Chinese animation earns praises for its new IP themed on one of the eight wonders of the world
Published: Jul 18, 2021 11:33 PM
Poster of the film <em>Realm of Terracotta</em> Photo: Weibo

Poster of the film Realm of Terracotta Photo: Weibo

A new animation movie inspired on one of the eight wonders of the world and World Heritage Site, the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor, China's original film Realm of Terracotta was praised by Chinese moviegoers. Film experts said Chinese cultural heritage was a rich inspiration for the creators.

The film was premiered on Chinese theaters on July 9 taking more than 58 million yuan at the box office as of Sunday, according to the Chinese ticketing platform Maoyan.

Many Chinese moviegoers are thrilled by the new created and fresh domestic production.

It tells the story of Meng Yuan, a young handyman who became a hero after experiencing trials and hardships.

"The difficulty of making the whole film has reached the highest level in China," said director Lin Yongchang.

According to Lin, the production team of nearly 1,000 staff created a total of 1,746 character using 5,000 computers simultaneously. "The special effects of the last battle took nearly 2 months to polish. The entire film has more than 2,700 special effects shots," Lin said.

In terms of soundtrack, the creation team studied various instruments of the Qin and Han Dynasties (221BC-AD 220) and the "eight-tone classification". The music was recorded by internationally renowned orchestras from Beijing, Russia, and Budapest. Together with famous artists, it created a combination of both cultural and musical artwork, according to a report by China News on Sunday.

"The inspiration of China's cultural heritage in original animation is not a trend but a fine tradition," Shi Wenxu, a film critic based in Beijing, told the Global Times on Sunday.

He mentioned as an example the movie Princess Iron Fan released in 1941. It integrated elements from Chinese classical painting and opera. The Proud General, released in 1956, fully integrated the artistic characteristics of Peking Opera with animation. An animated movie about lion dance will be released later. 

"Chinese traditional heritage such as shadow puppetry, paper cutting, ink painting and Beijing opera have all been tried in Chinese animation and comics, and certain achievements have been made. Therefore, the rich cultural heritage has already become the 'rich mine' of Chinese animation's creation," said Shi.

"The core of Chinese animation is getting richer. However, Chinese films still have a long way to go for achieving a huge world hit. It depends not only on a successful film, or a talented director but also a producer who can command the overall situation and mobilize the resources of all parties in the film industry, as well as a mature China's film industry system," Xiao Fuqiu, a film critic based in Shanghai, told the Global Times on Sunday.

The film won the nomination of the 24th Shanghai Film Festival Golden Goblet Award for Best Animation. 

It is reported that the film is only part of the terracotta warrior world and some new terracotta warriors will appear in the following series. A sequel of Realm of Terracotta is currently under preparation, according to Lin.