The Cowboy's Flute

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The Cowboy's Flute
Directed by Te Wei, Qian Jiajun
Release date
Running time
20 mins
Country China
Language none

The Cowboy's Flute (Chinese: 牧笛, Mu Di) is a Chinese animated short film produced by Shanghai Animation Film Studio under the master animator Te Wei. It is also referred to as The Cowherd's Flute and The Buffalo Boy and his Flute.


The film does not contain any dialogues, allowing it to be watched by any culture. The animation is essentially Chinese painting in motion,[1] with a heavy emphasis on the flute melody.


The story is about a young cow herding boy with an extraordinary flute playing ability, who is accompanied by his faithful water buffalo. The boy falls asleep in a tree, and is soon dreaming that he has lost his buffalo. The dream sequence is delightfully whimsical, beginning with falling leaves that turn into butterflies and gradually lead the cow herder to a beautiful mist-filled valley. Here the buffalo refuses to budge from his hiding spot, leaving the cow herder to find an alternate musical solution to his problem.


The DVD has been re-released as part of the Chinese Classic Animation Te Wei Collection set.


More than a decade after its completion, the film would win an award at the Odense International Film Festival in 1979.


  1. ^ Toon Zone. "Toon Zone Archived 2006-12-09 at the Wayback Machine.." "The Cowboys Flute." Retrieved on 2007-01-11.

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