Door Gods are guardian spirits protecting households in the tradition of Chinese folklore. Written and directed by Gary Wang, Little Door Gods is a modern-day story of two Door Gods facing unemployment in the spirit world, as ever fewer people in the human world believe in the spirits anymore. One of the spirits ventures into the human world to make trouble in order to prove his value, leading to unexpected encounters and transformations.
The first English-language review of the film says it’s “a good movie…but it could be better.” The review praises how the film makes “widespread use of Chinese culture and mythology” and claims it’s “at its best when lampooning aspects of modern Chinese society,” but points out weaknesses in story and character development.
Wang, the Chinese web entrepreneur who founded Light Chaser Animation, has made clear that his goal is to elevate the quality of Chinese feature animation, pushing the country’s films closer to Western standards. It’s a lofty vision for the Chinese animation industry; the country is one of the top producers of feature animation, but most of it is made cheaply and quickly, and not designed for the competitive international marketplace.
Little Door Gods was animated by a largely Chinese crew, though the production employed a few American industry veterans like Colin Brady (Pixar, Pixomondo) and Han Lei (DreamWorks). Judging by the trailer footage, the film is a significant step in the right direction for China’s industry.
No American release date is set at this time.