Recently, the animation short film collection “China’s Strange Story” jointly produced by Shanghai Animation Film Studio and others was officially launched, which has aroused rave reviews. Eight independent stories rooted in traditional Chinese culture, with majestic imagination to create the impression of “I am in a dream in a wonderland”. Netizens lamented: “The familiar Chinese animation feels like it’s back.”
Animated films such as “Havoc in the Sky”, “Strange Talks from the Book of Heaven” and “Where the Zha is in the Sea” have created countless classic images, accompanied the growth of generations, and are engraved in the audience’s memory. In recent years, although animated films such as “The Return of the Great Sage” and “Nezha: The Devil Boy Comes into the World” have made progress in terms of profitability, audience appeal, and production sophistication, the rise of Chinese animation still has a long way to go. The stunning appearance of “China’s Wonderful Lake” shows the creator’s self-awakening, innovation and exploration process, and brings the national style aesthetics back to the public’s vision. It proves that there is a huge space for the development of Chinese animation, and to a certain extent, it enhances national self-confidence and cultural identity. .
It’s animation, not just animation. Following the trend of contemporary aesthetics, retaining a distinctive artistic character, and always highlighting the Chinese paradigm, Chinese aesthetics, and Chinese expression, this is the most eye-catching core of “Chinese Tales”. First, most of the plots are adapted from classic stories in traditional culture. The first two episodes “Little Monster’s Summer” and “Goose Goose Goose” are respectively based on two stories of “Journey to the West” and “The Scholar in the Goose Cage” of “Continued Qi Harmony”. Second, although the animation styles are different, they all pursue the timeless oriental aesthetic style and the unique Chinese classical charm, which meets the diverse aesthetic needs of the audience. The pictures of “Little Monster’s Summer” are cute and fresh, while “Goose, Goose, Goose” is mainly black and white, and they all use a lot of ancient Chinese art techniques such as ink calligraphy and fine brushwork. The environment design of “Lin Lin” refers to the Daxing’an Mountains, and the costumes of the characters refer to the characteristics of the Oroqen people. Third, tell Chinese stories in a national way and build a deeper emotional resonance. The kindness and sincerity of the little monsters, who sacrifice their lives for righteousness, embodies the traditional Chinese virtues. At the end of “Lin Lin”, the wolf and the man look at each other and act as mirrors for each other, which contains the ancient and simple theory of the unity of opposites. The strong flavor of Chinese philosophy and the distinctive national characteristics in the story make people have endless aftertaste.
The charm of “Chinese soul” comes from the perfect blend of traditional core and modern expression. In reality, there are many animation works with “Chinese style” that have encountered word-of-mouth and market failures. Such works often only pursue gorgeous special effects, exquisite production and grand world view, but they have obvious shortcomings and lack of characteristics in narrative and style, and the plot is empty and thin, giving people a strong sense of separation and distance. The innovative adaptation of fairy tales has become the basic idea of many domestic animation productions, but it also means that the audience is more familiar with the characters and plots. If there are too few changes, there is nothing new, and if there are too many changes, they will subvert cognition. It is easy to become self-impressed by pretending to be mysterious and profound. “Chinese Strange Story” integrates urban fables into traditional mythology, and handed over a new story that belongs to this era. “The Summer of Little Monsters” focuses on the living conditions of little people and expresses the operating rules of the contemporary workplace. This is a new value expression of the story of “Journey to the West”. The ever-changing human affairs in “Goose Goose Goose”, the “goose cage scholar” is lost by the soul dominated by desire, why is it not vigilant and reflective for modern people? See the big from the small, and know the work from the small. In the core of the work, traditional culture and contemporary value blend and collide, which not only produces profound meaning and infinite charm, but also gets more diverse and rich interpretations in the context of the Internet. This is China with the “Chinese soul” animation.
This year is a new starting point after the birth of Chinese animation for a hundred years. While “Chinese Strange Story” has excited the animation market, people should think more about how to stick to the artistic consciousness of the national style, create excellent works with ingenuity, and form a unique style system of domestic animation. Start with short films, weed out the old and bring forth the new, keep pace with the times, step by step, tell Chinese stories based on the times, let Chinese animation flourish, and Chinese culture rush forward.Han Xiaoqiao