New "Monkey King" brings hope to Chinese animation
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.