The sudden emergence of online animation has become an important phenomenon in the animation industry in recent years.

Due to the openness and inclusiveness of the Internet, a batch of high-quality online animation works can meet the viewing needs of Internet audiences of different ages with length, variety, and lively and novel techniques.

Among them, "Chinese Good Stories", "Detailed National Treasures", "Fox Peach and the Old Fairy", etc., take the classic Chinese folk tales as the skeleton, modern aesthetic concepts as the flesh and blood, and ingeniously integrate the essence of Chinese traditional culture into the novel audio-visual expression of network animation Among them, it not only explores new content carriers for the creative transformation and innovative development of Chinese excellent traditional culture, but also explores new spiritual growth points for the high-quality development of network animation.

  Looking back at the century-old development of Chinese animation, it is not difficult to find that from "The Iron Fan Princess" to "Havoc in Heaven", from "Nezha Trouble the Sea" to "White Snake: Origin", it has long been related to classic folk tales.

On the one hand, classic folk tales have been passed down to the present in the form of myths and legends, legendary stories, and historical allusions. They have been deeply integrated into the spiritual blood of the Chinese nation in the collective creation and processing of generations, and have become the common cultural memory of the Chinese people. On the other hand, those simple and vivid characters, condensed and timeless plots, unrestrained imaginations, and spiritual core with distinctive national characteristics in folk stories also provide Chinese animators with the "tip of the pen". The exploration of localized expressions in "Making Dreams" provides room for further exploration.

It can be said that a large number of online animations are based on classic folk stories, and it is precisely such a creative pedigree that is based on the local area and highlights the spirit of traditional Chinese aesthetics.

In recent years, "national style" has become an important pop culture trend.

The aesthetic trend of using ancient Chinese costumes, songs and dances, etc. to show the charm of traditional culture is booming, affecting all forms of content in the entertainment market, including games, film and television dramas.

Network animation is no exception. Creators have combined the new concept of national style creation and made bold attempts to excavate and develop classic folk story resources. This has not only realized the spiritual empowerment of network animation, but also helped the excellent Chinese culture to spread among the audience. Popularize and disseminate.

  "Do you have a way to keep time? The ancestors of the Neolithic Age created me with mud and flames, leaving a mark of time 20,000 years ago." "People in the Shang Dynasty invented me, and I was frozen more than 4,000 years ago Fragments of Time"——In the first season of "Elaboration on National Treasures", "Ceramic Season", the cold ceramics are transformed into a kind "Grandpa Tao" and a cute "Porcelain Brother", showing the development of Chinese ceramics.

"The Big Monster in the Forbidden City: The Secret of the Light Gem" uses the "real person + CG" production mode to create a "world of beasts" connected to the Forbidden City.

In Tianyimen, Imperial Garden, Duanhong Bridge and other landscapes, the ridge beast sculptures that usually stand in every corner of the Forbidden City "come to life", interpreting stories of adventure and growth.

Faced with the acceptance psychology and appreciation tastes of the Internet generation audience, the creators of online animation have told people familiar folk stories with novelty and fun, making the essence of traditional Chinese culture contained in folk stories fashionable and youthful. state presentation.

  Innovation that knows how to inherit is a tree with roots and water with a source.

While making bold breakthroughs in expression methods, online animation creators stick to the national aesthetic style and focus on creating a mellow and meaningful Chinese aesthetic conception with skilled audio-visual means.

In the past, when talking about how to use animation to creatively transform traditional culture, many commentators focused on the use of concrete cultural symbols in the works.

This often leads to the separation of content and form, and even the problem of "only seeing the trees but not the forest".

Constructing stories from the overall artistic conception is the effective way for Chinese animation to demonstrate its unique aesthetic proposition.

Among the online animation works broadcast in recent years, the chapter "Mountains and Flowing Water" in "A Good Story of China" tells the sigh of a bosom friend in classical images such as rivers, distant mountains, flat boats, and pavilions.

"Fox Taotao and the Old Immortal" revolves around Fox Taotao's experience in Taohua Village, and integrates folk culture and traditional architectural content into the ink painting style.

These works are quite ingenious in the fusion of classic folk stories and Chinese aesthetic styles, and have won the audience's pursuit and the industry's affirmation.

This shows that the nationalization of Chinese animation depends to a large extent on the comprehension and expressiveness of the Chinese aesthetic spirit, and future network animation creation can continue to make efforts in this regard.

  Interpreting classic stories with IP thinking, constructing a connection between ancient and modern times, and highlighting the value of the times is an effective path for current literary and artistic creation.

In the field of audiovisual creation, IP generally means a broad audience base.

As samples of literature and art that have passed the test of time, the reason why classic folk tales have been handed down to this day lies in the fact that their spiritual connotation not only maintains a constant side, but also has richness and diversity that can be continuously interpreted.

Many online animation creators actively use the thinking path of IP development to deeply explore the practical significance and spirit of the times in classic folk stories, thus realizing the dialogue between traditional culture and today's society.

For example, "The Secret of the Big Monster in the Forbidden City" is adapted from a famous children's literature. While popularizing traditional knowledge, it subtly immerses the audience in the minds of educational concepts such as growth, friendship, responsibility, and dreams.

When the animation work was launched, a series of books and toy derivatives adapted from the animation plot were also released simultaneously. By actively looking for the greatest common denominator of ancient and modern acceptance psychology, the classic cultural charm was amplified.

  Creators of online animation also need to think about how to further meet the needs of online audiences and use the characteristics of online media to enhance the cultural connotation and artistic expression of their works.

We should continue to give full play to the advantages of short network animation production cycle, flexible volume, and controllable costs, expand the theme space, deepen the ideological connotation, and explore how to integrate the mainstream values ​​carried in classic folk stories in the mutual reflection of text, history, and reality. The path by which ideas spread in more appropriate ways.

All in all, online cartoons have great potential in enhancing the spiritual power of the people. To play its role as a "light cavalry" in the creation of traditional Chinese cultural themes, there is still a lot of content to be tapped and a lot of room to expand.

(Author: Yan Wei and Li Xuan)

  (Source: Guangming Daily, Page 15, November 30, 2022)