In a small village in ancient China, a mighty serpent has been terrorizing the citizens for many years. To avoid the wrath of the powerful creature there is a ritual involving the sacrifice of a young, innocent girl in order to calm it down. However, as the serpent approaches its next victim, it learns that things are about to change since this young girl will not go without a fight.
During the course of their animated short, directors Jinyue Wan and Jinzhi Due take their audience back to an ancient, a fairy tale China. The animation, the design of the characters and setting define a time in which superstition and belief went hand in hand, constituting a certain order among men and beings such as the serpent. The true test for mankind lies in the realization of possibility, of power and of agency, or in this case fighting back in every way possible.
Apart from the setting and the characters, the focus of the film is with the fight scenes. The use of dramatic music and swift editing emphasize the nature of the battle which is not just for survival, but also the preservation of innocence. At the same time, in the encounter of the serpent and the little girl lies a form of emancipation, of rebellion to go against odds which many people think are impossible to overcome.
“The Girl and the Serpent” is a nice animated short with some beautiful images and music. For a brief period of time, its makers take their viewers back to a time in which fighting against a powerful foe or system was a significant demonstration of human willpower and a sign for emancipation.