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White Snake Film Review

4 min read

A patient tale of love and perseverance.

What They Say:
From Light Chaser Animation, one of China’s premiere animation studios, comes a visually stunning new take on a classic legend. One day a young woman named Blanca is saved by Xuan, a snake catcher from a nearby village. She has lost her memory, and together they go on a journey to discover her real identity, developing deeper feelings for one another along the way. But as they learn more about her past, they uncover a darker plot of supernatural forces vying for power, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. Conceived as a prequel to one of the most ancient and enduring stories in Chinese history, White Snake presents a sumptuous tale of trickster demons, deadly mythical beasts, assassins, wuxia action, and the promise of eternal love

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Blanca, a snake demon, is given the mission to destroy the evil general who is using snakes to fuel his power. Blanca, using her magical weapon, a jade hairpin, fails and wakes up later without her memories in the snakecatcher village. The people of the village are forced to pay their taxes to the general by catching snakes for him, though they don’t know the reason why. Xuan, a young villager, isn’t good or fond of catching of snakes and though well-liked by the villagers, he’s a bit of an oddball. He’s well learned with a bit of knowledge in many different areas.

Xuan is the person that found Blanca, and they start a journey to recover her memories. As her memories slowly return, optimistic Xuan wins Blanca over with his belief that not all demons are bad because he stated there are many “bad people that don’t have tails.”. When Blanca’s true form is revealed, he vows to stay by herself and protect her. They mutually fall in love, and Xuan becomes a demon to prove his love and dedication to her. As he’s gone, Blanca and her sister fight the general’s subordinate, and by using her jade hairpin to extract all his power. The power makes her become an enormous python.

Xuan never gives up on Blanca even as she is chasing the general, who is now going after the snakecatcher village. Xuan does what he can in his dog demon form to help the villagers and to try to stop Blanca from hurting anyone else. The battle is twofold with first a confrontation of the general and then the head of the snake demons. In the process, Blanca loses all her power, and Xuan ends up dying as he protects her. She uses her jade hairpin, but this time to save his soul.

Blanca then waits for Xuan to be reincarnated, because this time she is the one that has the memories.

In Summary:
Light Chaser Animation has stepped up its game to unveil a spin on a Chinese classic. While there have been numerous versions of this tale in many forms of media, but this latest edition is something that appeals to an international audience, while still holding true to iconic Chinese cinematographic styles. There are several epic and mesmerizing scenes and shots that give this tale depth and immense beauty. The fluidity of the scenes and storytelling immerse the viewer into a world that is to forget is animated.

Beyond the actual gorgeous animation is a love story. It is a bittersweet one on the surface, but not so in the bigger pictures. In addition to the legend and the love story, it is the wonderful theme of creating your own destiny. The two characters do just that and battle many foes to find the world that is accepting of both of them.

As someone who has been watching more and more Chinese animation, I’ve come to have a deep appreciation for it. Japan has long cornered the Asian animation market, but China is making its stamp on the genre. I appreciate that GKIDS has brought this film to a western market so that more people here can appreciate that great work that is being done in Chinese animation. For anyone that has ever watched and loved a Pixar or DreamWorks film, don’t miss this one. This definitely worth your time and your money.

Opens in select theaters November 29, 2019 in both subtitled and English dubbed. Check the official site here.

Grade: A

Presented By: GKIDS

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