Xiao Xiao

A scene from Xiao Xiao 6.

Xiao Xiao is an internet Flash cartoon series by Chinese animator Zhu Zhiqiang , featuring stick-figure men performing choreographed fight scenes. Some of the cartoons are interactive and game-like. All cartoons are in the Adobe Flash format, although Xiao Xiao #1 was originally in AVI format. It has now been converted to Flash format.

"Xiao Xiao" meaningEdit

"Xiao Xiao" literally is the Chinese character for "small" repeated twice in Mandarin Chinese; here this repetition connotes an affectionate diminutive – an equivalent might be the English expression "itty bitty" or "lil' old". Each Xiao Xiao cartoon is given a Chinese title with the adjective "Xiao Xiao" preceding a descriptive noun phrase. Xiao Xiao #1 was originally titled "Xiao Xiao Zuo Pin", which translates to "A Little Bit of Creative Work". Since then each Xiao Xiao cartoon has had a different noun succeeding "Xiao Xiao" – #4 is titled "Little Sheriff", and #7 is titled "Little Movie".

Changes Throughout The seriesEdit

The term has gradually shifted meaning from the cartoons themselves to the main character, an anonymous black stick-figure – in this context it means something akin to "little fella", appropriate since in most perspectives Xiao Xiao and his fellow stick-people appear tiny and childlike, with disproportionately large heads and small limbs.

Episode PlotsEdit

Xiao Xiao is placed in various dangerous situations to prove his martial arts prowess, often against other stick figures who appear more or less identical to himself. Usually other stick figures are also black, but can be other colors, and Xiao Xiao's perpetual nemesis is the Boss, a purple stick figure who commands the enemy sticks and appears to be Xiao Xiao's only peer in ability.

Others have seized on Xiao Xiao's popularity to make animations exploiting the easy-to-draw style of stick figures and minimalist backgrounds, often creating cartoons that are sequels or takeoffs of the official Xiao Xiao cartoons, especially Xiao Xiao #3. This practice has been frowned upon by many in the Flash cartooning community.

External Links Edit

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