Nezha Defeats the Dragon Kings (slightly retitled by BBC World Enterprises)
Posted: February 28, 2009
This crypto-spiritual Chinese cartoon was hugely successful in China as a comic in many languages and then as a wide screen animation from the Shanghai Animation Studio. It was produced and released in the People's Republic of China "for the education of children, and others", i.e., spiritually more sensitive/perceptive people. The studio director, on the way to the Cannes Film Festival, explained this to us in response to a question from the audience at the Athens [Ohio!] International FIlm Festival in April 1980.
This was during a time in China which was ideologically still militantly nonspiritual, coming from an animation studio which like print authors published a number of what I recognised as Buddhist-flavoured stories. To find them, the key word and key colour of symbolic images is "golden".
Nezha is a lot of fun. It has surprisingly realistic special effects imagery early on, and sustains a well-paced a dramatically gripping action story line enlivened meaningfully with humour and warmth. Astonishingly overlooked, at the turning point in the story Nezha is presented deftly yet quite clearly as a Christ-like figure.
BBC World Enterprises bought the rights at Cannes 1980. Perhaps because it was inconveniently 63 minutes long, instead of repackaging and releasing it in theatres and on television, they effectively buried it into the video recordings market of the day.
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Nezha Nao Hai
Posted: October 13, 2004
Nezha Nao Hai
A great film I must say. I came across it in my childhood and I just watched it recently (I am 20 years old now) and I think it is suitable for any kind of viewer. Maybe a bit hard for a child to understand but its something parents and children can relate to. It’s funny, sad, spiritual, and adventurous. It is more ideal for a family. I would like to see Disney or some other big studio do a motion picture for it. I reckon that would be a great idea. I’d say the animation was quite good considering the time it was done in. it has a good suspension of disbelief and the dragons were scary, but funny at the same time and Nezha likes to wind them up, so its got a bit of comedy in it. I would like to get a copy on DVD
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