Hong Kong Women Filmmakers

Mak, Alice

Critical Biography    Filmography    Reviews    Links   Bibliography

Mak, Alice – Critical Biography  Top

Mak, Alice

Alice Mak

Alice Mak was interested in drawing from an early age. She studied design at Hong Kong Polytechnic (now Hong Kong Polytechnic University) and graduated in 1988. She first worked as a junior graphic designer at the Hong Kong Arts Centre as part of the exhibition team. The job later landed her a position at Ming Pao Weekly, where she began the McMug cartoon series in collaboration with writer Brian Tse. The McMug cartoons featured a colorful cast of characters based on different animals, but were most notable for their playful use of the local vernacular as well as a distinct blend of philosophical and nonsensical humor. From the early days of the McMug comic strip, Mak and Tse would collaborate as illustrator and writer respectively, a working relationship that has continued into the present and also led to the real-life marriage of the working partners. From their weekly comic strip, Mak and Tse went on to found the children’s publication Yellow Bus, featuring a cast of characters they had already developed for the McMug comics. Both McMug and Yellow Bus attracted a cult following, although certain characters from the series, such as the piglet McDull, also became widely popular. This popularity led to the first animated McDull movie, My Life as McDull (2001). The film deals with the efforts of single mother McTai to raise her average, somewhat mediocre son – the eponymous piglet, McDull – against the backdrop of the re-development of her decaying grassroots neighborhood in Tai Kok Tsui.

The success of the film has led to numerous sequels, as well as a live-action spinoff film (McDull, The Alumni [2006]). McDull, Prince de la Bun (2004), the second film in the series, pays homage to The Little Prince and tells the story of McDull’s father, McBing, in flashback. McDull, Kung Fu Kindergarten (2009) chronicles the attempts of McDull to enroll in a martial arts academy in Mainland China. McDull, The Pork of Music (2012) revolves around the attempts of McDull and his classmates to raise funds for their cash-strapped kindergarten through musical performances. A new feature titled McDull, Me & My Mum (2014) is a celebration of McDull’s relationship with his overachieving and resourceful mother. Throughout the McDull films, Mak and Tse present a bittersweet vision of Hong Kong that is at once affectionate and disillusioned. Local grassroots culture is lovingly and humorously evoked, yet the prospects of a grassroots existence in Hong Kong can often be presented in a pessimistic and surprisingly grim manner.

Filmography   Top

Feature Films:

Role
Title (English)
Title (Chinese)
Year
Story McDull, Me & My Mum (Trailer) 麥兜.我和我媽媽 2014
Story McDull – Pork of Music (Trailer) 麥兜噹噹伴我心 2012
Art Director
Story
McDull, Kung Fu Kindergarten (Trailer) 麥兜響噹噹 2009
Art Director McDull, the Alumni (Trailer) 春田花花同學會 2006
Art Director Story McDull, Prince de la Bun (Trailer) 麥兜,菠蘿油王子 2004
Art Director
Story
My Life as McDull (Trailer) 麥兜故事 2001

Shorts:

Role
Title (English)
Title (Chinese)
Year
Story McDull 1:99 in 1:99 Shorts 1:99 電影行動: 麥兜1:99 2003

Reviews   Top

McDull – Pork of Music (2012) Reviews:

Far East Film:
http://www.fareastfilms.com/reviewsPage/The-Pork-Of-Music-2612.htm
Love HK Film:
http://www.lovehkfilm.com/reviews_2/mcdull_pork_of_music.html
Time Out Hong Kong:
http://www.timeout.com.hk/film/features/52739/mcdull-the-pork-of-music.html
Twitch:
http://twitchfilm.com/2012/10/viff-2012-review-mcdull-the-pork-of-music-is-a-worthy-continuation-of-the-franchise.html
Variety:
http://variety.com/2012/film/reviews/mcdull-the-pork-of-music-1117948869/

McDull, Kung Fu Kindergarten (2009) Reviews:

Far East Films:
http://www.fareastfilms.com/reviewsPage/McDull-Kung-Fu-Ding-Ding-Dong-2318.htm
Love HK Film:
http://www.lovehkfilm.com/reviews_2/mcdull_kung_fu_ding_ding.html
Time Out Hong Kong:
http://www.timeout.com.hk/film/features/26806/mcdull-kung-fu-ding-ding-dong.html
Variety:
http://variety.com/2009/film/reviews/mcdull-kung-fu-kindergarten-1200476585/

McDull, the Alumni (2006) Reviews:

Far East Films:
http://www.fareastfilms.com/reviewsPage/McDull-The-Alumni-1160.htm
HK Magazine:
http://hk-magazine.com/movie-review/mcdull-alumni
Love HK Film:
http://www.lovehkfilm.com/reviews_2/mcdull_the_alumni.htm

McDull, Prince de la Bun (2004) Reviews:

Cinespot:
http://www.cinespot.com/hkmreviews/emcdullprincedelabun.html
Far East Films:
http://www.fareastfilms.com/reviewsPage/McDull-Prince-De-La-Bun-1158.htm
Love HK Film:
http://www.lovehkfilm.com/reviews_2/mcdull_prince_de_la_bun.htm
Screen Daily:
http://www.screendaily.com/mcdull-prince-de-la-bun-makdau-boloyau-wongchi/4019795.article
Variety:
http://variety.com/2004/film/reviews/mcdull-prince-de-la-bun-1200531653/

My Life as McDull (2001) Reviews:

Beyond Hollywood:
http://www.beyondhollywood.com/my-life-as-mcdull-2001-movie-review/
Chinese Cinema:
http://www.chinesecinemas.org/mcdull.html
Cinespot:
http://www.cinespot.com/hkmreviews/emylifeasmcdull.html
Far East Films:
http://www.fareastfilms.com/reviewsPage/My-Life-As-McDull-1251.htm
Love HK Film:
http://www.lovehkfilm.com/reviews/my_life_as_mcdull.htm
Variety:
http://variety.com/2002/film/reviews/my-life-as-mcdull-1200544287/

Links   Top

Official website of McMug and McDull:
http://www.mcdull.hk/
Yellow Bus:
http://www.yellowbus.com.hk/emag.php

Bibliography   Top

  1. Ingham, Mike. “Across the Fragrant Harbour: the Nine Dragons.” Ingham, Mike. Hong Kong: A Cultural History. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2007. 159-198.
  2. Stoke, Lisa Odham. “Animation.” Stoke, Lisa Odham. Historical Dictionary of Hong Kong Cinema. Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 2007. 4-6.