by Megan Beckerich
With the American release of the new animated epic Big Fish and Begonia, let’s talk about Chinese folklore—specifically the magical women who frequent its legends.
A colorful display of magic.
Big Fish and Begonia tells the story of Chun, a young girl who comes from a mystical parallel spirit world and assumes the form of a red dolphin in the human world. The film centers on her quest to resurrect the human boy who saved her life when she ventured into the human world and was ensnared in a fisherman’s net.
Historically, dolphins are associated with peace and prosperity in Chinese folklore. That belief comes from a particular legend, one that is linked to a specific breed of dolphin: the sadly critically endangered baiji. The baiji legend tells of a young girl who is beset by a lecherous uncle and thrown into the river where she…
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