The Year of the Dragon is coming, and for Chinese people all around the world, it’s a time of celebration, reunion, and tradition. In addition to food, decorations, and family gatherings, one popular way to celebrate Chinese New Year is by watching movies.
The Chinese New Year holiday is not just a date on the lunar calendar; it’s a time when all of us gather to celebrate close friends and family.
As we say goodbye to 2023, the year of the rabbit and welcome the year of the dragon, what better way to celebrate this special occasion than by watching some of the best Chinese New Year movies?
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26 Best Movies for Chinese New Year Dragon In 2024
Whether you’re looking to enjoy a classic film, some good laughs, or an action film full of martial arts, there’s something for everyone on this list. So grab some popcorn and get ready to ring in the new lunar year with these amazing Chinese movies.
It’s humor, heart, and a touch of magic make it just right for us to huddle around and watch as we usher in the Lunar New Year. With its vibrant special effects and themes of friendship, it’s a feel-good movie that works wonders in reminding us what’s truly important during this festive season.
Kung Fu Panda
This animated film stars household names such as Jack Black, Jackie Chan, and Angelina Jolie, and it’s perfect for the whole family. The story follows Po, a clumsy panda who must become the Dragon Warrior to save his village from an evil villain. It’s filled with action, humor, and heartwarming moments that will make you believe in yourself just as much as Po does.
You might think it’s just another animated flick, but let me tell you, it dives deep into Chinese culture. It’s about this young girl, Mulan, who steps up to save her father and, honestly, the whole of China. She disguises herself as a guy and joins the army. It’s intense!
This movie wraps up Chinese history and tradition in a way that’s just right for the Lunar New Year. It’s got bravery, honor, family – all that good stuff that makes us who we are. Watching it during the New Year? It’s like dipping into our roots while ringing in the new. Trust me, it’s a classic.
My kids love the animated movie, but you can also watch the live action movie starring main characters Donnie Yen and Liu Yifei.
The Spy Next Door
This film is like a red envelope for the soul. Jackie Chan never fails to amuse with his comedic timing and those unbelievable stunts that just scream family fun. His journey from a martial artist to a global movie star is beyond inspiring. Trust me, it’s a perfect blend of action and laughs that hooks everyone, from grandma to the little ones.
Where’s the Dragon?
It’s a heartwarming animation where this talented painter embarks on a whimsical journey to find a dragon. It’s a trip! The dragon, you see, is a symbol of power and good luck in our culture, and it’s just perfect for the Lunar New Year. Watch it, and you get this colorful splash of tradition that adds so much to our celebration.
It’s about intertwining traditions, where the laughter and joy of one culture blend seamlessly with the other. You see families come together, sharing festive dishes and red envelopes across a diverse spread of customs. It’s a vibrant celebration of unity, a poignant reminder that when it comes to family and festivities, we’re all not that different after all.
Best Chinese New Year Movies for Adults
Sometimes we crave a film that speaks directly to us, the grown-ups. And come Lunar New Year, that yearning doesn’t fade. These films, they are our escape and our reflection.
They peel back layers of joyous festivity to reveal stories with depth, complexity, and a candid portrayal of life’s intricate tapestry.
Trust me, amidst the laughter and the lion dances, these movies become our window into the profound narratives that embrace the matured heart of these celebrations. They resonate, they reflect, and they remind us of the multifaceted human experience that dances in sync with the lunar cycle.
I strongly encourage you to view these movies before inviting your children or teenagers to watch them with you. Some of these films have mature content and are not suitable for young or not-yet mature eyes.
It’s a moment where generations bridge gaps with shared stories and laughter, all over plates of traditional foods. For teens and adults alike, this Chinese film resonates because it reflects the poignant reality of family ties and the true meaning of coming home.
My Best Friend’s Breakfast
It’s about two buddies reuniting over a New Year’s meal that becomes a time machine, sending them back to their high school days. Amid the laughter and steaming bowls of traditional food, the movie really taps into that New Year feeling of renewal.
It makes you think about the friends who’ve been through the ups and downs with you. Honestly, it’s such a sweet ode to the friends that become family, perfectly capturing the spirit of the Lunar New Year.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Have you heard about it? This movie’s not just some high-octane action flick. For the first time ever, we’ve got an Asian superhero leading the charge on the big screen. And isn’t that what the Lunar New Year is about? Ushering in new beginnings, celebrating triumphs. Shang-Chi’s journey – it’s about family, honor, and self-discovery. Perfect themes that resonate with the New Year.
It’s got this warmth that wraps around you like a snug blanket. The way Mahjong, that evergreen pastime, weaves its way into the plot – it’s like a love letter to tradition. You watch, you smile, and it hits you – this is more than a game, it’s a slice of culture, a piece of the festival itself. And we’re all invited to the table, tiles in hand, ready for a New Year filled with luck and laughter.
Crazy Rich Asians
Starring Michelle Yeoh, this movie is drenched in lavish parties and traditions, giving you a peek into modern Asian affluence. Watching this, you might just feel the luxury of the festival. Trust me, it’s a glossy joyride that dances around Lunar New Year themes like family values and finding one’s place in the world. It’s not traditional per se, but it sure celebrates the enormity of the occasion. This one gets a big red envelope of approval from me!
God of Gamblers 2
Stars Andy Lau. You see, during the Lunar New Year, there’s this buzz about luck and prosperity, right? This movie, it just fits. It’s got the highs and lows of risk-taking, matching the holiday’s own whirlwind of fortune. ‘God of Gamblers 2’ isn’t just a movie; it’s a Hong Kong film where the deck’s always hot, and the next hand could flip your fate. It’s that Lunar New Year excitement on screen.
The Wandering Earth
In this sci-fi epic starring Wu Jing, the Lunar New Year takes on a whole new level of significance. As Earth’s surface faces an apocalyptic event, humanity must unite and work together to save the planet. The movie showcases themes of family, sacrifice, and hope – all central ideas in Lunar New Year celebrations. It’s a thrilling adventure that reminds us of the importance of coming together as a community, especially during this festive time.
This movie has an MA Rating.
All’s Well, Ends Well
You know, there’s just something about laughter that brings us all together, especially during celebrations. That’s why I find All’s Well, Ends Well to be such a joy during the Lunar New Year. It’s a comedy that weaves together the lives of several family members, each with their own quirks and issues. Think of it as a light-hearted toast to the New Year, where the humor doesn’t just make us chuckle, but it also connects us by highlighting the ups and downs of family life. And in the spirit of the holiday season, it reminds us to embrace the coming year with a smile.
Enter the Dragon
I mean, when you talk martial arts, this is it. It’s got that energy that pulls you right in, perfect for amping up our Lunar New Year vibes. Watch the quintessential Bruce Lee film in action, it’s like he’s poetry in motion, and it just hits right, especially when we’re all about starting fresh and kicking off the year with a bang. It’s become this tradition in our house, almost like a lucky charm for the New Year.
This movie is Rated R.
An American Girl Story – Ivy & Julie 1976: A Happy Balance
It’s this sweet tale of a Chinese-American girl, Ivy Ling, as she grapples with finding her identity. Caught between her cultural heritage and her American upbringing, Ivy shows us the true meaning of balance during the Chinese New Year.
There’s this pivotal moment where her gymnastics tournament and her family’s big celebration clash, revealing the strength of our generational bonds. It’s a gentle, yet powerful nudge reminding us all of the delicate dance between tradition and personal dreams, especially through the eyes of the younger generation finding their way during the New Year festivities.
It’s about this legendary martial artist, the renowned grandmaster of Wing Chun, who’s life takes drastic turns during the Sino-Japanese War. The way he rises above hardships and upholds honor resonates with the spirit of perseverance and renewal. For me, it’s not just a film; it anchors us to our roots, reminding us of the resilience we celebrate every New Year.
This movie is Rated R.
Kung Fu Hustle
It’s not just the martial arts that’ll grab you, but the belly laughs, too. You see, it hilariously mashes up kung fu with slapstick, and that’s a combo you don’t get every day. You’ll watch bumbling gangsters and a rundown apartment block where the real martial arts masters are hiding out. Trust me, it strikes just the right chord of zany action and laughs that’s perfect for adults looking to unwind.
This movie is Rated R.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Starring an all-star Asain cast with Chow Yun-Fat, this independent film is packed with insane martial arts scenes that just captivate you. But it’s not all just kicks and punches, there’s this powerful story tangled in it that just pulls you deeper. Feels like you’re not just watching a fight; you’re feeling every emotion behind it. It’s one of those films that goes beyond the surface, making the holiday feel that much more special.
Their goal? To win a soccer tournament using their incredible martial arts skills. And, trust me, watching them combine kung fu with soccer is as hilarious as it sounds. It’s like every kick and goal comes with a side of laughter – perfect for keeping spirits high during the festivities!
Wonderful! Liang Xi Mei
With every quirk and joke, it reminded me of our own family gatherings, brimming with that warm, festive chaos. It’s not just a movie; it’s a slice of the New Year spirit, served up with a generous helping of local humor that resonates with us all. Trust me, this is one for the whole family to enjoy as we usher in another year with hopes, laughter, and maybe even matching red outfits.
It’s this vibrant musical that revolves around the traditional Chinese art of getai singing. The film follows a pair of getai singers called the Papaya Sisters as they make their way through the colorful getai scene. ‘881’ is full of songs, and it gives us this touching look at camaraderie and perseverance, which totally vibes with the Lunar New Year spirit. I mean, what’s not to love when you’ve got glitzy costumes, catchy tunes, and a deep dive into a beloved Chinese New Year tradition?
One Cup, A Thousand Stories
Every sip from this cinematic cup offers a glimpse into lives intertwined with themes of renewal, reflection, and the bonds that hold us together. You see, it isn’t merely about festive visuals; it captures the essence of what we hold dear every New Year – connections and the narratives they bear.
It’s set in a time when kingdoms were shrouded in intrigue and quiet power plays. With every frame, you’re pulled into a world of masterful strategies and breathtaking battles. This film, with its Chinese feudal aesthetics, feels right at home during Lunar New Year. The time when we’re reconnecting with our past and the stories that shape us. Watching it, you’re reminded of the legacy and the artful history that’s such a big part of our celebrations.
Xiao Pang, a mischievous young boy, shifts from academic struggles to phone addiction after his parents promise him a mobile phone for better exam results. Seeking help from renowned child psychologist Dr. Ke, the situation takes a twist when Xiao Pang goes missing. The film explores the challenges of parenting in the digital age and the quest to find a balance between technology and family.
It’s a Mad, Mad, World II
After Biu family’s luck changes with a winning lottery ticket, they must navigate their new lives as millionaires while learning an important lesson about wealth and happiness. With eccentric characters and a healthy dose of comedy, this film serves as a timely reminder to stay grounded and cherish the simple things in life. A valuable message during Lunar New Year when we’re encouraged to focus on family, relationships, and gratitude.
We hope you enjoyed this list of Chinese New Year films.
Each one brings its own unique flavor to the mix, just like the dishes that are prepared during this festive time. So gather your loved ones, and get ready for a cinematic journey through tradition, culture, and heartwarming connections.
Happy Lunar New Year!
Micah Klug is a wife, homeschooling mother to five children, and author. She teaches time-tested solutions to help parents remember what matters most in life, including strengthening their home, faith, and family relationships. To learn how a child who grew up in an authoritarian home is now creating an environment of peace and joy in her own home visit this page. If you want to contact Micah, send her an email here or email [email protected].