White Snake (Báishé: Yuánqǐ)

White Snake (Báishé: Yuánqǐ) 2019

As I’ve said before, my knowledge of animation from China is pretty limited but that didn’t stop me enjoying White Snake.

I do imagine that if I was familiar with the folktale the film draws from (Legend of the White Snake) I’d pick up a lot more subtext but I was never lost or confused because characters and motivations were clear and the same goes for the story.

Visually it’s beautiful I reckon; plenty of detail and space – and the vibrant colours that modern CGI is known for. I probably liked the settings and costuming as much as anything else, but there’s action and romance with a few surprises and some good villains too, and so White Snake is not just wonderful imagery.

Maybe for some folks the story might not be as complex as the animation with its ace action-sequences, some that are almost dizzying, but the romantic plot seemed to work really hard for the screentime.

Actually, let me phrase that better – I thought I’d finish the film thinking our two leads didn’t share enough scenes together but a feature film only has so much time to show us what’s important. And for me Blanca and Xuan probably did get enough time for the ending to work, if I think back.

So, maybe if you like costume dramas – but ones with perhaps more action than romance, and ones built around the mythical and supernatural – then White Snake should definitely satisfy.

4 Stars

11 thoughts on “White Snake (Báishé: Yuánqǐ)

  1. Chinese animation isn’t something I’m too familiar with either, but this looks quite intriguing. Great work on the review, Ashley! I know it’s based on a Chinese story, but I also had some music from a certain hair metal band pop in my head when I saw the title. Haha!

    Liked by 1 person

      • Hahaha! Nice! I would’ve never guessed that song was originally for Tina Turner. Just listened to this song while typing this to refresh my memory. Come to think of it, there’s a bit of an R&B vibe with the production, so I could weirdly see this working for Tina Turner. Also, am I the only person who thinks there are some musical similarities with “Piano in the Dark” despite the different genres and instrumentation?

        I wasn’t aware it was their 2nd biggest hit after “Here I Go Again” (I know a lot of people know that song whether they know the band or not), but I do remember hearing this song when I was a child on some random radio station years after this was a hit.

        Same here and I’ve been trying to seek other other animated works. Besides America and Japan, I’ve seen animated projects from Brazil, Cuba, Ireland, Canada, Argentina, France, Belgium, the UK, and Nigeria.

        Liked by 1 person

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