Thai Animated Life of Buddha

Thai Animated Life of Buddha

This is one of the best and most accurate adaptations of the traditional life of the Buddha I have come across, based firmly on the Theravada traditions.

Of the various Lives I’ve featured here the so-called documentaries done by the BBC and PBS are the weakest; the various movie versions are generally better; but it is the animated films which are the closest to the original story, and manage to get the most information over.

This film was made originally in Thailand (here it is dubbed into Vietnamese) and at four hours is by far the most detailed and informative of the cartoon Lives I know, closely following the traditional story as found in the commentaries and later Pali works.

It’s a long watch, and I did try to find a version divided into more watchable sections, but the only other version I can find online in is Thai/Loa only, without the English subtitles. The subtitles it should be said are in fairly poor English, but the story and teachings can still be followed.

The story begins with the Bodhisatta in Heaven and finishes with his parinibbāna (with a written coda on the First Council), and takes in most of the major events and characters in the story that has come down to us.

The film is well drawn, well paced, and colourful, and is a mine of information and would bear watching more than one time. Probably the best way to watch it though is to download it first and watch it over a couple of nights.

 

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to see a set of stills click on the screenshot below

 

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