Producers of a cartoon series that will feature the ancient Chinese
philosopher and educator Confucius are soliciting animated imagery of the sage
from designers around the globe.
Shenzhen Phoenix Star, a subsidiary of the Hong Kong-listed Phoenix Satellite
TV, said it was offering 500,000 yuan (about US $64,100) to reward the best
The company is working with China
Confucius Foundation to produce the 100-episode cartoon series, which is part of
the latter's efforts to promote Confucianism worldwide.
A performer in traditional costume
takes a photo in front of a sculpture of ancient philosopher and educator
Confucius during a ceremony to celebrate Confucius' 2,557th birth
anniversary, inside a Confucian temple in Nanjing, in east China's Jiangsu
province September 28, 2006. [Reuters/File Photo]
The series, with each episode lasting 13 minutes, is to recount Confucius'
life, the formation of his school of thought and how he enlightened his
"We've been working to promote Confucianism in different ways and cartoon, as
a popular means of dissemination, is apparently one of the most effective ways
to popularize the essence of Chinese culture to the overseas audience," said
Wang Daqian, deputy secretary-general of the foundation.
The government-backed organization, based in Jinan, east China's Shandong
Province, was established in 1984 to raise funds for Confucian studies at home
Shandong Province was the birth place of Confucius, the sage who founded
Confucianism, a philosophy featuring harmony and peace and constituting the
essence of Chinese culture.
The "standardized", "official" portrait of Confucius unveiled by the
foundation last year is apparently too dull and serious to become an animated
Wang said the producers had offered an additional 2 million yuan (256,000
U.S. dollars) to solicit a script.
The idea of Confucius in cartoon was welcomed by animation industry
specialists from many countries, said Zuo Jin, president of the Shenzhen-based
Shenbi Animation Co. who proposed to develop the series in the first place.
"Potential buyers from the United States, Canada, the Republic of Korea,
Spain and Israel have all expressed their interest in the series," Zuo said
during the ongoing Third China (Shenzhen) International Cultural Industry Fair
He said the global network of Confucius Institutes teaching foreigners
Chinese had made the ancient sage more popular today.