19:23 GMT06 August 2020
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    On Dec 3, the animated film Big Fish and Begonia won first prize in the full-length film category of the 15th Anilogue International Animation Festival. This success, along with the 2015 hit film Monkey King: Hero is Back, has brought attention back to Chinese animation.

    2017 is also a year that saw a series of animated films and TV series that surprised people. Many animation fans excitedly commented on the internet: "Our Chinese animation is rising." Here are five big and small works newly produced in 2017.

    Dahufa
    Mtime
    Dahufa

    Dahufa

    Premiered on July 13, Dahufa claims to be China's first animated movie rated PG-13.

    The story is about a short martial arts master who was born to safeguard the fictional Yiwei State. In the film, this little master goes to rescue the nation's crown prince in a town populated by peanut-headed humanoids.

    With more audiences rating the movie on the Chinese film review website Douban, the score for Dahufa fell from 8.3 out of 10 points upon opening to a final of 7.8.

    "Finally, an animation film comes along that can frighten a child to tears," Douban user Huangaima said.

    One Hundred Thousand Bad Jokes II
    Mtime
    One Hundred Thousand Bad Jokes II

    One Hundred Thousand Bad Jokes II

    One Hundred Thousand Bad Jokes II aims to make people laugh, compared to the more serious tone of Dahufa.

    Gods and goddesses from both Chinese and foreign myths unite in the film, including Nyu Wa from China, Zeus from Greece and Odin from Northern Europe.

    As a sequel to the 2013 animated film One Hundred Thousand Bad Jokes, the film is adapted from Han Wu's comedy series of the same name. The series became popular since it was released in 2010. It has many independent series as well, such as Gourd Brothers and Great Masters. 

    Receiving 7.4 points out of 10 on Douban, the film opened Aug 18 across China.

    Tea Pets
    Mtime
    Tea Pets

    Tea Pets

    Targeting both young children and adults during the summer holiday, the 3-D animated movie Tea Pets premiered on July 21.

    Inspired by tea pets, porcelain figures usually placed on tea trays, the movie is also rooted in traditional Chinese culture and myths. On the big screen, these different tea pets become alive and enjoy their adventures in the human world.

    The film is director Gary Wang's latest movie after the 2016 animation Little Door Gods. Being praised for its well-made characters, the animated feature received 7.1 out of 10 points on Douban.

    Yet it could not satisfy some grown-up audiences.

    "The common problem of Tea Pets and Little Door Gods is that the themes are too childish. Both could have had more depth, building on the good 3-D technology used in the movies. Next time, please have a more insightful script," Douban user Zimujun said.

    The Young Imperial Guards
    Weibo: The Young Imperial Guards
    The Young Imperial Guards

    The Young Imperial Guards

    Among small screen animated works in 2017, the 3-D series The Young Imperial Guards is certainly a standout with a large group of followers.

    Premiered on Feb 9, the first season with 13 episodes scored 8.3 points on Douban. Many audiences highly praised its storytelling, aesthetically designed characters and sets as well as martial arts based on real movements. The second season opened Sept 28, and is scheduled to finish around the end of 2017. It has received ratings similar to the first season on the review website. 

    The fictional story is about imperial guards in the Ming Dynasty (1369-1644) that inspired a large number of kung fu novels, films and TV series, such as the film series Brotherhood of Blades.

    "As a faithful fan of Japanese animation, I rarely watch Chinese productions. Yet, this one (The Young Imperial Guards) is so great and I am in love with it. Thanks you for making such a wonderful work, production team and voice actors!" Douban user Saimeng commented.

    I am Joybo
    Screenshot, I am Joybo
    I am Joybo

    I am Joybo

    The 12-episode animated series I am Joybo began Nov 9 and is still being broadcast on the internet.

    The story begins with a man named Jiang Xiaobai who suddenly began to receive letters written 10 years ago by an unknown girl. Despite the detective-like beginning, the series is a warm story about love and friendship.

    Many scenes featured in the series were based on Chongqing, including many landmark buildings from this city in Southwest China.

    The first six episodes have received 7.8 out of 10 points on Douban.

    "The scenes and music are healing. It offers a nice picture of Chongqing," user Banjinquanshui said on the review website.

    This story, written by Li Hongrui, was originally published in China Daily.

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    anime, animation, China
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