Jiang Ziya (voiced by Zheng Xi) is an immortal warrior who has earned the respect of the gods for his feats as a war commander. He’ll be the leader of all the gods after he proves himself one last time by publicly executing the Nine-tailed Fox demon (Ji Guanlin), who has been bringing evil and destruction to humankind.
Just as Jiang Ziya is about to kill the demon, he has a vision in which the Nine-tailed Fox shows him that she has tied herself to the soul of an innocent girl. The girl will also die if the demon dies. Incapable of harming an innocent spirit, Jiang Ziya releases the Nine-Tailed Fox in the vision. Someone else completes the execution, but Jiang Ziya is banished from the Hall of the Gods until he frees himself of the demon’s sorcery and illusions.
After 10 years in exile in the Forbidden Land, Jiang Ziya encounters Jiu (voiced by Yang Ning), who’s the girl he saw in the vision. It turns out that only the body of the Nine-Tailed Fox was destroyed and her evil spirit lives on in Jiu. Under the spell of the Nine-Tailed Fox, Jiu has forgotten her past. Humans fear and reject her, and demons haunt her. Based on a recurring dream, Jiu is on a mission to find her father. She hopes he can prove that she isn’t the Nine-Tailed Fox.
Jiang ZiYa believes it isn’t right to sacrifice an innocent life, even for the greater good. He decides to help Jiu and destroy the Nine-Tailed Fox once and for all.
Chinese mythology; animation; fantasy action adventure
Jiang Ziya: Legend of Deification has some violence. For example:
- The movie features war scenes and shows landscapes destroyed by war.
- It’s implied that a great war has brought death and destruction to many people.
- Jiang Ziya is supposed to publicly execute the Nine-Tailed Fox demon.
- Numerous fighting scenes show the Nine-Tailed Fox attacking Jiang Ziya, Jiu and Jiang’s immortal companion and spirit animal.
- Evil spirits torture, haunt and threaten Jiu. She’s chained to demons, struck, strangled and eventually dies. She is reincarnated.
- Jiang Ziya’s mythical companion, Four-Alike, gets injured in a fight with the Nine-Tailed Fox and dies. Four-Alike is a sort of spirit animal that usually has the appearance of a very small dragon and can transform into a majestic deer with great power.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Jiang Ziya: Legend of Deification shows some use of substances. For example, people in a bar consume some kind of drink that has been squeezed from mushroom-like creatures. The drink seems to have alcoholic or drug-like effects.
Nudity and sexual activity
Jiang Ziya: Legend of Deification has some coarse language and name-calling.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Jiang Ziya: Legend of Deification is the second instalment of the Fengshen Cinematic Universe series, following Ne Zha (2019). Rooted in Chinese mythology and showing in Mandarin, this movie will most likely appeal to a special-interest audience with some background knowledge and passion for Chinese animation.
The movie features doom, gloom, peril and violence, as well as mythical/mystical themes like demons, devils, possession by evil spirits, human sacrifice and reincarnation. These elements make it unsuitable for viewers under 10 years. We also recommend parental guidance for viewers aged 10-13 years.
The main messages from this movie are that you should listen to your own conscience and values, rather than blindly following orders.
Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include determination, courage, friendship, selflessness and high moral standards.
This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues like greed and betrayal. For example, it turns out that one of the gods has made an evil and selfish deal.