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White Snake 2: Green Snake

Bai She 2: Qing She Jie Qi
2021 / 131m - China
Adventure, Fantasy - Animation
White Snake 2: Green Snake poster

A surprising sequel. The first film served classic Chinese folklore, this sequel mixes in a serious dash of urban fantasy. Visually it's a big step forward, only the character models feel a bit plain compared to the elaborate settings. Ultimately, it's the fast pacing and the creative lore that sets this film apart from the rest. Though the film crosses the two-hour mark, there is no dead weight here, just sprawling action sequences, beautiful fantasy creations and more than enough memorable moments. A landmark for Chinese CG animation.

White Snake

Bai She: Yuan Qi
2019 / 99m - China
Fantasy, Adventure - Animation
White Snake poster

A sprawling Chinese fantasy animation. It's nice to see China isn't just trying to mimic Hollywood success, foregoing the rather childish comedies that dominate the US animation market, instead turning to what they know best. White Snake is lovely fantasy lore handled with proper visual flair.

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The legend of the white snake has been featured many times before, this animated version is just another (loose) retelling. After battling an evil warlord who is using the snake's powers for his personal gain, the white snake demon loses her memory and is found by a young human boy. He is smitten by the girl and vows to join her on her travels, hoping they can find a way to regain her memory.

Apart from the dog (annoying comic relief), this is a pretty straightforward fantasy/adventure with some big action scenes to lighten the mood. The animation is decent, but the film's aesthetic qualities easily make it better than most of its CG peers. The plot and characters are fun enough, the pacing is perfect and the finale on point. A very welcome surprise.