A Chinese Ghost Story: The Tsui Hark Animation (HK 1997)

Rating: ***
Producer: Tsui Hark

Here's another oddity from Tsui Hark - a Chinese anime film. It's a delightful, but ultimately pointless and empty big budget barrage of eye candy, complete with Disney-like musical numbers. A travelling tax collector named Ning and his adorable dog run into all sorts of wacky ghosts and ghost busters on their money collecting rounds. Ning ends up falling for a lovely ghost named Shine, and together they try to outwit fate by reincarnating together. The animation itself is an awkward marriage of cel animated characters composited with computer animated environments, but the overall results are stunning and well realized. My biggest complaint besides the complete lack of a coherent plot is that the voice talent is really flat and doesn't give the characters any depth. They should take some tips from the Japanese. The voice of Shine sounds like it could be either Carol Cheng or Gigi Leung (maybe even Anita Yuen?), but I have no way to verify that. A fun time waster that doesn't require a lot of concentration or attention.