From the director of My Beautiful Girl Mari
comes Yobi, The Five Tailed Fox
, a beautiful animated fairy tale about a young fox spirit's quest for love and humanity. It has been over four years since Lee Seong Kang made a splash with My Beautiful Girl Mari
, winning the Grand Prix at the Annecy Animated Film Festival. Though Korea has a thriving animation industry thanks to plentiful outsource work from Japan and the US, the country itself has few representative pieces, oft-overshadowed by Japan's giant anime output, and Lee's debut opened a new page for Korean animation by garnering unprecedented international recognition. Lee's highly anticipated second feature-length animated film, Yobi, The Five Tailed Fox
(a.k.a. Cobby the Fox
), continues the wistfully fanciful aesthetic and atmosphere of his previous work, employing a mix of traditional and 3-D animation, with backgrounds rendered in watercolor and a stirring score from New Age pianist Yang Bang Ean.
Yobi, The Five Tailed Fox revolves around a kumiho, a nine-tailed fox that can assume different forms including human. Kumiho are familiar figures in Korean folk tales, and they are usually depicted as magical creatures that take female form to lure and prey on humans. This time, however, our protagonist is a young, kind-hearted fox with only five tails, instead of nine. The film is written by renowned director Lee Chang Dong (Green Fish), and voiced by Son Ye Jin (April Snow), Gong Hyung Jin (Marrying the Mafia III), and Ryu Deok Hwan (Like a Virgin).
After losing her family to fox hunters, five-tailed Yobi (voiced by Son Ye Jin) lives in the forest with some shipwrecked aliens, far away from the humans. When one of her alien friends gets captured by a villager, Yobi has no choice but to adventure into the human world to rescue him. At the village, Yobi meets many humans, including Geum Yee (Ryu Deok Hwan) who studies at a school for maladjusted children. Interested in Geum Yee, Yobi joins the students and revels in the fun of human life, but both a fox hunter and a mysterious shadow man are on her trail.