Animated movie based on web series to open soon
“The Legend of Hei,” a heartwarming homegrown animated film based on an acclaimed web series, will debut in cinemas across China on September 12.
The feature adaptation is prequel to the action-comedy animated series.
Set in a world where people, goblins, and gods coexist, the film is the story of Xiao Hei, a cat demon who can transform into a human.
As a result of deforestation, Xiao Hei has to find a new home in the city.
The original web series scored 9.6 out of 10 on China’s film and TV review website Douban and 9.8 on video-sharing website Bilibili.
Since its debut in 2011, the series has gained a large base of fans for its hilarious, fantastic and touching scenes. So far 30 episodes of the series have been released.
Animator Zhang Ping, known as MTJJ, set up a production team for the series’ first feature film production. It took them around four years to make the movie.
Movies buffs are also enthusiastic. Netizen “So Cold” said on Douban that he considers the original series one of the best domestic animated series.
“MTJJ used simple and creative drawing lines to depict the cute characters and their rich emotions,” he said. “The storyline is also amusing and appealing to audience.”
China’s animation film industry is flourishing with an array of high-quality productions including “Big Fish and Begonia,” “White Snake” and the most recent “Ne Zha.”
“Ne Zha” has grossed more than 4.6 billion yuan on the Chinese mainland, making it one of the top-three highest-grossing films of all time in the Chinese market.
The Chinese animated film has been released in Australia and it will be distributed to more countries and regions later this year.
Film insiders are also optimistic about the box office performance of “The Legend of Hei,” as the series has nurtured a large fan base over the last eight years.
The boom in the Chinese animation market is expected to foster a new wave of productions with diverse styles and aesthetic visuals.