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Shadow puppet play pits the Monkey King against epidemic

People's Daily Online | Updated: 2020-02-19 17:16
The shadow puppet play Monkey King and Coronavirus is broadcast online on Feb 14.[Photo/People's Daily Online]

The shadow puppet play Monkey King and Coronavirus, created by the Beijing Longzaitian Shadow Puppet Theater, has been broadcast online since Feb 14 with nearly 5 million hits on the internet.

In the show, the Monkey King hears about the novel coronavirus outbreak, so he goes to Wuhan, the capital city of Central China's Hubei province to fight the demon.

In the animation, the coronavirus is portrayed by characters and appears on the shadow puppet screen. The Monkey King, the embodiment of justice, stands up to defeat the virus demon to express people's determination to wrestle control of the epidemic.

Wang Xi, head of the creative team, said he saw that thousands of medical staff fighting against the epidemic and greatly admires them. As for ordinary people who actively responded to the government's call by consciously remaining isolated at home, he thought they might feel bored. Wang said a shadow puppet play might help people calm down and relieve anxiety.

The shadow puppet show was created through remote online contact. Staff from different places designed shapes in New Zealand, made drawings in North China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region, manipulated shadow puppets in Beijing, did the dubbing in East China's Shandong province and made videos in Shanghai.

The plot of the shadow play is an attempt to mingle intangible cultural heritage, represented by the traditional image of the Monkey King punishing demons, with the medical staff fighting against the epidemic.

"As Chinese shadow puppet artists, it is our wish to let intangible cultural heritage play a role in the fight. Also, it is the common mission and responsibility of our intangible cultural heritage inheritors," said Lin Zhonghua, the writer who organized the production. "We hope that this work can bring optimistic hope and courage to the frontline medical staff, patients and people living at home."

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