3 Chinese-themed films qualify for 2020 Oscars' Animated Feature Film

Actresses Chloe Bennet (L, Front) and Sarah Paulson (R, Front) pose for photos with costumed Yeti before the world premiere of the film "Abominable" during the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in Toronto, Canada, on Sept. 7, 2019. (Photo: Xinhua)

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- Three Chinese-themed films -- "Ne Zha," "White Snake" and "Abominable" -- are among a record 32 features submitted for consideration in the Animated Feature Film category for the 92nd Academy Awards, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) announced Wednesday.

"Submitted features must fulfill the theatrical release requirements and comply with all of the category's other qualifying rules before they can advance in the nominations voting process," the AMPAS said in a statement, adding that films submitted in the category also qualify for Academy Awards in other categories, including Best Picture.

Chinese box-office hit "Ne Zha," the top-grossing animated film ever made by China, is one of the top international contenders in the category. The home-grown animation was also selected as the entry of Chinese mainland for the Best International Feature Film category.

Directed and written by Yang Yu (also known as Jiao Zi) in his feature film directorial debut, "Ne Zha" features a popular young hero from ancient Chinese legends and literature, who must choose between good and evil to break the shackles of fate. The film has grossed more than 4.97 billion yuan (about 704 million U.S. dollars) on Chinese mainland over the past 84 days, according to Chinese film database Maoyan.

"White Snake", a Chinese animated fantasy film having grossed 451 million yuan from Chinese mainland so far and set to hit North America in November, was co-produced by Light Chaser Animation in China and Warner Bros. Pictures in the United States. The film draws inspiration from a Chinese folktale which features the romantic tragedy of a young man named Xu Xian and the white snake maiden Bai Suzhen.

It is the first time Warner Bros. has participated in a co-production animated film project. It is also the first Warner Bros film that tells a Chinese folk story.

Rather than being another adaptation of the folk legend, the film aims to reveal to the audience how destiny ties the two leading characters together hundreds of years ago, said Zhao Ji, one of the directors.

"Abominable," an animated family film co-produced by California-based DreamWorks Animation and Shanghai-based Pearl Studio, formerly known as Oriental DreamWorks, has collected 110 million dollars worldwide, including 49.6 million dollars from North America and 14.1 million dollars from Chinese mainland to date.

The Chinese-American animated adventure follows a Chinese teenage girl who encounters a Yeti on the rooftop of her Shanghai apartment building and embarks on an epic quest to reunite the magical creature with his family at the highest point on earth -- the majestic Himalayas.

"We are happy that this contemporary Chinese story film co-produced by Pearl Studio and Dreamworks Animation is welcomed by global audience," Pearl Studio CEO Frank Zhu told Xinhua.

According to the AMPAS, nominations for the 92nd Academy Awards will be announced on Jan. 13, 2020, and the ceremony will be held on Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles.