[Sung Hsin-yin] explores the meaning of happiness in her enchanting coming-of-age animation which spans much of Taiwanese contemporary history since the 1970s in its journey to become a full-fledged democracy. The film follows Chi […], who was born in Taiwan in the mid-1970s and grew up on Happiness Road. She then moved to the US to study, and later finds a job and marries an American. One day she receives a phone call to say her grandmother has died, and promptly returns back home. Back in her old neighborhood, Chi reflects on how her childhood, her life at school and her time with her beloved grandmother have all shaped her.
Frequently referenced in the story are significant moments in its history, such as the lifting of martial law in 1987 and the death of Chiang Kai-shek, the former president of the Republic of China (as Taiwan is officially known) on April 5, 1975; the very day Chi was born.
At the heart of the film, however, is a search for happiness […]. [Chi] has lived the American dream, but realizes that too doesn’t guarantee contentment. Indeed, happiness is something to which all audiences are likely to relate, regardless of nationality or background. This is what makes On Happiness Road a universal tale […]. Compelling and beautifully told through its captivating animation, it also demonstrates that Sung is a talented storyteller.
Jason Bechervaise, Screen Daily