On Screen
Published: Aug 25, 2022 07:14 PM
Promotional material for New Gods: Yang Jian Photo: Courtesy of Douban

Promotional material for New Gods: Yang Jian Photo: Courtesy of Douban

'New Gods' sequel 'Yang Jian' continues the glory of Chinese myth-based animation

Ever since 2015's animated feature film Monkey King: Hero is Back won an overwhelmingly nearly 1 billion yuan ($146 million) at the Chinese mainland box office, a rising number of traditional Chinese-oriented animated films over the past several years have been gaining appreciation for their increasingly higher quality aesthetics and pacing.

After the surpriSing 5 billion yuan box office take of New Gods: Nezha Reborn in 2019, its sequel, the recent animated feature film New Gods: Yang Jian has earned 187 million yuan after a week since its release on August 19. 

The film was also No.1 at the mainland box office during its opening weekend and currently has a 7/10 on Chinese media review platform Douban. 

The story of Yang Jian is based on Chinese mythology. In the story the God helps his nephew Chenxiang to save the latter's mother and find salvation for himself.  

In the most recent version on the big screen, 1,5000 years after the war of the gods, Yang Jian, a warrior deity, makes a living by catching criminals. One day, Yang Jian is ordered to hunt down a young man, who turns out to be his nephew.

The film has reached another new level for domestic animation in terms of visuals, technology and art design.

The film has impressed moviegoers with its combination of Japanese anime style, tai chi ink drawings and steampunk world. It has been praised by reviewers as a "modern deconstruction of Chinese tradition."

The presentation of the Celestial Heaven in the film is also eye-catching. The overall layout, architectural design and the attention to detail reveals the dedication of the production team. 

"We hope that in this way, the audience can see the beauty and richness of our ancient architecture in China that we inherited from our ancestors. We hope to inherit this tradition in this film," director Zhao Ji said during the film's premiere on August 18. 

"The core concept of our creation is based on cultural inheritance and classical innovation," said producer Lu Xi. 

"In the film, be it architecture, clothing or art, we do our best to draw inspiration from traditional culture as much as possible."

Global Times