Culture\Film and TV

Animating a bright spot in the movie market

By Xu Fan | China Daily | Updated: 2017-01-05 07:38

Animating a bright spot in the movie market

Domestic animated film Big Fish & Begonia are among the top 10 of China's 2016 box-office charts of animated films. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Big Fish & Begonia, rooted in Chinese mythology and inspired by ancient architecture, was at one time expected to repeat the success of the 2015 smash hit The Monkey King: Hero Is Back.

The Monkey King then was a landmark in Chinese animated films. However, Big Fish & Begonia's unconvincing characters and loose storyline got it only 6.5 on, compared with 8.2 for The Monkey King.

As of now, most industry watchers believe Chinese animators have a long way to go.

"The past year has seen Chinese talent under a lot of pressure. Zootopia's box-office earnings equalled 40 domestic animated films. It is a bit frustrating," says Zhu Yuqing, an animated-film industry watcher and founder of the Beijing-based film company Online Film Market.

Cao Xiaohui, vice-president of the animation institute at the Beijing Film Academy, says Chinese animators should polish their storytelling skills and seek inspiration from their own backgrounds.

"The closer to real life the story is, the easier it is to resonate with local audiences. Chinese talent should shake off their tendency to imitate American and Japanese animators," says Cao.

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