Black Cat Detective and 1980s nostalgia

Society & Culture

Photo credit: Screenshot from beloved 1980s cartoon Black Cat Detective.

There was not much to watch on Chinese TV before its commercialization in the 1990s, but there were a few shows that electrified the nation. One of these was Black Cat Detective (黑猫警长 hēi māo jǐngzhǎng), a cartoon remembered with a great deal of nostalgia by many Chinese people who grew up in the 1980s.

On September 4, Dài Tiěláng 戴铁郎 — the man who created Black Cat Detective — died at the age of 89. Sixth Tone reports:

The Shanghai Animation Film Studio — where Dai worked as a designer, director, and screenwriter for more than 30 productions — said in a tribute post [in Chinese] on microblogging platform Weibo that his works were “full of imagination” and had helped create “beautiful childhood memories for generations upon generations” of fans. Dai is best-known for directing the “Black Cat Detective” cartoon series, which aired from 1984 to 1987.

Born in Singapore in 1930 to parents from Guangdong, Dai moved to China in 1940 and graduated from the prestigious Beijing Film Academy in 1953. He then worked with both the Shanghai Film Studio and the Shanghai Animation Film Studio.

You can find whole seasons of Black Cat Detective on YouTube.