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Nezha Conquers the Dragon King

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Nezha Conquers the Dragon King (1979)

Animation, Fantasy - 19 May 1979
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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. The main part of the story revolves around Nezha's feud with Ao Guang, the Dragon King of the Eastern Sea, whom he angers through the killing of Ao Bing, Ao Guang's third son. Through bravery and wit, Nezha finally breaks into the Dragon King's underwater palace and successfully defeats him.

Director:  Wang Shuchen, Yan Ding Xian, Jingda Xu
Stars: 

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Storyline

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. The main part of the story revolves around Nezha's feud with Ao Guang, the Dragon King of the Eastern Sea, whom he angers through the killing of Ao Bing, Ao Guang's third son. Through bravery and wit, Nezha finally breaks into the Dragon King's underwater palace and successfully defeats him.


Collections: Wang Shuchen, Yan Ding Xian

Genres: Animation, Fantasy

Details

Official Website: 
Country:   China
Language:  普通话普通话
Release Date:  19 May 1979

Box Office

Company Credits

Technical Specs

Runtime:  Duration unknown

Prince Nezha’s Triumph Against Dragon King (哪吒闹海;Nézhà Nào Hǎi, and also known as Nezha Conquers the Dragon King) is a 1979 Chinese animated film. It was screened out of competition at the 1980 Cannes Film Festival.

Plot

he film is an adaptation of a story in Chinese mythology (in particular, the epic fantasy novel Fengshen Bang) about the warrior deity Nezha. After a gestation period of 3.5 years, Lady Yin, the wife of General Li Jing, gives birth to a flesh ball, which becomes a lotus flower, from which Nezha is born. Nezha is born able to walk and talk, and is taken on as a student of the immortal Taiyi Zhenren.

The Dragon Kings of the Four Seas, tired of being peaceful, have become cruel and destructive, plaguing China with destructive storms and a drought. The people beg for rain, but the East Sea Dragon King Ao Guang ignores them, telling the yaksha Ye Sha to go and find children for him to eat. Ye Sha captures one of Nezha’s friends as he is bathing by the ocean, and Nezha confronts him, injuring him badly. Ao Guang sends his third son, Ao Bing, next. Ao Bing is killed by Nezha, infuriating Ao Guang.

A variety of confrontations ensue between Nezha and Ao Guang. Ao Guang and the other Dragon Kings wreak havoc on the people, causing storms, floods and all manners of natural disasters. Seeing this, Nezha takes his father’s sword, tells his parents that he is returning their flesh and bones to them, and calls out for his master before committing suicide by slitting his throat.

He is reborn with the help of his master, again from a lotus blossom, and is given new weapons and abilities. After breaking into Ao Guang’s underwater palace, he confronts Ao Guang and the other Dragon Kings again, and is finally triumphant. [wikipedia]

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“After a three-and-a-half-years gestation period, General Lijing’s wife finally gives birth. But instead of a child, it is a strange fleshy ball like the closed petals of a plant.

Slicing it open with his sword, Lijing finds a tiny finger-sized boy inside. The immortal Taiyi arrives on a crane, bestowing Nezha (for so he is named) with the Cloth of Celestial Confusion and the Cosmic Ring. The boy soon grows up, but the land of his birth is constantly troubled by the predations of four dragon kings who bring storms, floods, fire and ice to the humans. The first wide-screen feature animation made in China, NEZHA CONQUERS THE DRAGON KING combines several elements from The Creation of the Gods (Feng shen yanyi), a Ming Dynasty chronicle of ancient myths. As with many other Shanghai Animation Studio productions, there is an inevitable connection to the Monkey King, though this one is distant: Nezha also appears as one of Monkey’s foes in UPROAR IN HEAVEN. This might make him seem like a strange choice for a feature, but the movie’s subtextual appeal takes on new meaning in the light of the earlier fall of a very different Gang of Four in 1976: the real-world enemies were not Dragon Kings, but the instigators of the Cultural Revolution. The folktale is well-known in the rest of Asia, and is the remote inspiration for the Japanese anime LEGEND OF THE FOUR KINGS.”

Jonathan Clements

Thanks to Far East Film Festival