Yugo & Lala
by Yunfei Wang – Cjina, 2012
(80', Digital, Original version with Italian subtitles)
Precocious ten-year-old Yugo, a village girl who is also a student of martial arts, meets a white “liger” – a half lion, half tiger creature – who introduces itself as Lala. Shocked that she can understand the animal’s language, Yugo chases Lala up a mountain where a waiting Cloud Whale swallows them both whole. Inside its giant stomach, there are many different creatures all excitedly being transported to Animal Paradise, a fantastical kingdom that welcomes only 99 chosen ones every ten years. But human beings are forbidden in the kingdom; any that remain for more than three days will be transformed into an animal forever. To return home, Yugo seeks the help of the seemingly ferocious Uncle Bear, a black bear with a sharp tongue but a gentle heart. As time is running out for Yugo, she and Lala uncover Tiger General’s devious plot to open a magical portal into Lala's world and turn every human into an animal. As Yugo’s friends are transformed into animals one-by-one, she desperately seeks a way to destroy the gateway between the two worlds... only to discover that her new friend Lala is in fact the portal.
Yunfei Wang was born in Shenyang in China’s Liaoning province in 1978. At an early age, he showed a proficiency in painting, and graduated in graphic design from Liaoning Normal University in 2000. Since 2002, he has managed the animation department of Beijing Cheerland Digital Technology. At Cheerland, he directed the first season of the animated series Happy Stuff, a landmark that occupies the same position as The Simpsons in popular Chinese culture, capturing the spirit of a nation. Since 2007, he has focused on the animated feature Yugo & Lala that pushes the potential of animation in the Asian region, becoming one of the Top 15 Chinese original animations to make more than 10 million yuan at the box office.