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ISSN : 1229-9618(Print)
ISSN : 2671-7506(Online)
Chinese Studies Vol.83 pp.309-326

An Exploration of the “Roads to the Gods” Model in Animation Film Adaptations of Fengshen Yanyi : Taking Nezha: Birth of the Demon Child, Legend of Deification, and New Gods: Yang Jian as examples

He Bing-Qing**, Park Myung-Jin***


The development of modern filming technology and the increasing spiritual needs of the market appeal for a modern inheritance of popular intellectual properties (IP) in the age-old classic Chinese literary works, mainly for their transmission in new media. Fengshen Yanyi, also known as The Investiture of the Gods, is one of the classic works with numerous modern adaptations. As a god-evil novel, it processes great potential for cultural re-creation, and thus generates multiple types of cultural products, such as movies, TV dramas, online novels, and animations. Some popular Chinese animation films in recent years, such as Nezha: Birth of the Demon Child, Legend of Deification, and New Gods: Yang Jian, are all adaptations on it, and the audience expect a “Fengshen Universe” like the world-famous “Marvel Universe”. Thus, this paper aims to explore and summarize a model of “Roads to the Gods” with the characteristics of Chinese myth, by comparing the above three Chinese animation films with Hollywood’s “Hero’s Journey” model and referring to data analysis and market feedbacks of the three.