tek's rating: ¾

White Snake (not rated)
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Caution: spoilers.

This Chinese film is meant to be a prequel to a Chinese fable with which I am unfamiliar. But I enjoyed the movie rather a lot, so I don't think it's important to know the fable before watching this. I really would like to see the producers of this movie make the fable itself into a sequel, though.

Okay, so there are these two sisters, Blanca and Verta, who are, respectively, a white snake demon and a green snake demon (both in human form, most of the time). They're both part of a group of snake demons who work for a master that sends Blanca to assassinate a Dark General. The General demands a village pay taxes in the form of snakes, so the villagers are all snake catchers. The General, I guess, absorbs the snakes' vital essence to make himself more powerful (i.e., give himself magical abilities). Of course, those are just regular snakes, not demons. Anyway, Blanca fails in her mission to kill the General (despite being pretty badass), and ends up falling into the water and losing her memory.

She's found and rescued by a young man from the snake catcher village, named Xuan. He wants to help her find clues to recover her memory, and they find a magical hairpin the Snake Master had given her as a weapon to kill the General. This leads them to a workshop run by a fox demon (also in human form... mostly). She tells them more about the hairpin, and... I dunno what else to say about that. Meanwhile, the Snake Master has sent Verta to find and bring Blanca home, but she also sends another snake demon to kill Blanca, believing her to be a traitor, since she's now with a human. Oh, and I should mention that Xuan has a pet dog named Dudou, who at one point Blanca gives the ability to speak (which really freaks Dudou out).

Anyway, lots of other stuff happens, and eventually Blanca gets her memory back. And over the course of the journey, she and Xuan fall in love. And there's a battle against some officer who works for the General, who also has magical powers, and tries to absorb Blanca's power for himself. But she ends up absorbing his power, and turns into a giant white snake, losing her human form. Then she goes on a rampage, eventually getting into a battle with the Dark General and his army. But the Snake Master has sent her own army to also battle the General. And um... Xuan returns to the workshop to make a deal with the fox demon there, the details of which I won't get into. But he later goes to his home village, where the movie's major battle takes place. And... I don't want to spoil how that turns out. But it's complicated.

I feel like I'm leaving out a ton of stuff, but I've probably said enough. I definitely found the whole story interesting, and I liked the characters well enough, and the animation is gorgeous.

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