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Animated movie Chang'an is poetry in motion

By Xu Fan | | Updated: 2023-07-06 09:08
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A still features Tang Dynasty poet Li Bai. [Photo provided to China Daily]

As an epic which brings back to life some of the most iconic poets from the Tang Dynasty (618-907), on July 2, the highly anticipated animated movie Chang'an held its premiere in what was once its namesake city, now known as Xi'an, the provincial capital of Shaanxi province.

Produced by Light Chaser Animation, a Beijing-based animated studio known for its focus on tales inspired by traditional culture and mythology, the film is scheduled for a nationwide release on Saturday.

The major creators of Chang'an gathered at the premiere in Xi'an, Shaanxi province on July 2. [Photo provided to China Daily]

With a runtime of 168 minutes — the longest of any Chinese animated movie to date — Chang'an chronicles the decades-long friendship of Li Bai, arguably the country's most beloved poet, and Gao Shi, his close friend and a renowned poet in his own right, amid the dynasty's transition from peak prosperity to the turmoil caused by the rebellion led by An Lushan, once one of Emperor Xuanzong's most favored generals.

Xie Junwei, who co-directs the movie with Zou Jing, says that he made multiple trips to Xi'an in search of inspiration during the creative process, revealing that the figurines and ancient paintings exhibited at the Shaanxi History Museum provided them with invaluable ideas for the film.

As of Saturday, the movie had grossed over 27 million yuan ($3.7 million), topping the country's presale box office.

The movie invited a group of children to perform Li Bai's masterpiece, Qiang Jin Jiu, during the premiere. [Photo provided to China Daily]
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