Happy Friends is a new version of long animation produced by HAPPYTOON Co., Ltd. and created by Huang Weiming, the creator and director of the famous domestic animation Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf. It tells the story of a group of happy friends in a virtual universe. With its unique style and humorous narration, the animation has received rave reviews, as well as the honors. It is an excellent domestic animation in recent years. What are the secrets lying behind the successful Chinese animation? Today we will go through the factors that bring it to a brighter stage.
Deeply rooted in pure childhood
Huang Weiming, known as the “father of Pleasant Goat” in the industry, devoted all his efforts to create “Happy Friends 2: Battle of the Stars“. In his eyes, “Pleasant Goat” and “Happy Friends ” are just like two children of his own. They have different settings with Pleasant Goat in the fairy tale world and Happy Friends on the alien planet. But they share the common cartoon characteristics for children groups, such as goodness, justice, intelligence, and bravery.
Although they both attract young audiences, at the beginning of the creation, Huang’s positioning of Happy Friends and Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf is different. The audience of the former is older than that of the latter. Huang explained, “given the richer and more complex plots as well as more connections between stories, we need more thinking to aftertaste the charm and shock of Happy Friends. When it comes to the differences between the two cartoons in terms of creative ideas, I suppose Happy Friends is more likely to have an emotional resonance with the young audience. Because they all have Superman dreams in their hearts. Happy Friends is like their cartoon phantom, galloping in the world of science fiction, punishing evil and promoting good. “
As a father, many of Huang’s creative inspiration comes from his lovely daughter. In the process of accompanying his daughter growing up, Huang found that “the perspective of children’s perception of the adult world is very wonderful.” Therefore, at the very beginning of creating Happy Friends, Huang strived to make the movie truly resonate with them. He started from the acceptance psychology of the children’s audience, rather than ideological education, verbal parody and endless fighting based on the adult position. In Huang’s words, Happy Friends is green; because from the moment it sprouts, it is rooted in the pure soil of the childhood world. “
Create “imperfect” local Superman for Chinese children
The United States has Superman, Spiderman, Captain of the United States, and Japan have Ultraman and Masked Superman. The cartoon hero image has been missing for a long time, and Huang Weiming intended to fill this gap by Happy Friends and left an impression on Chinese children.
However, unlike many animated “Heroes”, the hero image of Happy Friends is by no means flawless. The five superheroes in the movie have their advantages. They are lovely, full of sense of justice, unity, friendship, positive energy of kindness, intelligence, and bravery, which are all examples for children to learn. But they are not perfect, a little careless, a little reckless, sometimes with a bit impulse and delay. These imperfections are natural to find in ourselves or our friends and classmates. This is precisely what Huang’s intention is to make the lovely “Superman” heroes in the film closer to the lives of small audiences and arouse their resonance.
Dedication to originality
Faced with Hollywood’s strength, original Chinese animation has been struggling in a difficult situation, and Huang Weiming is one of the most persistent and successful creators. One of the secrets of Huang’s success is his tenacious pursuit of originality and strict requirements. He asked every animator and screenwriter in the company to create something original and could not be copied. “I think the greatest value of everyone’s creation is creativity. If you don’t even have this, you copy others’ stuff. Even if you do the best, it’s still others’ stuff.” Huang said.
Study kids’ audience behaviors
In addition to insisting on originality, Huang Weiming’s other secret of success is to keep a children’s audience in mind at any time. During the release of the movie Happy Friends 1, Huang watched the film for more than ten times with a young audience in different cities. “I go to the cinema not for watching movies but observing and recording the responses of young audiences on the spot,” he told the reporters. “When do they laugh? When do they scream? When can’t they sit well? I will carefully record these moments and share them with my creative team. Now it’s fashionable to use big data analysis to create movies and TV series. Still, it’s impossible for kids’ audience who seldom have access to the Internet. So, the most effective way to improve our creations is to study their behaviors on the spot.”
All these aspects account for Happy Friends ‘ huge success. Nowadays, Chinese superheroes have also been taken globally. We are confident that it would bring a great hit in the worldwide market and set up the Chinese superheroes’ images for overseas children.