‘White Snake’ Film Review: Epic Saga Heralds New Wave of Chinese Animation

Computer-generated animation produced outside of high-budgeted U.S. studios has deteriorated into a minefield of technique plagued with soulless, talking-animal cash grabs. Few are the international CG features that boast both technical proficiency and idiosyncratic personality; Light Chaser Animation’s imperfectly phenomenal “White Snake,” from directing duo Amp Wong and Ji Zhao, slithers onto the screen like a welcomed rarity.

Heralded as the origin story of the shape-shifting entities popularized by one of China’s Four Great Folktales, “The Legend of the White Snake,” this quasi-prequel opens with Blanca (voiced by Stephanie Sheh) — a statuesque warrior and part of a race of snake demons who’ve been victimized by mankind for centuries — being tasked with murdering a perverse General in the human world. A hairpin made of precious jade holds her magical powers.

Richly textured backgrounds digitally painted in bold colors — chiefly the autumn trees shedding red leaves throughout the
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