Back Arts & Culture » Film & TV » [Video] Short Film Retells Vietnam's Origin Story With Sleek Visuals, Impressive Soundtrack

A refreshing take on Vietnam’s most well-known folk tale, this 2017 retelling of ‘Con Rong Chau Tien’ manages to retain the gist of the legend while improving on the traditional storyline with some impressive visuals and a Disney-grade musical soundtrack.

It might be impossible to find a Vietnamese citizen who isn’t aware of the country’s origin story, also titled “Con Rong Chau Tien”, which seeks to explain how ancient Vietnamese were the children of Lac Long Quan, a dragon shapeshifter, and Au Co, an Earth fairy. However, this new animated short film that has been the talk of the town over the last few days used the main story and characters to fashion a gripping animated feature.

Video via YouTube channel POPS Kids.

As Tien Phong reports, the 23-minute cartoon is the brainchild of a team of 100 animators, visual effect artists, voice actors and illustrators. The production crew worked on the project for 180 days.

Viewers might have noticed that ‘Con Rong Chau Tien’ includes many additional characters and plot details that don’t exist in the common version of the story. According to Leo Dinh, the film’s director, those were deliberate creative decisions as the traditional tale is too short and simplistic. Thus, in order to create a thrilling animation on par with its Japanese and Hollywood counterparts, they had to improvise.

“We tried to look for ways to attract viewers back to Vietnam’s historical animation by modernizing [the story] without losing the historical elements,” Leo shared with the newspaper. “We chose our unique approach [to animation]: through the perspective of a millennial.”

This was a risk, as there is a chance that the audience – who are very familiar with the ins and outs of the common version of “Con Rong Chau Tien” – might not take kindly to modern alterations. However, so far, the feature’s reception online has been mostly positive, with many commending the short film’s polished art style and fitting soundtrack.

The project’s creative director, Kieu Thien Van, shared that her team is made up of young creatives who were formally trained in filmmaking. The team spent two months researching Vietnamese history to ensure that their film is also historically accurate visual-wise.

“With the image of the pouch of eggs, we spent a lot of effort to create an appealing image with light flares,” Van said. “With the image of the chim lạc, the team had to go through several designs to come up with the best result.”

[Photos via Thanh Nien]

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