Into the Mortal World Into the Mortal World

Into the Mortal World, a feature-length animated celebration of Chinese culture and mystical world-building hits mainland China on Friday, July 12.

A co-production between Winsing Animation, Bilibili, and Alibaba Pictures, the cg-animated epic is framed around a romance that bridges the mortal world and celestial world, à la Romeo and Juliet.

Into the Mortal World uses the traditional Chinese astronomical concept of the 28 mansion spirits as a quest for its star-crossed lovers, Cowherd and the Weaver Girl, to reunite on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month, Qixi Festival.

While the film is rooted deeply in Chinese culture, Winsing is putting effort into exporting the film to international audiences. The film was showcased to international audiences last month at Annecy during a conference promoting animated production from China’s Guangdong province, where Winsing is based. The company is best known for its prolific GG Bond tv and film franchise.

Winsing explained that the film is “not merely an animated film [but] an invitation to discover the rich tapestry of Chinese traditions, culture, and folklore.” As evidence of the film’s strong cultural elements, the producers cite how the characters wear “Neo-Chinese” attire (a contemporary reimagining of traditional Song Dynasty clothing), the landscapes being based on the Sichuan and Chongqing regions, and the incorporation of Chinese cuisine like milk tea and Sichuan hot pot into the story.

Into the Mortal World began as a group student film project completed in 2020 at the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts. After the student short (see below) became a success on the Bilibili platform, the feature film idea took off. Over 2,000 artists are said to have worked on the feature.

The feature is directed by Zhong Ding, an associate professor at the Guangzhou art school, who said in a statement: “With its captivating storyline, breathtaking visuals, and profound symbolism, the film promises an unforgettable cinematic journey that will leave audiences with a deeper appreciation for the enduring beauty and wisdom of Chinese heritage.”

Into the Mortal World will expand into Southeast Asia territories following its China debut. No American launch has been announced at this time.