2023-03-17 17:39:00

Overview of Entries for Magnolia Awards丨To Create the New Vision of Animation with Chinese Aesthetics


From the groundbreaking innovation of content and themes, to overseas marketing and communication, Chinese animation is rising noticeably and making its way towards the global arena. Among the entries for the animation unit of Magnolia Awards at this year’s Shanghai TV Festival, a plethora of new sophisticate works with Chinese style and Chinese vibe have emerged to lead the rise of Chinese Animation today: YAO-CHINESE FOLKTALES reshapes the aesthetic language of the traditional Chinese genre about weird, uncanny or supernatural things; WHITE CAT LEGEND 2 depicts the mortal stories behind the history and the souls concerned with the country; THE WESTWARD 4 unveils the new tasks of fighting against evil forces by Tang Monk and his disciples; THE ERA OF WUGENG 4: Part 2 reproduces the legendary gathering of ancient mythological characters; SCISSOR SEVEN: THE CLOAKERS witnesses together with us the heroic chivalry in the turmoil; THE YOUNG, THE WHITE HORSE AND THE SPRING BREEZE is scroll of the passionate young…….These excellent works, with instinct styles and keen thoughts thanks to either unconventional story-telling ways or impressive characters, have explored the new path for the rise of Chinese animation, showcasing the cultural confidence of a new generation of Chinese animators under the global spotlight.




YAO-CHINESE FOLKTALES, drawing inspiration from the traditional Chinese genre about weird, uncanny or supernatural things in creation, is a collection of 8 amazing stories varied in styles and concepts. Be it from ancient stories to sci-fi imagination, from local nostalgia to beautiful love, or from life motifs to human thinking, these stories are the manifestation of the culture and philosophy of the Chinese nation that run for thousands of years, bringing out the unique charm of Chinese culture through fantastic Chinese-style imagination. The success of an animation lies in the creators’ creative concept of "being deep rooted, beautiful, meaningful, and souled". Emphasizing lending ideas and strength from Chinese culture, sticking to the "Chinese Animation School", inheriting traditional culture, and exploring the Chinese style, this work tries to show the essence of Chinese culture with a variety of art styles and production techniques, to interpret Chinese aesthetics from multiple perspectives, and thus becomes another "breakthrough" work of Chinese animation.




After the birthday banquet, Li Bing accepted the secret mission from the Queen and hid in the foreign trade market. Then he and Chen Shi, the master and servant, embarked on the journey to Bozhou to secretly investigate what Qiu Shenji had done there. Li Bing had always wondered why his former best friend had changed, and he would try to uncover the truth. Li Bing reported the tragic situation in Bozhou to the Queen. He thought the truth would finally come to light, but unexpectedly the situation turned around. How would Li Bing choose? This series is one of the few works based on historical stories in Chinese animation. The meticulous investigation and respect for historical facts, and the delicate and realistic portrayal of people's lives reveal for us the strong love for the country everywhere.




This work tells the story of the Great Master Tang Monk and his disciples about going to the other side of the world to return the fire of creation and protect the world. In this season, Ao Xue returns to the team, the westbound team encounters new obstacles, and the master and his disciples work together to fight against the ancient dragon and the abyss monster. At the same time, Tathagata and Wukong gain together the sword that Di Shitian had left behind in the abandoned capital, thus uncovering Di Shitian's conspiracy. Joined by the power of justice, Light Soul, they knocked out the evil forces. As an animation series that focuses on subversion and reshaping, this season, the work still brings new breakthroughs and surprises to the audience in terms of world view construction and role shaping.




THE ERA OF WUGENG 4: Part 2 is a 3A-level fantasy animation masterpiece. The content continues the passionate style of the first part of the fourth season, and at the same time incorporates elements of ancient Chinese myths and legends, presenting vivid characters and plots with high visual impacts to the audience through brand-new artistic processing and creation. The ancient and remote gods appear one after another, Xingtian, Nvba, Dayi...each with a bewitching story; the crisis of nihilism sweeps the three realms, and the fierce dogs of the mortal world make a strong debut; new forces on the fantasy island appear, and the battle escalates. In the work, there are like-minded young people who strive tirelessly, and also magnificent and stunning mythological scenes, to convey the correct social values of freedom, equality and trust, showing the spirit of the Chinese people who are indomitable and brave.




Scissor Seven, returning to Xuanwu Kingdom to find his origin, was dogged seven cloaked assassins. However, each of them had a different purpose and past, and Qingfeng's conspiracy also surfaced. At this moment, another crisis was awaiting the people on Xiaoji Island. How would Scissor Seven make his choice? The Scissor Seven series of animations premiered in April 2018. In 2020, the series reached a global distribution cooperation with Netflix, the world's top streaming media platform, and became China's first original animation series distributed in more than 190 countries and regions around the world by Netflix. With the development of the plot, the style of the series has also gradually changed from light-hearted and funny to passionate and adventurous, but the portrayal of the characters remains as three-dimensional and full as ever, winning countless fans at home and abroad.




The story happened twenty years before the story of YOUTHS AND GOLDEN COFFIN. From the time when the young Baili Dongjun, who was obsessed with brewing wine, got involved in the dispute between the two major families in Chaisang City. The eight famous men entered the game one after another, aside from the famous families of the country, opening the prelude to the young people traveling together in the world to sharpen themselves. The play highly restores the spirit of traditional Chinese martial arts. It is informed by not only the unstoppable youthful spirit and the wrestles between shrewd and deep powers, but also the plot of daggers drawn for beauties and also for the weak, rolling out before us a panorama of the young in the world of martial arts.



Among these "breakthrough" works, they either pick up inspiration from the classic cultural and artistic treasure to reflect on reality, or explore the immortal light of human nature in the traditional philosophical and spiritual world. The distinctive Chinese disposition and aesthetic temperament constitute together the common imprint of these works. Looking at the Chinese animations that have signed up for the Magnolia Awards in recent years, this common imprint has also become the "passport" for them to successfully go overseas. Portraying the common feelings of mankind, and telling stories about the world today with Chinese aesthetics, these fine Chinese animations are making themselves the wind vane for Chinese culture to go global.


Which works will stand out for the Magnolia Awards this year? Please stay tuned to witness the glory of both the winners and the magnolia!


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