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“Kung Fu Cooking Girls” and other tales by Wolf Smoke

Wolf Smoke is a small animation studio from the Peoples Republic of China. A kick-ass sample film, Kung Fu Cooking Girls, has just been posted on You Tube with this message:

“We did key frames on paper first then used vector software to do the between frames and color painting. This is the first time that we use this way to do stuff. Over 4000 key frames hand drawing and over 10,000 inbetweens in this movie.”

The studio posted three other shorts – and all are worth a look:

Mountain Shu: The Warriors From The Magic Mountain

“We did this three years ago. It’s an original short sample for a TV movie. But for some reason, it’s did not become a movie in the end. So we post it out just as our work sample.”

Little Big War:

And an attempt at humor – Full of Cats by Jin Roh

(Thanks, Rajesh Bhavnani)

  • Mr Verde

    Fun animation, reminiscent of gainex for sure. I love how the super trashy blonde is credited as “western girl.”

  • Dana

    All four films were quite excellent. I’m still in awe over the “Kung Fu Cooking Girls”! At first, I’ve would have guessed that these were Japanese animations, since they share similar styles. None the less, very well done and big kudos to WolfSmoke :)

  • Mewzilla

    Wow! It left me with my mouth open! Incredible animation in “Kung Fu Cooking Girls” . I really loved the sketchy feeling of they’re animation, it made it look so natural.
    I wish them the best! They’ll go really far! :D

  • tom

    The animation is great, no complaints there, but I think they need to work on their storytelling. Either that, or some of it is lost in translation.
    Especially in the case of Mountain Shu, it has that Yutaka Nakamura style of fast, sketchy action, but no sense of story or interest beyond that.

    Other than that I hope they become succesful, especially since they seem to be focusing on traditional animation.

  • Mister Twister

    The TERRIBLE narration made me stop watching the second video.

    • Elia

      Agreed. They even misspelled “Future” in the second text.

      • ZigZag

        Oh relax.

        I’m sure all of our Mandarin translations wouldn’t be nearly as good.

        Give ’em a break for trying.

  • eeteed

    kung fu cooking girls was my favorite. both the story and animation the most original and most polished in this short. i wish it had translations.

    it will be interesting to see what the future holds for this group!

  • Amy

    Great commie cartoons!

    • Chris Sobieniak

      Hoping for some Zagreb-level work in the future!

  • Andrea

    The premise of the first one reminds me of One Mad Band…

    • Andrea

      oops, I meant One Man Band

  • Without a doubt there’s a lot of artistic talent behind these shorts. I loved the style of kung fu cooking girls and in the ending of Little Big War.
    But I agree with Tom that they’re storytelling falls short. I see lots of cute little girls in skimpy clothing running around with deadly weapons in sketchy poses in 3 out of 4 videos. The animation is nice, yeah, but just explosions and panty shots won’t get me interested in something.

    After saying that I’d have to say that Full of Cats was definitely my favorite. It was hilarious and I loved the personality of all the characters.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      The storytelling elements do need work indeed. I kinda think I like what “Little Big War” was though I could stand it see it lengthen a bit in some places (though at the same time, it reminded me of Osmosis Jones without the live-action BS). This studio certainly has potential. I noticed these four clips are credited to director Jin Roh in particular who also storyboards, designs and animates in some of these as well.

  • really enjoyed all of those!

  • Jay Sabicer

    Kung Fu Cooking Girls.
    What the Pho? – Couldn’t resist.
    If there was a candidate for a revival of Liquid Television, this would be it. I’d be curious of what an English-dubbed version would sound like.

  • wgan

    i’d like to see more original styles like those chinese animations made by shanghai studio during 1950-early 1990’s

    • Sam

      Seconded. The early 50s classic work were more impressive.

      These are more like Japanese anime to me. The character’s performance and story, voice acting, writing, ‘extreme’ expressions all aren’t working 100% to me. It felt like they were trying really hard to make it funny too but it just wasn’t funny enough.

      However, the backgrounds, colors, drawing style, animation and timing wise looks cool. Hope they succeed too.

      • Chris Sobieniak

        There’s certainly a lot of anime influences in these. I was hoping for some Chinese animators to get a clue and develop something different for an approach to animation than to reply on certain tropes I’ve seen time and time again. Oh well, I just have to hope these guys were learning along the way.

      • I believe that animators outside of Japan should feel comfortable being influenced by Japanese animation if it’s something they really love, especially if they’re independent animators doing their own thing. Asking them to stay away from anime conventions would be like asking European animators to stop being influenced by Disney.

  • Foad

    I am amazed with a first one Kung Fu Cooking Girls. I am just wondering with which software they worked? the good thing is in between keyframes is not smooth or flow. It has timing!

  • Tony C

    The thing that really annoyed me was the fact that at no point in my life will I ever have sexy kungfu women fighting over who serves me food.

  • it pains me to see this much effort put into such pedestrian narrative.

    pains me.

  • Metallicfire

    Gawd, I love Asia.

  • Michel Van

    Hammer that are Good piece of Animation !
    Japan Korea US Animation industry looks out
    the Chinese Animators are comming…

    by the way
    Mangas are so out, Chinese “manhua” is the next hype

  • ZigZag

    “Little Big War” is a triumph.

    And I’d give my kingdom for some subtitles on “Kung Fu Cooking Girls”.

    Great work, indeed.

    • Anoniguy

      There are subtitles. Just click the CC button. But honestly.. it’s pretty much exactly what you expect it to be.

      I like that the blonde one is speaking Chingrish or something. I heard LOTS of english words from her.

  • J.m

    Never thought the Chinese Could make something so Japanese

    • The cultures are very similar, especially when it comes to aesthetic sensibilities and eating habits. So this short makes perfect sense to me!

  • I like KUNG FU COOKING GIRLS going in… but it’s about 4 minutes too long. I couldn’t make it past the 6 minute mar-zzzzz.