This animation short entitled, "A Warrior's Dream" by animation director Li Jing has been floating around for the past week. Given it has two of my greatest passions animation and martial arts, I had to say something.
Donnie Yen is one of the leading popular martial arts actors today. Son of another famous martial arts master, Bow Sim Mark, Donnie has a long history in the martial arts world. Recently he has been noted for his portrayal of the Wing Chun Kung Fu grandmaster, Ip Man. (Sometimes written as Yip Man) Grandmaster Yip Man is greatly renown as Bruce Lee's first formal martial arts teacher.
Bruce Lee of course needs no introduction. Founder of the Jeet Kune Do philosophy, greatest influence on modern martial arts in the 20th Century. Forever the king of martial arts motion pictures. Period.
The film does fall a bit short with some of the nuance that gives animation sparkle and true life. Some performances copied rather than acted and a lack of "cushioning" or "easing out" that should be there no matter how fast or precise these martial arts legends are. With a larger budget or more time, I'm very confident that would not be the case.
All THAT said, this was amazing to watch and obviously there was a lot of love and hard work behind it. Martial arts in films are basically special effects. Without a story behind it becomes boring or meaningless quite quickly. In this case, however, it's an exception.