These 10 best Chinese cartoon movies represent a rich history of animated film in East Asia. Little would you know, the first Chinese cartoon film was screened as early as the 1920’s. Now, the industry is building a stronger reputation and a unique style, establishing itself at par with the United States and Japan. 

  1. “Why Is the Crow Black-Coated.” This animated film really caught the international eye for the first time. As with many Chinese tales, there’s a lesson and children learn about the consequences of arrogance with the story of an egotistical bird.

  2. “Nezha Conquers the Dragon King.” Centered on the Taoist deity, Nezha, this film garnered a win at the Hundred Flowers Awards Festival. In the cartoon, Nezha is depicted with various heads and arms.

  3. “Three Monks.” Although this was a short and simple film, it still won an award at a film festival in Berlin. None of the characters speak during the movie so its lesson can be appreciated by anyone.

  4. “Cowherd’s Flute.” It was an innovation when this film was released, designed with ink-and-wash animation. The award-winning movie includes gorgeous scenes with animals and nature.

  5. “Cybe Weapon Z.” When China adapted this comic series into a TV series and later into this movie, the Japanese began looking over their shoulder at China’s competitiveness in the animation realm. The movie is action-packed and filled with martial arts, featuring the esteemed Shaolin Monastery.

  6. “Havoc in Heaven.” Produced in the 1960’s, some contend that the title of this movie was a subtle attack against Mao Zedong and the Cultural Revolution. This cartoon film was recognized both within China and around the world, winning various awards at different film festivals.

  7. “A Chinese Ghost Story: The Tsui Hark Animation.” As Hong Kong’s first attempt at producing an animated film, it sure did gain a lot of attention. In the story, the main character falls in love with a ghost.

  8. “DragonBlade: The Legend of Lang.” There’s no other way to describe this cartoon film other than action-packed fun. It’s undoubtedly impressive to see martial arts displayed in 3D animation. Follow the hero, DragonBlade, as he saves a town.

  9. “My Life as McDull.” McDull is a popular cartoon pig that never gives up. His joyful attitude despite living in the slums and suffering misfortunes had charmed the people of Hong Kong in comics for years, and through this film was able to reach children around the world.

  10. “Thru the Moebius Strip.” This sci-fi cartoon movie tells the tale of a young boy who travels to an alien world. It’s a touching story as the boy searches for his father.