New Chinese animated film ‘Realm of Terracotta’ well received by domestic audiences
Published: Jun 30, 2021 07:53 PM
Realm of Terracotta Photo: web

Realm of Terracotta Photo: web


Another Chinese animated film based on traditional culture, Realm of Terracotta, is set to hit theaters in China on July 9. The film looks like it will continue to win streak of other domestic animated films, which have surprised audiences with their improved production quality over the past few years.

Debuting at the Shanghai International Film Festival on June 20, the fantasy movie features one of China's world heritages - the Terracotta Warriors. The film sees the statues come to life as a mysterious young girl joins up with one of the terracotta warriors to fight monsters in an underground city. 

The film has been getting good reviews from the audiences who have seen it in advance. 

Realm of Terracotta Photo: web

Realm of Terracotta Photo: web

Realm of Terracotta Photo: web

Realm of Terracotta Photo: web

The studio behind the film has been holding prescreening events in more than a dozen Chinese cities, and so far the audience reception has been overwhelmingly positive. 

"I've seen many Chinese-produced animated films over the past few years,and I saw clear improvement with this one," posted one netizen on social media.

"The TerracottaWarriors are one of the Eight Wonders of the World. It is interesting and creative to put living ones into a magical world on the screen," read one comment on Chinese media review platform Douban. 

After the ups and downs in public opinion in Hollywood's Kung Fu Panda trilogy experienced over the "theft of traditional Chinese culture," the country's own animation industry has seen considerable development. The rise in quality has been reflected in films from Ne Zha, which was selected as China's entry for Best International Feature Film at the 92nd Oscars, to Realm of Terracotta.

Kung Fu Panda 2 was at the center of heated debate after it was screened in China in 2011 for its use of traditional Chinese elements, according to Chinese media reports. While the film supporters in China said that it should be seen as a successful example of traditional Chinese culture making its way overseas, opposing voices saw it as cultural appropriation by Hollywood. 

Experts responded, calling for moviegoers in China to have patience and wait for the huge gap between domestic and US animation to close instead of simply rejecting foreign films. Now, observers say that Chinese animated films are making great progress in presenting the country's traditional culture to the world.

"Clearly the animated films in our country are doing a better job and we can feel that they are creating something that belongs to ourselves," one animation fan surnamed Cui told the Global Times on Wednesday.

As early as 2015, Monkey King:Hero is Back intrigued moviegoers, bringing them into cinemas in large numbers. The team took a part of the story about the legendary mythical figure the Monkey King, the main role in the classic Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) novel Journey to the West, and adapted it into a successful adventure film.

The movie earned a high score of 8.3/10 on Douban and was soon followed by more adaptations of traditional Chinese stories such as White Snake, inspired by the traditional Chinese legend of Madame White Snake, and Ne Zha, which have a 7.8/10 and 8.4/10 respectively on Douban.

"I've watched both White Snake and Ne Zha, and was impressed by both of them," added Cui. 

"I hope animators can stick to this creativeness and dig more out of our traditional culture in the future."