Dance again with the wind of the times and show the national charm to the world——A survey on the memory and innovative development of Chinese animation images

Memory: Chinese animation in the minds of different age groups

  The survey found that Generation Z (generally refers to those born between 1995-2009), Generation Y (generally refers to those born between 1980-1994), and Generation X (generally refers to those born between 1965-1979), who were born in different generations, have very different views on Chinese animation. Memories and expectations:

  "Monkey King, the best son!" "Jiang Ziya, Chong!" "yyds"... As the aborigines of the Internet, Generation Z is easy to accept new things. They are not only witnesses to the rise of Guoman, but also helpers of the development of Chinese animation. He is also the creator of new language on the Internet.

The Internet is the main channel for Generation Z to watch animations. Among the 1,202 valid questionnaires collected in the survey, 66.5% of the respondents used Youku, iQiyi, Tencent and other operator platforms to watch domestic animations, and 63.55% of the respondents used Two-dimensional platforms such as Bilibili and AcFun.

Generation Z often use some popular words created by them in barrage or comments, such as Ye Qinghui, tears, entering the pit, collecting flavor, etc.

  Generation Z inherits cultural traditions and loves ethnic styles.

The most impressive Chinese animation works in their childhood mainly include "Havoc in Heaven", "Journey to the West", "Lotus Lantern" and "Hulu Baby". I am more interested in domestic animation series based on Chinese mythology and folklore, such as "Jiang Ziya" and "White Snake: Origin". The distinctive oriental aesthetic style and the inherent excellent traditional culture are still the best memory of the Z generation of domestic animation.

  Generation Z is the main force in the consumption of animation derivatives.

They are not more "concerned about price", but more "concerned about what they get after paying the price", that is, they value attributes.

They will consume according to their interests and take the initiative to buy the products they like.

For example, 71.43% of the interviewed Gen Z people will subscribe to fan dramas on video websites, and 48.98% of the interviewed Gen Z people will buy single-line comics, art books, animation BD/DVD or soundtrack CD, etc.

  "I'm back again, it's so emotional" "You're not alone, you're calling crazy"... Generation Y grew up in a stage of rapid social transformation and has diverse intergenerational characteristics. They are not only witnesses to the development of Guoman, but also He is an experiencer of the transformation of Chinese animation.

Therefore, Generation Y's memories of Chinese animation have more diverse emotions.

  Generation Y's memory of Chinese animation has both deep love and certain regrets.

Their most impressive childhood Chinese animation works are roughly similar to those of Generation Z.

The distinctive oriental aesthetic style and excellent traditional culture are the deep memories of the Y generation of Chinese animation. They believe that ink painting and paper-cutting are the most representative styles of Chinese animation.

Among the interviewed Gen Y people, 63.41% believe that the primary reason for the development of the domestic animation derivative market is to support classic originals, 33.33% believe that the first problem to be solved in the development of China's animation industry is to cultivate a mature animation market, and 28.57% believe that the first problem is to cultivate a mature animation market. The solution is to attach importance to the cultivation of animation talents.

  Generation Y has clear preferences and is in sync with the times.

They have deep feelings for the image of Nezha in "Nezha Raising the Sea" that accompanied him growing up, but they can also accept the image of Nezha that subverts the previous demon boy in "Nezha's Devil Child Comes to the World", and even have feelings for Luo Xiao Black and other animated characters born after 2010 also have high expectations.

Similarly, Generation Y is more tolerant of the new form of animation creation, such as "Er Creation", and 57.45% believe that "Er Creation" can provide new ideas for understanding original animation works.

They maintain a long-term love for traditional animation forms such as ink painting and paper-cutting, but are also willing to learn about emerging animation forms.

  "Cheers, an eternal classic!" "Never tire of seeing it, it's too real" "There is a sense of substitution and a sense of age"... Generation X is an animation audience that follows personal experience, is emotionally responsible, and pursues truth from facts.

Although they are not as active in real consumption scenarios as Generation Y, nor are they as keen to express their opinions in the online world as Generation Z, and their acceptance of animation is not as high as Generation X and Generation Y, but because they have mature individuals value system and show a distinct cultural attitude.

  Generation X prefers classic images and traces the memory of the times.

In the collective memory of Generation X, more than half of the respondents said that they liked the Chinese animation IP images represented by "Black Cat Sheriff", "Hulu Baby", "Big Head Son and Small Head Dad" the most. Gui, Luo Xiaohei and other IP images are relatively unfamiliar.

In addition, Nezha and Sun Wukong, the typical representatives of the adaptation of Chinese traditional culture prototypes, although many Chinese animations are created around them, but among the X generation crowd, the most popular are still "Nezha in the Sea" and "Nezha" The character image in "Havoc in Heaven", which coincides with their most impressive childhood Chinese animation works.

It is worth noting that the characters in works such as "Nezha's Devil Child Comes into the World", "The Return of the Great Sage", "White Snake: Origin" and "Blue Snake: Robbery", which have sold well in recent years and have a good reputation among young people, , the popularity of the X-generation crowd has fallen off a cliff compared to the characters in the works in their childhood memories.

  Generation X attaches great importance to the quality of works and is not very accepting of animation marketing.

Growing up in an era of change, they prefer to create images that are rigorous, serious, humane and realistic.

They are more concerned about the ideological meaning, storytelling, audio-visual style and form creativity of animation works, only about 11% are concerned about the timing and channels of communication, market reputation and recommendation, and the brand influence and derivative applications are not the X-generation crowd's concern for domestic production. The focus of animation.

New face: "Live" and "Fire" in the rooted tradition and innovative expression

  Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, China's animation innovation force has been pouring in, the production model has been continuously optimized, and the derivative business has been innovated.

According to the forecast and analysis of China's animation industry research report, the scale of pan-two-dimensional users in my country will reach 500 million in 2023.

Chinese animation in the new era and new pattern is showing strong industrial development and distinct artistic originality.

  Policies piloted, national animation re-blooms the light of the times.

In recent years, in order to improve the efficiency of China's animation industry and enrich the spiritual life of the people, relevant government departments have continuously issued favorable policies: the "Notice on the Value-Added Tax and Business Tax Policies for the Animation Industry" provides tax incentives and financial support; Several Opinions on the Integrated Development of Service and Industry" to optimize the innovation environment of the cultural industry; "9 Measures to Promote the Development of Domestic Animation Films" to promote the quality and upgrade of the entire industry chain; Short film support and creation activities" incubate original high-quality products... Chinese animation is getting better under the guidance of policies.

  Excellent works have emerged, and the IP matrix of Guochao animation has begun to appear.

Factors such as the improvement of production capabilities, the establishment of aesthetic styles, and the maturity of the industrial model have promoted the re-emergence of Chinese animation and reinvigorated market consumer confidence.

Since 2015, Chinese animation films have been released frequently, and hundreds of flowers have bloomed. Movies such as "The Return of the Great Sage", "The Devil of Nezha", "Jiang Ziya" and "White Snake: Origin" have exploded the topic and become phenomenal works.

Chinese mythology and classics provide a grand cosmology for animation creation. The prototype of the Guoman universe with the Chinese aesthetic spirit as the core is constantly being formed and extended. This IP system is highly expected by the Chinese people, and the imaginative picture created by its conceptual innovation is highly anticipated. .

  Set sail to sea and shine on the international stage.

The germination of Chinese animation and world animation is almost synchronized, and it ushered in its first glorious period in the last century. Many works of Shanghai Art Film Studio have been in Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Oscar International Film Festival, London International Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival. Film festivals and other awards.

After the 1990s, the tide of market economy and the impact of foreign commercial animation made Chinese animation experience the pain of industrialization transformation, constantly seeking to balance art and commerce, tradition and trend, nation and the world.

In the process of integrating with the world, Chinese animation has explored the breakthrough path of international development through the Sino-foreign joint production of works such as "Panda and Little Mole" and "Future Machine City". In 2019, it landed on Tencent International Edition in 32 countries and regions. Then try to open up a new overseas animation market with a platform promotion model.

  Leveraging technology, new media animation has become a rising star.

The development of the Internet and interactive technology has spawned new media forms such as network animation, interactive animation, holographic projection animation, split-screen animation, micro-animation, and emoticon animation.

Original online animation is the most promising, and the market size has grown rapidly from 5.41 billion yuan in 2016 to 20.52 billion yuan in 2020. The comprehensive popularity index of works such as "Celebration of the Day" and "Mr. Marvel of China" is outstanding.

Although the micro-animation episodes such as "One Zen Little Monk" on Douyin only lasted for tens of seconds, they quickly went out of the circle and received tens of millions of attention.

In addition, from China's first VR animation film "Dragon Nest: Throne of the Elf" to the increasingly popular metaverse world, interactive animation has shown new vitality in its own evolution.

The iteration of digital technology has reduced production costs, enriched the forms of animation, and expanded creative thinking. It has promoted the extension of Chinese animation from artistic applications to entertainment applications, design applications, and even scientific applications, becoming a vivid representation of media fusion.

  Concentrating on innovation, a new "Chinese animation school" is about to emerge.

In the 20th century, the "Chinese Animation School" once handed out cultural business cards to the world, opening the issue of the development of the origin of Chinese animation.

Chinese animation, which is heading for the second century of development, is forming a more influential overall image in the innovation of artistic practice.

Regarding the construction of the new "Chinese animation school", 42.59% of the respondents believe that works with world influence should be launched, and the narrative ability, aesthetic style and image design should be more sophisticated, and 22.84% of the respondents believe that Chinese characteristics should be formed. In terms of animation theory system, 7.41% of the respondents believe that it is necessary to cultivate Chinese animation scholars with appeal.

It can be seen that the construction of the core concepts, academic context, and knowledge landscape of Chinese animation theory will provide strong conceptual and methodological support for the future development of Chinese animation, and will also promote the hierarchical transition of talent standards.

Overlook: Expand original IP, extend industrial chain, and prosper mode symbiosis

  In the survey, most respondents not only pay attention to excellent animation works, but also care a lot about the overall quality and industrial strength of domestic animation.

They generally believe that although the development of domestic animation in recent years is gratifying and has achieved outstanding results, there are still many deficiencies——

  The unique image and original IP that can arouse the audience's high recognition are still lacking, and the development model from image to brand has not yet been formed; the quality supervision and copyright protection are not perfect, and the positive content orientation is not paid enough attention, which affects the ecological health of the animation industry; The chain head effect and the long tail effect are disconnected from each other, and it is impossible to meet the high consumption enthusiasm for animation peripherals in time.

  In view of this, in the future, efforts should be made from various aspects to help Chinese animation better tell the "Chinese story" to the world.

  Strengthen originality, cultivate brands, and help Chinese animation IP "joint growth".

The survey shows that 79.4% of the respondents believe that animation scripts are the most basic elements for creating high-quality domestic animation IP, calling for "Chinese original good stories".

This call reflects the general lack of content originality and intrinsic attractiveness of Chinese animation.

The vitality of animation IP affects the continuous creation of the series of works and the reproduction of derivatives, and is related to the formation of the scale economy system, the spread of the national brand image, and the realization of the growth of added value.

The development of Chinese animation IP, which has just started, is encountering "growing pains" such as blurred brand image, single role modeling, and insufficient user stickiness in the circle.

In this regard, several major domestic video platforms have adopted differentiated strategies: Tencent Animation has launched a series of IP works such as "Wansi Liang"; iQIYI Animation has launched various theaters to strengthen its animation theater brand; Youku Animation has successively launched Guofeng sequels. ; Bilibili has incubated a batch of original works and attracted a batch of start-up teams through the “National Innovation Support Program”.

  At present, the development of Chinese animation IP is mainly concentrated in the core areas of ACGN. The relevant companies lack talents specializing in management, market research and analysis are insufficient, IP extension and layout are limited, and the system and standardization of derivative design needs to be strengthened.

In the face of global competition, Chinese animation IP urgently needs to be deeply developed: First, gather resources, promote giant systems, and build a symbiotic and win-win Guoman ecology.

While continuing to incubate head IP, create space for IP linkage in the narrative structure, and gradually form a Guoman universe with cultural tension and aesthetic charm; the second is to improve the decoupling problem of the upstream, midstream and downstream of the industry, and improve animation. The full-process operation of IP reverses the current situation in the industry that the creative links such as design, production, and synthesis are strong, and the promotion links such as publicity, operation, and cooperation are weak; Improve legal policies, pay attention to credit records and other means, avoid low-dimensional vicious competition that frequently occurs in cottages, encourage original content, innovative research and development, and jointly build a healthy environment.

  Innovate the model, optimize the structure, and promote the "upgrade" of the animation consumer market.

Micro-data shows that consumers of animation products have relatively single purchase channels, most of which rely on e-commerce individuals and corporate store platforms, and the consumption content is mostly paid members of video products and a few peripheral products, and the market consumption potential has not been fully released.

Computational analysis of the consumption intensity of animation products in different fields can be found: in the fields that consumers frequent, the consumption intensity of animation products is low, and the contribution to the overall animation product consumption is also lower; the consumption intensity of education, literature and art and retail consumption is higher, and the consumption intensity of animation products is lower. Consumers in these areas also contribute more to consumption.

Therefore, by upgrading the consumption structure of animation products, the animation industry can develop better and faster, and make my country's animation consumption market more dynamic.

  Focusing on the field of cultural consumption, in addition to film and television, games, domestic animation IP is still insufficiently developed in creative cultural fields such as musicals, stage plays, and interactive art.

In order to open up the market space, it is urgent to establish a circular model of "animation-derivative products-cultural consumption".

Animation should highlight stronger innovation vitality in the large cultural and creative industry, and become a medium for human-computer interaction such as UI design, interactive interface, and virtual presentation.

At present, more and more companies have begun to make efforts to launch rich and diverse featured products for cultural consumption scenarios.

For example, the WeChat applet "Dunhuang Poetry Scarf" dynamically displays Dunhuang frescoes and caisson patterns through animation. Users can choose patterns independently, superimpose and place them according to their preferences, and then they can design a unique "customized version of silk scarves" and obtain offline production. Real silk scarves; the Palace Museum launched the "Night of the Palace Museum Shangyuan" experience exhibition, using digital projection, animation images, motion capture and other technologies, combined with the design of cultural relics in the courtyard to build an interactive light and shadow feast... In short, let creativity fly and open The idea is to give animation a cultural DNA, and to expand the animation cultural and creative industry in the context of Internet + through the whole chain development of layout planning, product research and development, cultural and creative operations and peripheral supply, which is a feasible path for the innovation and development of animation in China.

  Focus on orientation and media integration, and promote the "modal symbiosis" of China's animation industry.

According to the survey, many respondents believe that the current development of Chinese animation needs the most support from three aspects: funding, review mechanism, and cross-cultural exchange of works; only animation production, broadcasting, and dissemination of the three parties work together to ensure the value orientation of animation creation and improve animation. Market supervision and joint solutions to bottleneck problems such as insufficient development, poor quality, and serious piracy can further promote the healthy development of China's animation industry.

  The main function of good animation works is not only entertainment and leisure, but also has a subtle influence on the audience's thoughts, emotions, value orientation, and spiritual realm.

Only cultural products that educate and entertain, inspire people and nourish their spirits can have lasting vitality and strong influence.

The lack of spiritual pursuit and the vagueness of value orientation in the current animation creation must be solved through collaborative efforts such as creation and supervision.

  With the development of network communication technology and the integration of different media, industrial clusters are turning towards virtualization.

The main online broadcasting platforms of domestic animation, such as Youku, iQiyi, Tencent, Bilibili, AcFun, etc., have participated in the animation production and distribution and other industrial chain links, and have achieved relatively stable animation content research and development and production.

Major network platforms build a matrix, and an IP-centric industrial value network is gradually formed.

The virtual industry cluster and the physical industry cluster "jointly" integrate the TV animation of the original "regional separation", realize the in-depth development and utilization of the domestic animation industry, and make the domestic animation industry develop in the direction of multi-modal symbiosis.

In the future, China's animation industry should give full play to the advantages of a big country's market scale, enhance its technological innovation capabilities, and give full play to the positive role of market mechanisms in the allocation of animation cultural resources. development vitality.

  (Members of the research group of Communication University of China: Jia Xiuqing, Wang Jue, Yang Yixuan, Zhang Hui, Jiang Yichen, Li Xiaolei, Maigen, Gong Yixuan, Shao Ping, Zhang Fangyuan)

  (Bai Xuelei, our reporter)