I have finally watched Big fish begonia, an indie animation movie shown in China this year. Well those reviewers were right, the story WAS lack of depth. Although I still like the art style and the atmosphere, and was thrilled by the beauty of Fujian Tulou, the story was meant for 12 years old.
I have noticed as China got richer in recent years, some producers start to pay attention to Chinese market and some Chinese elements were introduced to their movies. Well, they just did do it right and the result was awkward at best. And no matter how well made Hollywood movies and Disney animations are, I still miss our legends, our architecture, our clothes, our history, and our ideology. We need to make good movies and animations by ourself.
Why don’t we have good movies and animations then? It just can’t be that we can’t make good art, since a lot of animation production has been out sourced to China. I read some blog posts written by Chinese animators and it seems the problem is deep and complicated. Lack of encouragement of creativity, rigid standard of exams, outdated standard of government censorship, insufficient respect of knowledge and IP protection, huge generation and region gap, high stress of living, deformed market, all drag us behind. Many young animators work extremely hard with passion for a couple of years before they get completely disappointed and switch to other fields. Where is the future of Chinese animation? Or maybe I shouldn’t be so pessimistic since culture booming always lag after economical development. Will the situation improve with people’s wallet getting fatter? I shall wait and see.