Chinese animation works take a step toward the world market, expanding intl influence
Published: Jun 13, 2022 12:38 AM
Photo: Screenshot of YouTube video
Photo: Screenshot of YouTube video

Another Chinese animation series called The Creature Cases jointly produced by Chinese and British animation studios was released on Thursday, another example of the expanding international influence of the Chinese animation industry.

The Creature Cases, produced by Chinese streaming platform Tencent Video and British animation production studio Silvergate Media, tells a series of mysterious detective stories in the animal kingdom to promote knowledge about animals and exercise logical thinking among children.

The animation series allows children to follow two leading characters, a snow leopard and a fox, while they investigate cases in the places across the world like jungles of Asia, puddle in the grassland in Africa and the frozen tundra areas. During the process, viewers can learn many secrets of nature related to the investigation of the cases.

When airing on international streaming service Netflix, the work caught the attention of overseas audience and was included in the top 10 of the cartoon chart by countries .

With the intensification of international exchanges in the cultural industry in recent years, it is a good time for animation works to step toward the world by introducing and cooperating with more international high-quality creative and production companies, She Yinbin, lead of kids content at streaming platform Tencent Video, told the Global Times.

She added that Chinese animators are becoming more experienced and the acceptance of Chinese stories in the domestic and international markets is growing. "We found that Chinese animation has a very strong capacity in terms of production and quality. At the same time, with the appeal of diversified contents in the international market, classic Chinese stories will also be accepted by more global audiences."

Chinese animated works, either web series or movies, have been making steps into the overseas animation market over the past decade. Since 2018, a series of animated films like White Snake and The Legend of Hei have been nominated for awards at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, known as the Oscars of animation.

After 2019, animated works with distinctive Chinese styles suitable for both children and adults have begun to make an impact abroad. For example, Netflix bought the overseas broadcasting rights for the animated series Scissor Seven and other Chinese animation productions.

Experts consider that the expanding influence of Chinese animation is the product of the improving production technology and Chinese traditional culture that provide abundant materials for the animation makers.

Zhang Yiwu, professor at Peking University, told the Global Times that the legends in Chinese traditional culture are a source of material and today's animators have a huge room to develop these themes.

"Chinese animators can continue to tap into the dramatic stories in traditional Chinese culture and reformulate them in accordance with the needs of today's young audiences," Zhang noted.

The cultural reviewer Shi Wenxue, believes that Chinese animation is returning to Eastern aesthetics and the improving production technology is its foundation. "The return is due to the upgrading of our animation production technology. Only better production technology can lay a solid foundation for finding our own characteristics," Shi added.