From the classical Chinese literary masterpiece Investiture of the Gods to contemporary film animation, Nezha’s image is profound. Examining the portrayals of Nezha, namely in those most celebrated animated films, we argue that his role as the epitome of a ‘god like figure’ is in constant displacement and return. Using the framework of archetype and displacement as advanced by Northrop Frye, with a more pluralistic myth analysis extension found in the myth critique of Gilbert Durand, this article examines the multi-layered mythical mini structures within Nezha’s displacement and return in Chinese animation, to explore the themes, images, and archetype represented by the character from the perspective of Chinese history and culture. We argue that Nezha’s displacement and return in Chinese animation expresses the need and call for a traditional heroic image in a particular era. As such, Nezha’s intertextuality exposes the profound inner patterns that form and refashion the Chinese collective unconscious, performing as a recurring mirror that symbolically inform and transform human experiences in China.
|Number of pages||21|
|Journal||Fudan Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences|
|Early online date||18 Oct 2021|
|Publication status||Published - 18 Oct 2021|
- Chinese animation