A Story of Hong Gil-dong
Director: Shin Dong-hun
Film genre: Animation
Cert U, 68 mins, 1967
Distributed by Se Ki Corporation
Hong Gil-dong is the illegitimate son of a nobleman who’s cast out of his home and vows to fight injustice. He’s joined by a pint-sized tearaway thief, Chadol Bawi, and together they face evil officials who exploit poor people. The story has obvious parallels to Britain’s Robin Hood legends, but there are also magic monsters, an archetypal sage-teacher, and sly references to Disney animation (watch out for a wonderful mini-parody of the early Disney film, Skeleton Dance, 1929). The film’s design style is close to contemporary Japanese animated features of the 1950s and 1960s, but it also features outrageously wacky cartoon movements and jokes.