Many Chinese animated features now do well at the local box office. Far fewer elicit strong reactions that make headlines across the country and beyond.
That’s what I Am What I Am (also known as Lion Dance Boy) has managed. Despite a controversy over its character design, the film was the most popular of the year-end and new year period, according to a survey co-conducted by the China Film Art Research Center. It scored 85.6 out of 100 points, beating live-action box-office hits like crime thriller Fireflies in the Sun and Covid tearjerker Embrace Again.
According to state news agency Xinhua, the survey “adopts onsite sampling surveys at theaters, online surveys of film industry workers and experts, and big data analysis” to evaluate Chinese films in terms of “artistic depiction quality, cultural values, and popularity.”