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Animation / Little Door Gods

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Little Door Gods (小门神 Xiao Men Shen), called The Guardian Brothers in the US, is a 2016 CGI animated film by Light Chaser Animation Studio.

The spirit world has been facing mass unemployment due to humans not believing in gods anymore and developing their own technology. Two door gods, Yu Lei and Shen Tu, are at the risk of losing their jobs because of it. To make humans believe in gods again, Yu Lei decides to travel to the human world to break three seals that imprison The Year, a massive demon that causes chaos among the human world.

The film was released in January 2016 in China. An English dub premiered internationally on Netflix in September 2017.



  • Advertised Extra: Caishen, Colossus, and Huaxian all have their own posters, and the latter two have large spots in other group posters. Collectively, they have half an hour of screentime.
  • An Aesop: Modernization isn't bad, as long as you stay true to tradition and never forget the past.
  • Ambiguously Bi: The health inspector. He is attracted to Xiaoying, but he wasn't too bothered about accidentally kissing another guy at the Halloween party, and gushes about fabulous his peacock costume is.
  • Anti-Hero: Yu Lei, a rare example in family friendly movies, tries to help the gods by unleashing a demon that will cause havoc onto the human world.
  • Bishōnen: Yu Lei. Although the more seals he breaks, the more older and wizened looking he becomes.
  • Boundand Gagged: Happens to Yu'er briefly after the unscrupulous neighbor captures her to find out their soup recipe.
  • Advertisement:
  • Combat Tentacles: The Year has this.
  • Cultured Badass: Colossus tries to be this. Keyword being tries.
  • Disappeared Dad: Yu'er's father is never mentioned, and Xiaoying never brought up her father or her grandfather.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Huaxian does not have any footwear.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: Where's the Year's resting place? Why, inside the tree that Shen Tu and Yu Lei were taking care of, of course!
  • Dub Name Change:
    • In the American dub, Yu'er becomes Rain, Xiaoying becomes Luli, Huaxian becomes Bloom, etc.
    • Oddly, The Year is renamed "The Nian", in its original Chinese pronunciation.
  • Foreshadowing: At the beginning of the film, Yu'er ties a music box to a lantern that would eventually end up in Yu Lei and Shen Tu's backyard. At the end of the movie where the brothers fight The Year and are trapped in its tentacles, Shen Tu notices the music box in his sash and uses it to push Yu Lei's ring into The Year's core, defeating it.
  • Flower Motifs: Huaxian is a spirit associated with plum blossoms, which are significant in Chinese culture.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Yu Lei's plan to make humans need gods again.
  • Gods Need Prayer Badly: Or they'll have a stock market crash!
  • Implied Love Interest: Huaxian to Yu Lei. It's implied that they dated in the past.
  • Interspecies Friendship: Yu'er and Xiaoying, humans, who befriend Shen Tu, a god.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Yu Lei changes his mind about breaking the final seal when he sees how much harm he's caused his brother and Yu'er's town. Cue Shen Tu ripping his sword from the seal to give it back to him.
  • Petal Power: Huaxian controls plum blossom petals for combat.
  • Rapid Aging: Yu Lei gets older as he breaks the seals.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Yu Lei, a tall and skinny Anti-Hero who intends to help the god world at the expense of the human world, and Shen Tu, a short and fat god who interacts and shows more concern with the human world.
  • Shout-Out: At the Halloween dance party, two guests dressed up as Superman and Usagi can be seen.
  • Tagalong Kid: Yu'er.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Yu Lei, a thousand times, Yu Lei.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: After being sucked into a black hole caused by Yu Lei breaking the second seal, Huaxian isn't seen again until the end of the movie. The same thing happens with Colossus, who runs away after Yu Lei talks him into letting him break the first one.

Alternative Title(s): The Guardian Brothers