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6 Best Movies To Watch This Dragon Chinese New Year

6 Best Movies To Watch This Dragon Chinese New Year

It's a rather challenging task to find an authentic Chinese New Year Movie that is available to children outside of China! In recently years, China has released a number of great movies that meet all our checklist (fun, engaging, full of Chinese tradition), however, they are not available on the popular video platforms such as YouTube and Netflix. When some of them did make it to those platforms, their audio was translated into English! What a headache for parents searching for movies in the Chinese language for their children!

So, here we go again, a few fun Chinese New Year movies to watch this Dragon New Year. 

1. 许愿神龙 (xǔ yuàn shén lóng)Wish Dragon -Netflix


Netflix Wish Dragon

Ages: 6+ (PG)
Genres: Animation, Kids and Family, Comedy 
Duration: 1 hour 42 minutes
Language: Mandarin Chinese, English 
Subtitle: Simplified Chinese and English

Where to watch: Netflix


Why we recommend:

Wish Dragon is an enchanting animation that perfectly blends modern storytelling with the rich heritage of Chinese culture, making it an ideal pick for the Chinese New Year 2024, the Year of the Dragon.

-The film draws from ancient Chinese folklore, featuring the wish-granting dragon, a symbol of power and good fortune in Chinese tradition. Set against the vibrant backdrop of Shanghai, it celebrates the essence of contemporary and historical China.
-The movie celebrates Confucian values like family and respect, while vividly showcasing Chinese festivals, attire, and cuisine.
-Be sure to turn Netflix movie "audio" into Mandarin to make the movie an authentic language immersion for Chinese learners.
-The movie is fun and beautiful! 

    Plot: Din, a determined college student, discovers Long, a magical dragon that can grant three wishes. Instead of seeking wealth, Din wishes to reconnect with his childhood friend, Lina. Together, Din and Long embark on a humorous and heartfelt journey, uncovering the true value of friendship and the realization that life's greatest treasures are not always obtained through wishes. 

    2. 除夕的故事(1984)年兽的传说 (chú xī de gù shì nián shòu de chuán shuō) The Tale of Chinese New Year Eve -YouTube


    Ages: 5+
    Genres: Children, myth, humor
    Duration: 18 minutes 
    Language: Mandarin Chinese 
    Where to watch: YouTube

    Why we recommend:

    -It is a classic short film about traditional Chinese folk story surrounding the New Year. For 40 years, this film has delighted generations of Chinese. 

    -The film beautifully illustrates the traditions and cultural significance behind modern New Year practices in the Chinese community, offering a glimpse into the origins of Chinese New Year. 

    Plot: The 18-minute film narrates the tale of Nian (年 ), a mythical beast that is said to surface and terrorize villages every New Year's Eve. According to legend, Nian is sensitive to loud noises, bright lights, and the color red. The villagers, determined to protect their homes and families, use fireworks, red lanterns, and red decorations to scare the beast away. 

    Warning: The audio is in Mandarin Chinese, but the video does not have Chinese or English subtitle. Yes, the language is conversational as the video was produced for children.  

    3. 小猪佩奇过大年 (xiǎo zhū pèi qí guò dà nián) Peppa Celebrates Chinese New Year-YouTube


    peppa pig chinese new year movie


    Ages: 6+
    Genres: Children, musical, realistic fiction, humor 
    Duration: 1 hour 22 minutes
    Language: Mandarin Chinese 
    Subtitle: Simplified Chinese and English
    Where to watch: YouTube 
    Why we recommend:
    -A rare Children's musical about Chinese New Year released in 2019!  
    -Don't be fooled by the title of the movie. It is not just the Peppa Pig animation, but also a contemporary Chinese family that loves the Peppa Pig show. Main characters include mom, dad, sister 汤圆, younger brother 饺子 and grandparents
    -Realistic fiction with real human cast 
    -If you have a Peppa Pig fan, they will love watching their favorite Peppa Pig show with a happy family
    -Everyday conversational language 
    -English and Chinese subtitles for family fun 

      Plot: Two children listen to Peppa Pig stories while celebrating Chinese New Year with their beloved parents and grandparents.

       This YouTube movie link is not high resolution. However, little ones may be drawn to the Peppa Pig animation and music, and they might not even notice the picture quality! 

      4. 小门神( Xiǎo Mén Shén)Little Door Guards -YouTube

      Ages: 5+ 
      Genres: Animation, Fantasy, Superhero 
      Duration: 1 hour 50 minutes 
      Language: Mandarin Chinese  
      Subtitle: Simplified Chinese and English 
      Where to watch: YouTube 


      Why we recommend it 

      -Even though the movie was made in 2016, it is one of the more engaging Chinese movies on YouTube today 
      -Simple conversational dialogue, easy for young Chinese learners to understand 
      Engaging storytelling 
      -High quality animation and adorable character design 
      -English and Chinese subtitles for family movie night fun 
      -I love this contemporary family story about Chinese traditions. I remember the days when many families in my hometown left posters of gods on their doors to allow the spirits access to protect their homes. Lovely! 

        Plot: When a Chinese family's dumpling soup shop is targeted for sabotage by a competitor, two guardians from the spirit world leave retirement to protect them. You can read more about the movie from this Wikipedia page. 

        Warning: The villain in the story, (Nián), can be scary for young kids. Sound familiar? I had to remind my boys: There is a monster. He is not real! (Nián), translated as Year, was a monster in old Chinese tales. Nián came out of its lair each New Year to attack people. Eventually, people figured out how to fend off Nián by exploding firecrackers and lighting red lanterns in the new year.  

        5. 年兽大作战 (nián shòu dà zuò zhàn) Crazy Nian-YouTube

        MR NIAN
        Ages: 4+ 
        Genres: Animation, Fantasy, Superhero 
        Duration: 1 hour 37 minutes 
        Language: Mandarin Chinese  
        Subtitle: Simplified Chinese and English 

        Where to watch: YouTube 


        Why we recommend it 

        -Another 2016 movie that still captures children 7 years later, and it is readily available on YouTube 
        -Simple conversational dialogue, easy for young Chinese learners to understand 
        -High quality animation
        -English and Chinese subtitles for family movie night fun 


          A mysterious key that has the power to "open up" the Chinese Spring Festival fell from heaven to the mortal world and was picked up by 沙果. In order to get back the key, Mr. 年 Nian and 沙果 embarked on a journey of "fighting wits and courage". Slowly becoming good friends, Mr. Nian the beast rescued 沙果 at a critical moment, and joined hands with the Nian family to take on the important task of saving the Chinese Spring Festival.You can read more about the movie from this Wikipedia page.  


          6. 功夫熊猫 3 (gōng fu xióng māo) -Kung Fu Panda 3-Netflix

          Kung fu Panda
          Ages: 6+ (PG)
          Genres: Animation, Fantasy, Superhero
          Duration: 1 hour 34 minutes
          Language: English 
          Subtitle: English

          Where to watch: Netflix 


          Why we recommend it

          -"Kung Fu Panda 3" beautifully showcases Chinese culture, traditions, and martial arts, offering a fun and immersive way for children to connect with the spirit of the Chinese New Year.

          -It is a fun look into Chinese New Year from a different perspective. 

          -Everyone loves pandas!

          Plot: Po reunites with his father and journeys to a secret panda village, where he must transform his clumsy kin into kung fu warriors to defeat the supernatural villain, Kai. Along the way, Po embraces his identity, learning that true strength comes from being oneself.

          Warning: We can't find this wonderful movie in Chinese on popular streaming services. Although Netflix offers the movie only in English, we still recommend it because it provides fun entertainment for the entire family and beautifully celebrates Chinese culture during this New Year.    

          Hope you will get a chance to enjoy the culture, language and tradition in those fun movies with your family! Have you found any good Chinese movies about the Chinese New Year? Please do let us know by writing a comment below. 

          Happy Year of the Dragon! 

          The JoJo Learning Team 

          Check out our other blog posts:
          Simple & Fun Ways to Celebrate Chinese New Year
          7 Chinese New Year Videos and Songs Children Will Love
          Fun Chinese New Year Activities to Do at Home or in the Classroom
          10 Best Chinese Children's Books to Celebrate Chinese New Year

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