Grab some popcorn and check out these animated films in June
Hong Yaobin
It's time to reclaim your childhood with an exciting lineup of animated movies hitting the silver screen in China.
Children's Day falls on June 1 in China. Commemorated as a celebration of childhood, the day is observed with great fun and frolic all across the country.
Despite various amusing activities dedicated to kids, movies are by no means left behind. The animated film becomes a perfect choice as it provides entertainment for people of all ages and tastes.
Some high-profile animations have opened in Chinese cinemas recently with high box office take and positive word of mouth. 
Posters for animated movies "Pokémon Detective Pikachu" (L) and "Dragon Ball Super: Broly" /Photos via

Posters for animated movies "Pokémon Detective Pikachu" (L) and "Dragon Ball Super: Broly" /Photos via

Based on the Pokémon franchise created by Satoshi Tajiri, the 2019 mystery animation "Pokémon Detective Pikachu" has grossed a total of 586 million yuan (about 85 million U.S. dollars) within 20 days, and is still a hit on the big screen.
Japanese cartoon "Dragon Ball Super: Broly," the 20th installment of the Dragon Ball franchise, raked in more than 28.66 million yuan (4.15 million U.S. dollars) during its opening week. 
Acclaimed for its action scenes, the film now has a score of 7.5 on, China's answer to Rotten Tomato.
Posters for Japanese anime feature "Penguin Highway" /Photo via

Posters for Japanese anime feature "Penguin Highway" /Photo via

Showcasing the joy of discovery, the 2018 Japanese acclaimed anime "Penguin Highway" made its China debut earlier this month with a sound score of 7.8 on 
A review from Variety magazine reads: "If you see just one anime feature this year, it ought to be 'Penguin Highway.'"
Aside from the aforementioned titles, there are more highly anticipated animation pieces to be released in the upcoming month. We would like to introduce four of them, which are sure to entertain kids and adults alike.
Take your pick! And happy Children's Day!

Throwback to childhood with 'Doraemon'

A poster for ”Doraemon the Movie 2019: Nobita's Chronicle of the Moon Exploration“ /Photo via

A poster for ”Doraemon the Movie 2019: Nobita's Chronicle of the Moon Exploration“ /Photo via

Ask any kid of the 1980s and 1990s, his or her favorite cartoons, "Doraemon" – one of the best selling comics worldwide – would be the answer. Watching a Doraemon movie is a throwback to childhood with the most familiar characters and theme song.
The last Heisei-Era Doraemon movie – "Doraemon the Movie 2019: Nobita's Chronicle of the Moon Exploration" was released two months before the Japanese imperial transition in April.
With more than 45 million U.S. dollars at the domestic box office to date, the latest installment will hit the cinema across China on June 1. It will continue to follow the core theme at the heart of the Doraemon franchise – strong friendships bound by the "ability to believe."
In light of the folkloric tales about the Moon, the film observes the brave and smart group kick off a new adventure to the unknown world, the far side of the Moon, for the first time.
A poster for ”Doraemon the Movie 2019: Nobita's Chronicle of the Moon Exploration“ /Photo via

A poster for ”Doraemon the Movie 2019: Nobita's Chronicle of the Moon Exploration“ /Photo via

It is noteworthy that this year marks the 50th anniversary of the first humans landing on the Moon. The sci-fi anime film is widely considered as a salute to the historic event.
And this time around, what surprises will the versatile robotic cat and his friends bring to his Chinese fans? Walk in the theater to check it out!
In addition to the 2019 Doraemon movie, another two animated films "Qiaohu and the Fantastic Flying Ship" and "Happy Little Submarine: Space Pals" are scheduled to open on upcoming Children's Day.

Oscar-winning animator presents new 'White Fang'

American author Jack London's (1876–1916) classic turn-of-the-century tale, which depicts a wild wolfdog's adventure in both the animal and human world, now embraces a new fully animated adaptation.
A poster for the animated movie "White Fang" /Photo via

A poster for the animated movie "White Fang" /Photo via

With an all-star voice cast, the new version of "White Fang" is at the helm of Luxembourgish filmmaker Alexandre Espigares, who won an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film with acclaimed animation "Mr. Hublot."
Following the legend of the wolfdog pup, the award-winning animator affirms his artistry with his latest work, which presents rugged realism while showing respect to the law of nature.
The visually marvelous piece was a nominee for the Golden Goblet Award for Best Animation Film at last year's Shanghai International Film Festival, as well as a nominee for the Best Animated Feature Film at the 31st European Film Awards.
The animation will premiere on the big screen on June 14. Involving some fierce encounters and short action scenes, it is recommended for older kids and adults as a shared family experience. 

Toy Story is back!

Launched by Pixar Studios in 1995, "Toy Story" was the first entirely computer-animated feature film, paving a path for future CGI (computer-generated imagery) movies.
A poster for the animated film "Toy Story 4" /Photo via

A poster for the animated film "Toy Story 4" /Photo via

Nominated for 10 Academy Awards including Best Animated Feature and four Golden Globe Awards, the Toy Story trilogy is one of the most successful animation franchises in the world.
The three installments have enthralled generations of children with funny narratives and fine cinematic techniques. And now, the fourth is on the way.
The new addition will hit cinemas across China and the U.S. on June 21. It witnesses the reunion of Sheriff Woody voiced by Tom Hanks, Buzz Lightyear by Tim Allen, and other toy friends.
New members will join in the new adventure, featuring celebrated actor Keanu Reeves and actress Annie Potts.

Will 'Spirited Away' set new records?

A poster for the animated film "Spirited Away" /Photo via

A poster for the animated film "Spirited Away" /Photo via

Last but by no means least, Japanese anime classic "Spirited Away " will return to the big screen as it is set to be theatrically released in China on June 21. 
The film traces the coming-of-age story of a moody 10-year-old girl, who happens to enter a mysterious world, trying to return to the human world.
Since its premiere in Japan in 2001, the fantasy film has made a series of records domestically and globally. It overtook "Titanic" – the then top-grossing film in the world – to become the highest-grossing film in Japanese history, and remains the leader at the domestic box office.
With a remarkable gross of 331 million U.S. dollars worldwide, it also received considerable acclaim, bringing home an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, which made it become the first (and so far only) hand drawn and non-English language animated film to win in this category, as well as the Golden Bear at the 2002 Berlinale.
A screenshot shows the rating of the animated film "Spirited Away" on

A screenshot shows the rating of the animated film "Spirited Away" on

Regardless of the dazzling trophies, for many anime fanatics, the film's director and screenwriter – legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki – is a simple yet significant reason to go to the cinema to review his groundbreaking masterpiece.
Showcasing finely crafted animated sequences and indelibly beautiful soundtracks, "Spirited Away" is often times ranked among the greatest animated films ever made. Currently, it has a remarkable rating of 9.3 on, higher than 99 percent of the same-genre works.
It is foreseeable that this animated classic, which Variety says "can be enjoyed by sprigs and adults alike," will still draw a large number of audiences during its much-delayed debut in China.
As its Chinese-version poster reads, "it deserves the wait."
(Cover image by Liu Shaozhen)