Canadian Premiere

Deep Sea (Shen Hai)

Directed by Tian Xiaopeng

Presented in 3D!


Official selection

Berlin International Film Festival 2023
Tribeca Film Festival 2023
Annecy International Animation Film Festival 2023


Tian Xiaopeng


Tian Xiaopeng


Wang Tingwen, Su Xin, Yang Ting, Teng Kunixing, Ji Jing



China 2023 112 mins OV Mandarin Subtitles : English
Genre AnimationFamilyFantasy

Haunted by her mother’s abandonment, young Shenxiu is beset by bad dreams. But this nightmare creature, the Hyjinx, is no figment of her imagination. On an ocean cruise with her father and step-family, Shenxiu encounters the Hyjinx as a storm rages, before being cast overboard. Her life is saved, however, by the timely arrival of a submarine – repurposed as a bizarre and wonderful underwater restaurant catering to the denizens of the deep. The deranged dining spot and its oddball staff and crew are overseen by the manic chef Hanhe, who begrudgingly takes Shenxiu under his wing. She wants to follow the many-eyed Hyjinx to the heart of the ocean, in hopes of finding her mother, but can Shenxiu count on the mercurial madman Hanhe? And can they outrun the terrible monster called the Red Phantom?

Chinese animation is booming these days, the CG side in particular, and an important pioneer in the field is director Tian Xiaopeng, who lit the fuse with his feature debut in 2015, the award-winning box-office smash hit MONKEY KING: HERO IS BACK. Following that irreverent reimagining of classical Chinese mythology, Tian embarked on a truly original project, and seven years later, DEEP SEA has at last surfaced on our shores. Strange, wondrous, and courageous in its emotional exploration, DEEP SEA is also an incredible work of technical innovation. Seeking to establish a uniquely Chinese style, the country’s animators have strived to merge their very linear craft with traditional ink-wash painting since the 1961 short film TADPOLES SEARCHING FOR MOTHER. Their successes, however, have only revealed what an overwhelming challenge the approach can be. Tian, the intrepid innovator, has achieved a new high, however. Using a cutting-edge digital particle-animation technique, and backed by a staff of close to 1500 artisans, he has created a visual spectacle of unprecedented richness, one of which we can truly say: you’ve never seen anything like this before. And for an all the more incredible experience, Fantasia is presenting DEEP SEA in 3D! – Rupert Bottenberg