"The Dreams Of Jinsha" - Save Your Money
After five years and $11 million, the movie is China’s most expensive animation to date.
Each frame was hand drawn and the one truly breathtaking aspect of the movie was its backgrounds, which were taken from China’s natural landscapes.
“We want the audience to see the film and know immediately it is a Chinese cartoon, not American, not Japanese, therefore we used beautiful Chinese landscapes which are very unique trademarks, for instance, Jiuzhaigou Valley is included in the film," said director Chen Deming.
It’s funny that Chen wanted a distinctly Chinese cartoon; although the scenery was nicely drawn, the animation was flat and the themes of the movie seemed like substandard copies of Hayao Miyazaki films.
The main theme is about a boy who starts off selfish and grows into a caring and mature person based on the circumstances thrown at him.
The cartoon is about a spoiled middle school boy, Xiao Long, who follows his dog into a time warp 3,000 years into the past and happens on a magical kingdom intertwined with nature.
When watching “The Dreams of Jinsha,” one can’t help but be reminded of Miyazaki’s “Spirited Away,” which does an outstanding job at showing the evolution of a child’s emotional growth while facing mythical but significant situations.
Xiao Long misses home, cries, talks to an ancient and prophetic elephant, meets the princess of the kingdom (who also cries), skips through two montages where he becomes one with the land and eventually does the required battle against evil.
The two montages were cringe-inducing. It felt like an excuse to put nicely drawn images into the cartoon without context while also making a commentary on the importance of nature.
This, too, felt like a Miyazaki rip-off of “Princess Mononoke’s” story of a forest’s preservation and its beings within.
The problem with the cartoon was that there was no attention to detail, plot, story, character development or anything else that makes a movie good, or at least coherent.
In addition to just trying to make a good movie, excellent animation has levels of infinitesimal details that make you feel animators poured their blood and guts into each frame- this cartoon didn’t have any of that.
It’s really a shame because after watching “The Dreams of Jinsha,” all you’ll think is that it was an incredible waste of time and money.
Reach Roselle here.
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