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On the horse of high expectations

By Xing Yi | China Daily | Updated: 2017-08-12 09:34

On the horse of high expectations

A Fishboy's Story: Tortoise from the Sea by Zhang Liyan. [Photo provided to China Daily]

An industry whose foundations were laid in the shadows of Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs looks for a return of the good old days

Once upon a time, at the end of the best fairy tales, they all lived happily ever after. And then along came the animation film franchise, in which case if you wanted to know what happened in the end you would just have to wait for the sequel.

So will the Chinese animation film industry, like many of the heroes and heroines it has produced over the years, at times standing tall, at times brought low, championing good and enduring the bad, stand tall once again?

The latest warrior riding the horse of high expectations for a return to the halcyon days for the industry is Da Hufa (Grand Sentinel), released in China on July 13.

The film's box office takings have been unimpressive, less than 90 million yuan ($13.5 million) in a month, whereas in the corresponding period last year the Chinese animation Big Fish & Begonia took 560 million yuan, and a year earlier the animation Monkey King: Hero is Back took 950 million yuan.

However, there is a consensus among critics that Da Hufa's plot is stronger and much more reflective than those of the earlier two films. On the Chinese rating and review website Douban, Da Hufa has an overall rating of 8 out of 10, more than 90,000 reviewers rating it above 8. Kungfu Panda 3, which came out last year, has a rating of 7.7.

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