It’s not easy for a mythology-based movie, which has been changed a number of times, to keep wowing viewers.
But the popular summer movie, Ne Zha, which came out in Chinese mainland cinemas on July 26, has done just that. This month has seen it break a box office records to become the biggest ever animated movie in China. Many Chinese internet users have praised the film, calling it “the glorious light of domestic anime”.
The success of the film comes from the clever take on the well-known work of classical Chinese mythology: The Investiture of the Gods. Ne Zha, one of the work’s main figures, has traditionally been seen as a loveable child hero, but this newest retelling has made him into a rebellious underdog who has to overcome hardship and his dark destiny to become a hero.
The new story of Ne Zha, as China Daily put it, has a strong faith in the traditional Chinese culture, giving it a “modern meaning”. The film is the “epitome of the rebellious but righteous youth”, which young Chinese people can relate to, encouraging them to become dream-chasers and fate-changers.
(Translator & Editor: Wang Xingwei AND Luo Sitian)