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New "Monkey King" brings hope to Chinese animation

来源: China Daily 作者: 2015-07-23 13:33:08

  A poster of Monkey King: Hero is Back (Source: China Daily.com)

  BEIJING, July 11 (Xinhuanet) -- Chinese animated films have come in for some pretty harsh criticism at home over the past years. But one film has defied that trend. Chinese audiences have been stunned by the return on screens of the legend of classical novel Journey to the Westin the new movie Monkey King: Hero is Back.

  The film has captured the nation's attention with its high visual quality and sincerity.

  The fictional hero is back. And he has taken China's social media sphere by storm. People are flocking to cinemas to discover the new sensation, or even to re-watch it.

  The box office takings for the new Monkey Kingmovie have exceeded $50 million, a new record for Chinese animated films.

  Despite its immense popularity, director Tian Xiaopeng keeps a cool head.

  "We're still far away from real success. People's love for this movie stems more or less from their affection for Chinese-made animation. Animated movies in China still need more social recognition to grow," said Tian.

  It took Tian Xiaopeng and his team eight years to finish the movie. With a budget of only about US$10 million, it has achieved a success similar to the Hollywood animated blockbusters.

  "We can't afford the huge costs of Hollywood 3D animated films, so we have to find our own edge. The only way to compete with Hollywood is to find connect on a cultural and emotional level. I want to tell the story in a Chinese way, using our own philosophy and aesthetics to explain the world in our eyes," Tian said.

  The box office takings for the new Monkey King movie set a new record for Chinese animated films. (Source: China Daily.com)

  The Monkey King: Hero is Backis winning over Chinese audiences with a good plot and extraordinary visuals. More importantly, audiences can feel the dedication, sincerity, and passion poured into the film. But the success of a single film does not represent the whole of China's animation industry.

  China now has the largest animation industry in the world, with an annual output of 260,000 minutes every year. That is nearly twice that of Japan, which comes in second place. And yet only a third of them make it to the screens.

  "I suggest the government to invest more on the original contents and IP," said Han Hua from China Film Association.

  On the market side, Liu Zhijiang, producer of the Monkey King, calls for patience.

  "Many investors just want to make quick money in animation. That's against the rule of the market and artistic creation. Investors have to treat animation as a real industry and give the artists enough room to fully explore their imaginations," he said.

  China's animation sector still has a long way to go to catch up to Hollywood. But talents such as Tian Xiaopeng are helping shorten that distance.

Keywords:film,Monkey King,hope

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