THE Chinese animation industry generally lags behind foreign producers in presenting memorable characters, images and telling good stories.
Domestic filmmakers are trying to catch up and "Jungle Master" from Hippo Animation is expected to boost confidence in China's animation industry.
Released nationally tomorrow, the film in 2D and 3D is the latest offering from the company that released the 3D superhero animation feature "Animen" in 2010 and the second 3D installment of "Animen" last year.
"Jungle Master" revolves around the fantasy adventure of a girl Xiao Yu on a beautiful planet, where she is enchanted by mysterious creatures such as glittering bugs, wisdom trees and sprites. However, a wicked biopharmaceutical company wants to occupy the planet and reap big profits from its biodiversity. The girl and her mother try to stop them.
In their joint efforts to protect the planet, the two begin to understand each other. The girl finally knows how much her workaholic mother loves her and understands the importance of family.
According to Kerr Xu, CEO of Hippo Animation and the film's director, the movie is more touching and thought-provoking than the heroic picture "Animen." Xu says it caters to the whole family and speaks to both adults and children with its message of love and understanding.
"The film also pays tribute to my 14-year-old lovely daughter," Xu adds. "Just like the workaholic mother depicted in the film, I am so busy working all the time over these years that I can't spend a lot of time with her. But I still feel so loved by my daughter. I hope this film can arouse parents' awareness of the emotional demands of caring for their children."
The film features advanced motion-capture technology to present extravagant scenes and dreamlike sequences in the green jungle as well as its remarkable inhabitants.
Xu Haixing, a finalist in the singing contest "The Voice of China," sings the movie's theme song, "Boys Don't Cry."
By the end of this year, Hippo Animation will release several more original animated films, including the comical story of a rabbit who dreams of becoming a star and a new version of the classic 1965 Chinese film "Tunnel Warfare."
During winter vacation, a number of animated children's films will be released and competition for viewers is expected to be fierce.
The latest installment of the "Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf" series (January 24) continues to depict the battles between the wolves and the goats, but this time the combat is more intense and fighters use advanced weapons in the digital era.
The South Korean and Chinese coproduction "Pororo's Racing Adventure" (January 25) is about a little penguin winning a race while "Roco Kingdom 2" (January 31) is adapted from a popular video game about a child's journey to the Roco Kingdom to find a way to keep his pet dragon.