reward a basket full of gold to any person who can bring her her favourite flowers.
A girl comes home from cutting and collecting wood to her step-mother and step-sister. They promptly send her out despite the snow having turned to a wild and torrential blizzard. There she meets the twelve seasons and – moved by her plight – they pass the reign over to April. Once she collects the necessary flowers the girl is given a ring to use when in need for their aid and the moon is called upon to guide her back home.
The step-mother and step-daughter take the flowers to the princess. There, the princess demands to be taken to where the flowers were gathered and they lying step-mother and step-daughter have to retrieve the girl who they left waiting outside the gate. The girl agrees to go but the step-daughter follows her while the step-mother brings the princess and noblemen. The girl discovers her pursuers before she reaches the twelve months but the princess – demanding that she be taken – snatches the girl’s ring for herself.
Eventually, in a fit of rage, the princess throws the ring out onto a frozen river. Desperate to retrieve it, the girl charges out over the ice, calling to the twelve months.
I would really want to see what your choice would be after that point. I’d want to know your plan for before that as well!
I’d like to suggest something like the Russian animated short called Mother for a Little Mammoth. I think you could do it with a half-demon child and a human or a human child and a demon. Either way, I think it’s a beautiful premise.
That, and my love for elephants and mammoths runs as deep as deep could ever be.
To my lovely blog readers I would also recommend the mini movie About Crayfish. I think you would really, really enjoy it. It’s beautiful, moving and the style in which it was animated is spectacular. The detail, the movement, the lack of movement, the vagueness…
I would give you a recommendation on where to find these movies, but I cannot.
The Wild Swans was made in 1962. The Snow Queen was made in 1957. 12 Months was in 1956.
I love these movies. If I give you the source that I use there could be someone who reports it for copyright infringement. I know that you aren’t allowed to watch movies online. I don’t do that unless I swear to buy the movie or series – and I always do buy them. These movies are so old. I can’t find them. I don’t want to lose them.
Please, I am doing my best to find what copies might remain, but I ask for your understanding.
These movies – the long ones – are my request to you, Lā Fēng.
There is – of course – an argument that historically, culturally and geographically China is closer to Japan. However, Russia is also close to China. The architecture in Hā’ěrbīn is close, so close. There are historical connections – there must be! There are connections now, right? There have to be…
Please find this wish list, Lā Fēng. Please consider what I have written.