Top 10 Chinese Cartoon Movies

Chinese animation had a golden age in the late 1970s and 1980s. Many well-made cartoon films became well-known by Chinese people. Here we pick the 10 best classic Chinese cartoon movies which to some extent can represent Chinese animated film.

1. Havoc in Heaven 大闹天宫

“Havoc in Heaven”, or another name Uproar in Heaven, is a Chinese animated colour movie directed by Wan Laiming, China’s first animator. The film was produced 1961—1964 by Shanghai Animation Film Studio and received lots of awards. Through the Monkey’s fighting against the Dragon Palace and the Heaven Palace, the story mainly show the Monkey King’s  legend story and his spirit of resistance.

Watch the movie at Youtube:

2. Little Tadpoles Look for Their Mom 小蝌蚪找妈妈

“Little Tadpoles Look for Their Mom” is a classic animation adapted from Chinese traditional water-color painting. This animation was produced in 1960 but is still popular among kids.

A group of tadpoles are born but they do not know who is their mom, so they start an interesting journey to find their mom. After mistaking goldfish, crab and other creatures for their mother, they finally find their real mom- frog. The story tells us that where there is a will there is a way. The film is not only a well-made cartoon movie but also a very good material to teach children science.

Watch the movie at Youtube:

3. Sergeant Black Cat 黑猫警长

“Sergeant Black Cat” is an animated TV series popular among post-80s children. The stories basically happen in a forest. The police officer “black cat sergeant” and his subordinates the white pigeon detective and other police solve various cases and maintain the peace of the forest.

Watch the movie at CNTV:

4. The Story of Afanti 阿凡提

“The Story of Afanti” is 13-episode puppet film based on the “Avanti Story” widely-spoken in the Xinjiang, China. The hero Avanti is a humorous man who has a strong hatred of evil practices. He uses his wisdom to uphold justice for the poor people and let the greedy and stupid Bayi and king get punished. The movie is one of the most influential cartoon films in China’s history.

Watch the movie at Youtube:

5. Calabash Brothers 葫芦兄弟

“Calabash Brothers” or “Gourd Brothers” is a 13 episodes paper-cut animation produced in 1986. The movie was well-made and has already become a Chinese animated classic. The heros are 7 extremely powerful calabash brothers. In order to save their loved ones the seven brothers fight against the elves one after another. “Calabash Brothers” is one of the original classic animations in China. Since the airing in 1986, it has been popular by mass audience especially children.

Watch the movie at Youtube:, you will find other 12 episods at Youtube.

6. Prince Nezha Conquers the Dragon King 哪吒闹海

“Prince Nezha’s Triumph Against Dragon King” is a 1979 Chinese animated film adapted from the Chinese ancient novel “Fengshen Yanyi“. It was the first Chinese animation that entered the Cannes Film Festival. The film tells Nezha. a spirit with various heads and arms, defeat the four dragon kings and benefit the people.

Watch the movie at Youtube: you will find other episods at Youtube.

7. Three Monks 三个和尚

“Three Monks” is a cartoon movie adapted from a famous Chinese folk proverb. The story is like this: When one monk lives in the temple, he fetches water himself; when two, they fetch it together; and when three, no one would fetch water anymore, because each one is waiting for the other two to do it. Later when the temple is on fire, the three monks start to work together to fetch water and eventually put out the fire. The story criticizes the backward thinking of “everybody’s business is nobody’s business” in society, and hints that “When people work with one mind , they can even remove Mount Taishan.”

Watch the movie at Youtube:

8. The Cowboy’s Flute 牧笛

“The Cowboy’s Flute” is a Chinese ink-and-wash animated film produced by Shanghai Animation Film Studio in 1963. Through a cowboy’s cow-searching process, the film displays beautiful Chinese scenery to audience.

Watch the movie at Youtube:

9. Snow Kid 雪孩子

“Snow Kid” or known as “Snow Child”, is a popular Chinese cartoon film created in 1980.

The story is like this:  A rabbit mother built a snowman to accompany her child before leaving her young rabbit at home alone. The rabbit child and the snow kid then became good friends immediately and happily played together. One night, the young rabbit fell asleep and  the house was on fire. The snowman ran into the burning house and saved the young rabbit, sacrificing himself and melting in the fire.

Watch the movie at Youtube:

10. Adventure of Shuke and Beita  舒克和贝塔

“Adventure of Shuke and Beita” is a 13 episodes classic animation adapted from Zheng Yuanjie’s fairy tale of the same title. The major roles are two mice named Shuke and Beita, they don’t want to steal food like other mice. Shuke became a pilot and Beita a tank driver and became good friends. Under the help of their human being friend named Pipilu, they co-founded an airline to help other animals.

Watch the movies at CNTV:

Of course there are many other fantastic animation movies like “Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf” “Wanderings of Sanmao” and so on for you to watch. Which one is your favorite cartoon movie? Or do you have know other popular China cartoon movies? Share with us by adding a comment below.

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