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White Snake Blu-ray Review

Snake

“White Snake” is an empty spectacle.

No, this is not about the hair band. Instead, it’s a Chinese CGI animated film distributed by GKids that is designed as a prequel to the famous Legend of the White Snake tale. The story concerns a human snake catcher (Xuan) who saves a mysterious snake-demon woman (Blanca) that loses her memory and forgets who she is. Together, the two embark on a journey to discover who Blanca really is, but, of course, they begin to fall for one another along the way. There’s also key storylines involving a power hungry General and tension between humans and demons. 

Magic, powers, demons, humans, family,  a complicated romance, two different worlds at odds. It all sounds very familiar and, indeed, it’s even reminiscent of the recently reviewed “The Knight of Shadows.” And that’s entirely the problem. There’s nothing fresh about 2019’s Damao scripted “White Snake” from a storytelling perspective. There’s a lot of visually inspired moments (which I’ll get to shortly), but the story amounts to a lot of running around and not a lot of emotional resonance. Sure, one might be moved by the romance, but, to me, it lacked impact. 

Light Chaser Animation’s animation work under the guidance of directors Ji Zhao and Amp Wong is the real MVP here. While the character models tend to be rather ordinary, the lush natural environments and swirling demonic powers are nothing short of stunning. Even if the story itself comes up short, animation enthusiasts can’t go wrong giving this a spin for the breathtaking imagery alone.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.39:1 1080p. How does it look? The striking visuals look extraordinary in hi-def. 

Audio Track: English and Mandarin 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How do they sound? The English dub is actually decent, but, let’s be real, you’re best off going with the original language Mandarin track.

Extras:

*DVD copy
* 4 “White Snake” trailers
* 4 ½ minutes of storyboards
* A music video for “Origin” by Zhou Shen
* A 26 ½ minute Q&A with co-director Ji Zhao at AIF 2019
* A 14 minute interview with co-director Ji Zhao.

February 1, 2020 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , ,

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