Hakujaden (The White Snake Enchantress), a poetic anime film, continues to make its mark on both young and old minds alike several decades after its release. The first full-length Japanese anime filmed entirely in color, Hakujaden (The White Snake Enchantress) is the adaptation of the famous Chinese legend of the white snake “Bai Su Zhen”. The film recounts the love story of Bai Niang, a white snake transformed into a princess, and a young man named Xu Xian. In this anime film produced by the Toei Doga Studio (now called Toei Animation), the audience follows the two lovers, who will have to confront numerous perils accompanied by a group of animals determined to help them find happiness.
Only two voice actors were hired to interpret all the characters in this ambitious project inspired by the Walt Disney animated film model, which had already achieved great success in the 1950s. This inspiration would produce a unique film having no need to envy those of the American studio. Hakujaden (The White Snake Enchantress) remains today a symbol of pride for Japanese anime. A long series of anime films from the Toei studio followed, as did many others, such as the films from the famous Ghibli studio of Hayao Miyazaki.