'Black Cat Detective' director Dai Tielang dies at 89
Updated 19:42, 05-Sep-2019
By Wu Yan

Dai Tielang, director and scriptwriter of popular children's cartoon series the "Black Cat Detective," died of illness at the age of 89 on Wednesday, according to Shanghai Animation Film Studio.

Dai, whose family originated in Guangdong Province, was born in 1930 in Singapore and returned to China in 1940. After graduated from the Beijing Film Academy, he was appointed as an animation designer and artistic designer at Shanghai Animation Film Studio, one of the oldest and most acclaimed animation film studios in China.

Between 1950s and 1960s, he joined the making of "The Proud General," "Little Tadpole Looks for Mamma," "The Buffalo Boy and His Flute," "Campo Hero Sister" and others. He began to direct animation films since 1979, such as "My Friend Little Dolphin," "The Nine-Color Deer" and the "Black Cat Detective."

Among them, the "Little Tadpole Looks for Mamma," was a pioneer in the Chinese water-and-ink cartoon in 1960, gained several international awards including an honor from the Cannes International Film Festival in 1964, and "My Friend Little Dolphin" won the President's Silver Award of Italian International Film Festival for Children and Youth in 1982.

A file photo of Dai Tielang. /VCG Photo

A file photo of Dai Tielang. /VCG Photo

The five-episode "Black Cat Detective," aired between 1984 and 1987, is one of the oldest Chinese cartoon TV series and won many national-level awards. It shaped the characters of a brave and justice black cat detective and a cunning mouse named "one ear," which have become animal stars among children.

During his 30 years of working, the famous artist contributed to the formation of the Chinese school animation, which features Chinese themes, image and setting, and integrates traditional craftsmanship like paper cutting, puppetry, Chinese ink painting into cartoons.

Dai has ardently loved animation and science throughout his life and produced many works that are science-based and imaginative, said Su Da, director of the studio, citing Xinhua News Agency, adding that his death is a great loss for the Chinese animation industry.

Many netizens mourn the artist whose works enriched their childhood. A user of Sina Weibo, China's equivalent of Twitter, said, "Thank you for giving me childhood memory and simple happiness."

"The end of the fifth episode of 'Black Cat Detective' invites the audience to watch the next episode. But the sixth episode will never come," sighed another blogger.