Calabash Brothers


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Calabash Brothers

The "Calabash Brothers" (Chinese:葫芦娃) is an animated TV series created by Shanghai Animation Film Studio. It won wide acclaim among audiences after its first release in 1986. It was considered as successful as the award-winning animated film "Havoc in Heaven" (Chinese: 大闹天宫) in the 1960s, which was adapted from the Chinese Classic "Journey to the West" (Chinese: 西游记). Although some attributed the "Calabash Brothers" success to the downturn of China’s animation industry in 1980s, the popularity of the villain-fighting cartoon seldom wanes among children even today.

Story Summary:

An old man lived on Calabash Mountain and picked herbs to make a living. One day, the old man rescued an anteater. The animal confessed to him that it had made a grave mistake by digging a hole on the mountain where two evil spirits were imprisoned - the Scorpion and the Snake spirit. The two demons escaped their prison and now threatened the community.

The anteater then led the old man to some calabash seedlings in seven colors - red, orange, yellow, green, cyan, blue and purple, which represent the hues of a rainbow. The old man spared no time growing them, and the calabashes ripened sequentially, fell off their stems to the ground, and transformed into seven boys with calabashes on their heads. Each boy possessed a supernatural ability and used it to fight against the villainous spirits.


After the success of the "Calabash Brothers," Shanghai Animation Film Studio released a sequel, in which the seven brothers meet a more powerful evil spirit - the younger sister of the Snake spirit. This time, the brothers fuse together into a single boy and annihilate the demon after several defeats.


Seven Brothers:

Oldest brother: (red) super strength

Second brother: (orange) enhanced hearing and sight

Third brother: (yellow) invulnerability

Forth brother: (green) able to create and control fire and lightning

Fifth brother: (cyan) able to create and control water

Sixth brother: (blue) invisibility

Little brother: (purple) possesses a magic gourd able to draw anything he wishes

The Old Man: the resident herb picker on the mountain who serves as a father figure to the seven brothers

The Scorpion King: the head of all evil spirits

The Snake Queen: a powerful evil spirit with many magic artifacts and weapons.

The Snake Sister: a more menacing evil spirit who has more tricks and magic artifacts than her sister.

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