The Child Of Peach (1987)

Directed by: Chen Chun-Liang
Written by: Yiu Hing-Hong
Producers: Chen Chun-Liang & Choi Chung-Lam
Starring: Lin Shao-Luo, Chin Tu, Chin San, Pan San, Wong Chung-Yue & Yau Mei-Fong


Calm and peace in the Peach Garden (located in the Himalayas) is disrupted when the King Devil steals the Sword Of The Sun and it's lights out in the garden literally and on many levels. A master of the garden holds off King Devil while the mother sends their child into a peach and to earth. There an old, childless couple discover the giant peach, see the solution to their food shortage but out comes a baby boy instead. Who quickly grows up to become a bigger boy (played in more adult form by actress Lin Shao-Luo) and joins the army, along with friends of the peach garden (a dog, monkey and cock in human form), to fight King Devil...

'The Child Of Peach'-movies are based on the popular hero out of Japanese folklore called Momotaro, literally meaning peach and Taro itself is a common enough Japanese boy's name so he often is referred to as Peach Boy. A multi-media character via books and films, Taiwanese filmmaker Chen Chun-Liang took a children's friendly swing at it with technically likeable, entertaining and off the wall results. Brace yourselves, a Taiwanese kids movie will contain exploding heads, blood, dangerous stuntwork and a creepy peach puppet. Taiwan reefer madness for all!

Not exactly loaded with a high budget, nevertheless the fantasy world is splendidly brought to life, starting in the very indoors in feel set in the form of the Peach Garden and early on, the special effects technicians pull off the scenario with fine skill. The transformation from animal to humans, wire work and animated special effects early on signals we're in sound hands. Even story-wise, and this may be fantasy, but Chen keeps this affair very straightforward. We can follow more than just the colors. The tone is decidedly more comedic once Peach Boy joins his human parents though but thankfully not unbearable in its broad ways. The combination of this light energy and execution technically in order to elevate slapstick is an admirable balance here. It even earns being wacky and immature (count the amount of urine gags and you'll be counting for a while) because of the achieved balance across the board.

Not desperate to please but instead rather skilled at what it's trying to do, when we finally (it is the only prolonged nature to any scenario) get to see actress Lin Shao-Luo as Peach BOY joined by her animal friends in human form (a group of well cast, costumed and physically able young performers) the gears are cranked with a few nicely choreographed detours into martial arts, reckless fire-stunts and in general an unpredictable nature to any scenario all throughout its finale where we get the emergence of said creepy peach puppet. A fine example of the Taiwanese flavour that brought heart, passion and technical skill in a manner that is not dated. Be glad it WAS made in 1987 however. The transformation from page to screen wouldn't have been the same otherwise as Taiwanese cinema wasn't like this for very long.


reviewed by Kenneth Brorsson