By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
After watching The Little Door Gods (小门神;), I’m hungry for wonton soup. This Chinese staple is a traditional delight, and this animation (which mixes traditional 2D with CGI) is just as fruitful. The story is very merry and it highlights the comedy between two nearly forgotten figures in this culture’s mythology. The only time they get respect is at the start of the new year (Julian calendar). The spirit world is up in arms about how this country’s citizens are more concerned about progress. That is, to embrace technical advance in a modern world. Instead of embracing their heritage, they are losing it by being disconnected with their past, namely with ancestor worship.
Back on Earth, in a small Chinese town slowly being modernized, a family business is struggling to stay ahead. This wonton shop has a 100-year old recipe that’s been left stewing for just as long and they are the only shop to feature posters of the two door gods. They are believed to ward off evil. However, that does not stop an enterprising competitor who wants to see this shop closed. Although young Raindrop (Yu Xinyi) is the central character to this story, this girl becomes the centre of attention when the spirits decide to visit the mortal realm to “fix” their lost honour.