A list of Chinese animated films of all time, including adaptations of the Chinese folklore, fantasy & sci-fi movies, and a few surprises.

From family-friendly movies to drama, to classics.

Classics

Princess Iron Fan by Wan Laiming, Wan Guchan (1941)

Princess-Iron-Fan

The story was liberally adapted from a short sequence in the popular Chinese folk tale Journey to the West. Wan Laiming pioneered the Chinese animation industry, and became China’s first animator. As the director of the Shanghai Animation Film Studio, he would raise the standard to International level before other historical events affected the industry.

The Monkey King: Uproar in Heaven by Wan Laiming (1964)

monkey-king-uproar-in-heaven

Originally released in two parts (1961 and 1964) Wan Laiming’s animation is an adaptation of three early chapters of Journey to the West. It became the signature cartoon of the Shanghai Animation Film Studio.

Nezha Conquers the Dragon King by Wang Shuchen, Yan Ding Xian, Jingda Xu (1979)

Nezha Conquers the Dragon King

The film is an adaptation of a story in Chinese mythology (in particular, the epic fantasy novel Fengshen Bang) about the warrior deity Nezha, who became a student of the immortal Taiyi Zhenren.

Drama

Tibetan Dog by Masayuki Kojima (2011)

Tibetan-Dog

The Tibetan Dog is a 2011 Chinese/Japanese animated film directed by Masayuki Kojima. Jiantan is a young boy who has to leave Xi’an after the death of his mother to go deep into the Tibetan prairies to start living with the father he barely remembers.

On Happiness Road by Sung Hsin-Yin (2018)

on-happiness-road

Chi earned her American dream after persevering with her studies in Taiwan. Following her grandmothers’ death, Chi returns to her family on Happiness Road, where she begins to feel nostalgic about her childhood and starts to contemplate the meaning of “life” and “home”. What is happiness? Will Chi find her own happiness?

Crime

Piercing I by Liu Jian (2010)

piercing-I

Piercing I is a controversial 2010 Chinese animated film directed by Liu Jian. Due to the financial crisis, many factories in China are forced to close their doors in late 2008. “The film looks into the struggle of the rural migrants’ city lives, and touches upon such notions as mobility, corruption, and social inequalities.”

Have a Nice Day by Liu Jian (2017)

have-a-nice-day

Second controversial animation movie by Liu Jian. In a desperate attempt to find money to repair his fiancée’s failed plastic surgery, Xiao Zhang, a driver, steals a bag containing one million yuan from his boss. Nothing good can come of it.

 

Fantasy/Mythology/Scifi

The Black Peanut – Dahufa

the-black-peanut

Dahufa tells the story of a warrior on a mission to find and rescue his nation’s lost prince. His quest takes him to Peanut Village, which is inhabited by closed-minded peanut people living under the constant threat of execution by ominous guards.

Big Fish & Begonia by Liang Xuan, Zhang Chun (2016)

Big Fish & Begonia

Beyond the human realm, there is a magical race of beings who control the tides and the changing of the seasons. One of these beings, a young girl named Chun, seeks something more—she wants to experience the human world!

Storm Rider: Clash of the Evils by Dante Lam (2009)

storm-rider

The film is a spinoff of the original story and the two protagonists Wind and Cloud. The residents of Sword-Worshipping Manor, which houses the best sword-smiths in the world, are brutally massacred after they are alleged to be plotting a rebellion against the government.

The Guardian Brothers aka Little Door Gods by Gary Wang (2016)

the-guardian-brothers

A Door God, facing unemployment, ventures into the human world to prove his worth, leading to unexpected encounters and transformations for humans and spirits alike. You can watch the movie also on Netflix.

Thru the Moebius Strip by Glenn Chaika (2005)

Thru-the-Moebius-Strip

In the not-too-distant future, a young boy travels to an alien world to find his father and learn of his destiny. The film was based on an original story and designs by Jean “Moebius” Giraud.

 

Dragon Nest: Warriors’ Dawn by Yuefeng Song (2014)

Dragon-Nest-Warriors-Dawn

The land of Altera has observed an uneasy peace for years among Humans, Elves and Evil beasts who are loyal to the legendary Black Dragon. But the Black Dragon begins to stir from its hibernation, sending the Beasts marching across Altera.

A Chinese Ghost Story: The Tsui Hark Animation by Andrew Chan (1997)

a-chinese-ghost-story

A Chinese Ghost Story: The Tsui Hark Animation (小倩) is a 1997 Hong Kong animated film. It was written and produced by Tsui Hark. A young man falls in love with a ghost and must avoid a variety of ghostbusters out to eliminate her and each other.

Grandma and Her Ghosts by Siu-Di Wang (2000)

grandma-and-her-ghost

A 5 year old kid moves to live with his grandma in a small town at Taiwan. Soon after, he discovers that her grandma is not only a vendor, but also she is good at catching spectres.

Lotus Lantern by Guang Xi Chang (1999)

lotus-lantern

The story is based on the traditional Chinese folklore about a boy named Chenxiang. His mother, Sanshengmu, was a goddess and his father, Liu Yanchang, was a mortal. Since their marriage was forbidden, his maternal uncle, Erlang Shen, who was a god, punishes them by killing Liu Yanchang. Sanshengmu escapes and gives birth, but Chenxiang grows up without knowledge of his ancestry.

Monkey King: Hero Is Back by Tian Xiao Peng (2015)

Monkey-King-Hero-Is-Back

The all-powerful Monkey King once roamed freely between Heaven and Earth, but after angering the Gods, he was imprisoned within an ice cage deep within the mountains.

10000 Years Later by Yi Li (2015)

10000-years-later

This story takes place in the far future after a cataclysmic event that forces a majority of humanity to revert to medieval-style civilization and living. A man named Wugreb, leader of a Tibetan tribe called the Wu Tribe, led an expedition to the Western Regions of China to rediscover an ancient city called Tech City, which their ancestors created at the acme of their civilization.

Legend of Kung Fu Rabbit: from zero to hero by Lijun Sun (2011)

legend-of-kungfu-rabbit

In order to keep his promise to an aging kung fu master, Fu the Rabbit must venture out of the comfort of his kitchen and team up with Penny, a kung fu prodigy, on a heroic quest to save their kung fu academy. This film is heavily influenced by Kung Fu Panda.

Family&Kids

McDull, Prince de la Bun by Toe Yuen (2003)

McDull, Prince de la Bun

To secure a better future, Mrs Mc sends her son McDull to many different classes and she has also bought her grave on mortgage. Inspired by J K Rowling, Mrs Mc tries her hand at writing. At bedtime, she tells McDull the story she wrote, the story of McDull’s father, McBing, Prince de la Bun.

My Life as McDull by Toe Yuen (2001)

My-Life-as-McDull

McDull, who is a piglet attending kindergarten, is not the brightest kid on the block, but he continuously tries to do his best to please his mother. Still it seems he may not be destined for great things like she wishes, but McDull strives to try anyway.

McDull, Kung Fu Kindergarten by Brian Tse (2013)

McDull, Kung Fu Kindergarten

As the 18th descendant of an extremely insignificant philosopher and inventor from ancient China, McDull is fortunate that he does not have a lot to live up to. However, his mother has higher aspirations for him and decides to send him to a martial arts school in China.

Boonie Bears: Homeward Journey by Liu Fuyuan (2013)

Boonie-Bears-Homeward-Journey

Briar Bear, Bramble Bear & friends enjoy life in the woods when Logger Vick begins chopping down trees to get money to go home for the holidays.

Backkom Bear Agent 008 by Li Qingfang (2017)

backkom

Backkom Bear: Agent 008 is a 2017 Chinese animated adventure comedy family film directed by Li Qingfang, based on the Backkom animated series.

Throne of Elves by Song Yuefeng (2016)

thone-of-elves

Throne of Elves is a 2016 Chinese animated adventure romance film directed by Song Yuefeng. In the mythical Elven world of Altera, an epic battle unfolds between the beautiful Princess Liya and the Dark Elf Elena, who has gained possession of a jewel so powerful it allows its holder complete authority over all Alterans.

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