Friday, August 26, 2005

Animation Addendum: The DPRK Strikes Back

I've had animation on my mind a lot and earlier this week discussed Tom and Jerry's presence in North Korea, the Palestinian Territories and elsewhere. Little did I realize that Pyongyang is also a small-scale exporter of animation.

Yahoo! News says that not only has the state-owned SEK Studio "done animation work for Italian, French and Spanish productions," it has "made its own TV shows featuring cuddly animals who live in a cutesy world devoid of propaganda extolling the North's Great Leader Kim Il-Sung and his 'juche' doctrine of self-reliance."

I wonder whether the animals are silent or otherwise hew to the guidelines I discussed for trans-cultural animation in Beacon No. 60?

Now SEK has done the animation for a full-length film called Empress Chung, which re-tells a medieval Korean legend: A heroic young girl embarks on a mission to restore her blind father's sight, battling a monstrous sea god along the way. (I wonder whether there's not a dollop of Joseph Campbell's universal "hero's journey" in Empress Chung as well.)

Chung is premiering simultaneously in both Korean capitals thanks to its South Korean producer, Nelson Shin, a Simpsons and Transformers veteran. Read more about Shin's heroic, 16-year quest to promote inter-Korean cooperation here in the Korea Times.

1 comment:

Paul Kretkowski said...

I neglected to credit John Brown's invaluable Public Diplomacy Review for the original link to this article. —PK

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