Nezha Return To Chinese Animation After 40 Years

In 1979, the animated film nezha in the sea, shot and produced by the Shanghai art film studio, became the childhood memory of many Chinese people with its unique national style and made a peak in the history of Chinese animation film.



Forty years later, in the summer, an animated film named “nezha: the legend of nezha” took in more than 100 million yuan in one hour after its release, and 300 million yuan in 30 hours after its release.

What is the reason for it to set off the climax of Chinese comic film again?

From a rebellious boy singing doggerel to a hero yearning for truth, goodness and beauty and controlling his own destiny, nezha’s unyielding and unyielding spirit touched the hearts of the audience. The fight scene with intensive special effects and the 30-second special effects shot of “one shot to the end” bring fresh and shocking audio-visual experience to the audience.


“Nezha’s image design alone has more than 100 versions and more than 1,000 facial detail control points.” According to “jiaozi”, director of “nezha’s magic child”, the script took two years to polish and 66 revisions, and more than 1,600 production personnel completed the production in three years. The original design of the film has 5,000 lenses, carefully screened after less than 2,000, of which special effects account for 80%. Animation executives say many big special-effects shots are forced down, and some even “give up until they run out of money.” The most time-consuming scene was when nezha and his team grabbed a paintbrush: it took two months to make a draft and four months to make a finished product.

Though nezha’s story and legend is continued, nezha’s relationship with li jing and his wife and ao bing is remade, making li jing, shen gongbao and ao bing look three-dimensional, plump and touching. Although ao third and shen gongbao are set to be the opposite of nezha, it is not the relation that binary opposite is not good namely evil however. Some young viewers said it was a “high-lit nezha” close to the personalities of contemporary youth and captured the hearts of young viewers with its spirit of rewriting their destiny through struggle.


In addition, “nezha is a figure in traditional Chinese mythology, but he should have different spiritual cores in different ages.” According to director jiaozi, the most prominent features of the adaptation are nezha’s belief in “breaking stereotypes and rejecting fate” and his spirit of “letting go” and “fighting hard”. The animation practitioners interviewed said that the core value was “very Chinese” and attracted many young audiences.

Looking inside, in the adaptation, the understanding and tolerance of li jing and his wife to “magic child” nezha changed nezha’s biased attitude towards the world, which was the main reason for nezha’s firm belief that “my life is up to me but not heaven”. The film incorporates a meditation on modern parent-child relations, as well as the director’s own experience, and thus there are rich men who, despite their busy work, do their best to keep their children company, and li jing, a soft-spoken man who is willing to sacrifice his life for his children — the epitome of modern Chinese parents.


As some film critics said, “domestic animation” should not stop at the flamboyant and aesthetic style of painting, more should not be decorative patterns, scene design and other superficial “Chinese style”, but have a unique style and spiritual core.