Year of the Fish (2007)
Critic Consensus: This modernized and rotoscope-animated update on the Cinderella story is charming at times and visually impressive, but audiences may find it to be too coarse for children and too superficial for adults.
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as Ye Xian
as Johnny Pan
as Mrs. Su
as Hong Ji
as Shuk Yee
as Auntie Yaga/The Old Man/The Foreman
as Ye Xian's Customer
as Banquet M.C.
as Gang Leader
as Businessman 1
as Businessman 2
as Tourist Woman
as Seamstress 1
Critic Reviews for Year of the Fish
The director-writer, David Kaplan, is able to hold our attention, and the film's unusual look lends a magical feeling.
Apart from the debut of appealing An Nguyen and a pet fish instead of a magic slipper, there's nothing particularly innovative here, and the film's seedy milieu ensures that it's anything but a kid-friendly fairy tale.
David Kaplan's sweet, if superficial, fairy tale won't change the world, but it makes nice use of its setting (Chinatown) and visual style (rotoscope animation).
An adult fable told with childlike simplicity, Year of the Fish updates an ancient Chinese version of the Cinderella story with imagination, charm and just the right amount of sweetness.
Audience Reviews for Year of the Fish
It's exactly Cinderella in modern Chinatown. While the visuals are interesting at first, it gradually becomes more annoying than charming. In the end, the movie is a bit to dark for children but too shallowly simplistic for adults.
the story itself is told fairly well, and with a couple of interestign dark-fantasy touches (think 90% Cinderella and 20% Pan's Labyrinth)... but the animation made it pretty unbearable; there's no real purpose for it to be there and is only used creatively in transitions and the occassional moment - there's also no money to really make it as expressive like when Linklater does it. If there had been no rotoscoping it would just be a charming little low-budget NY indie flick, but as it stands it becomes ingratiating almost in spite of its better tendencies.
Year of the fish - Is finally getting its US release. Taxicabs may not turn into a pumpkins, and the fairy godmother may sport fins and a tail, but "Year of the Fish" is a Cinderella story all the way, from its abused heroine to its happy ending. That the film is rotoscoped, or digitally painted, is its arthouse/festival calling card. But the story is so cliched and broadly drawn that few paying auds will feel compelled to call. That the film is animated gives it an appropriately magical feel, but it can't save the story from being drowned in devices and stereotype. Chin, although a terrific actress, is bound by the dragon-lady conventions of her character; Nguyen's Ye Xian is little more than a doe-eyed victim, waiting for Prince Charming -- who comes in the form of the handsome Johnny Pan (Ken Leung), a local accordionist who's been having problems with modern Chinese women, but who will apparently live happily ever with someone as pliable as Ye Xian. Cinderella story to the rescue. This is a must see. It should be on screen by September. Vince Vmedia UCB
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