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Big Fish & Begonia(大魚海棠)

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China · 2016
Rated PG-13 · 1h 41m
Director Zhang Chun
Starring Ji Guanlin, Pan Shulan, Su Shangqing, Xu Weizhou
Genre Animation, Adventure, Fantasy

Beyond the human realm, there is a magical race of beings who control the tides and the changing of the seasons. One of these beings, a young girl named Chun, seeks something more—she wants to experience the human world!

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IndieWire by David Ehrlich

Marrying the sensitivity of “Spirited Away” to the lushness of “The Legend of Korra” and the narrative coherence of a lucid dream, Big Fish & Begonia is the very rarest of Chinese exports: An animated film that was made for adults.


The Film Stage by Jared Mobarak

The result is a fantasy adventure with high stakes despite death seeming impermanent throughout. Rather than be about finding eternal life like many tales of its kind are, Big Fish & Begonia is about giving it.


Variety by Peter Debruge

Big Fish & Begonia commands awe on the strength of its imagery alone...while weaving an epic tale that’s uniquely informed by local myths and motifs. If only it made the slightest bit of sense.

88 by Peter Sobczynski

While the end result may not quite reach the heights that Miyazaki has regularly hit during his amazing career, it is nevertheless a worthy effort, filled with visuals that frequently dazzle the eye even if the story is more likely to inspiring the scratching of heads instead.


TheWrap by Robert Abele

Where Miyazaki’s wisdom kept his prodigious imagination in the service of intimacy, “Big Fish” is daringly, if haphazardly, epic with its vision and feelings. The urge to awe may feel self-conscious at times, but it’s rarely not heartfelt, even when it’s skirting the edge of incomprehensible.


Movie Nation by Roger Moore

It is a puzzle without a particularly interesting (to my Western eyes) solution. Whatever its visual qualities, and really the only comparison points are the weirder Japanese anime efforts, the strangeness of it all makes it a confusing big screen experience.


The New York Times by Teo Bugbee

Never short on visual or emotional wonder, Big Fish & Begonia contemplates mortality with the imagination of an old soul who has been given new eyes.

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