Chinese Animated Romance Film ‘White Snake’ Coming to Select U.S. Theaters

Chinese animated film White Snake will be screened this Friday (September 20) in New York City at the Brooklyn Academy of Music as the opening film of the 16th Open Animation Block Festival.

Chinese animated film ‘White Snake.’ Courtesy of GKIDS

This animated feature film from China’s Light Chaser Animation and Warner Brothers will also be released theatrically in select U.S. theaters this November. GKIDS, a distributor known for releasing Studio Ghibli pictures in North America, is distributing it.

Similar to China’s recent box office hit Ne Zha, White Snake is also a well known character from a famous Chinese folk tale. However, instead of retelling the tale, the film offers a fresh new take on the classic legend. In the film, “white snake” Blanca has lost her memory due to a bungled mission and is saved by Xu Xian, a human snake catcher, to find her identity. While embarking on an adventure to retrieve her memories, they gradually fall in love with each other.

White Snake was first released in China this January and has since grossed RMB451.4 million (US$63.76 M), according to Chinese online ticketing platform Maoyan. Compared to Ne Zha’s RMB4.89 billion (US$690 M) box office earnings, White Snake‘s box office seems less impressive, but it is still one of the best performing domestic animated films.

Recommended Reading‘Ne Zha’ and the History of a Good StoryBy Haiyun Wu

In addition to its box office success, White Snake was also well received critically. The film was selected into the competition section of the 2019 Annecy International Animation Film Festival and had its North American premiere at the New York Asian Film Festival. It was also screened at this year’s Fantasia Film Festival recently and will soon be screened in Vienna at the /slash Film Festival and then in London at the BFI London Film Festival.