Friday, 21 December 2007
Wednesday, 19 December 2007
Today is the BIG day! Presidential election day in Korea!Banners like these are all over Seoul. Each presidential candidate has a unique identifying number 1 through 12. The general consensus is that Number 2, Lee Myung Bak, is almost certain to become the next president of Korea. Sorry number 8! But, will he best for the Korean animation industry? I don't think so.
I think Number 1, Chung Dong Young, will be better for the animation industry in Korea. Number 1 made a publicity visit to our animation studio last Friday. I guess this means he supports animation and the arts. All it personally meant to me was that I had to tidy up my desk for the cameras. . .
But watch out! Putting Number 1 to shame is Number 4, Lee In Je. Look at him zipping high in the sky as Number 1 cowers below. What better for the Korean animation industry than having a cartoon character for president! Imagine how many jobs that will generate! His inauguration alone would require tons of background designers, layout artists, color specialists, story boarders, and so on. So, I say all animation people should vote for the one and only cartoon candidate. Just look how healthy and diligent he is. Okay, I don't want to fool you. He's not really a cartoon character. Here is a real life picture of him. However, I think it is really cool that he used a cartoon representation of himself for his campaign. May the best man win!
Monday, 17 December 2007
hopeful and happy dreams in childhood. To have a dream and to have an
ambition in childhood itself has significant meanings to it and we get
encouraged from parents or acquaintances. However, circumstances turn
around when we become an adult. We are not asked of our dreams
anymore when we become an adult. It is considered immature for an
adult to have a dream and we take cautions ourselves considering it as vain 'day
dream'. Especially, modern people are worn and tore in fierce
competition and are not allowed to have a dream anymore. With the coming
of Christmas, time when we spend time with the beloved families, we have
set opportunities for not only children but also adults to speak out their
dreams freely in the name of a '2nd day dream'. You,
standing here. What dreams do you have now? If you go to this exhibit and find my recommendation was a sour one, I do not apologize for this. Why? Because next door to this exhibit is a small permanent robot museum and across the street is a nostalgia shop full of cartoon characters. Just check those out. Insadong is also full of other galleries, although they aren't as animated as this one.
Friday, 14 December 2007
Thursday, 13 December 2007
Wednesday, 12 December 2007
Korea is a small country. That means a very limited audience. Therefore, a marker of success for an animated property is its ability to sell internationally. Pororo the Little Penguin is one such success story.Korean made characters are in a minority group in the local character goods market place. You are much more likely to see characters from the United States or Japan featured on both television and on products. The Korean characters that do exist are rarely ever anybody's favorites. However, Pororo is everywhere. He's on wristwatches, is a stuffed animal, even multiple bootleg DVD's are easy to find. There are over 400 Pororo based character goods. He's successful locally and he is exported to over 82 countries.
What has made Pororo stand out? One important thing is that people genuinely like him in the first place. But what is it about Pororo that stands out? Perhaps it's just his cute design. Or perhaps it is his adventures. Choi Jong Il, the CEO of the company that makes Pororo explains, "The secret of Pororo's long-running popularity may well be its empathy with today's children." (taken from the KOCCA website) Nothing seems super exceptional about the story to me. I do find the character designs appealing and the animation to look quite good (by the way, I learned at the Animation Museum that Pororo was co-produced in North Korea).
There is nothing distinctly Korean about the look of Pororo. Even the name given to the little penguin seems to blend in with other international hits--think Keroro (Japan) or Pocoyo (Spain). His culturally odorless design must be intentional. And this has proven quite successful. Pororo was a big hit in France and also found success in Italy, Japan, China, and Latin America.
Have you seen Pororo in your part of the world? What do you think the secret to his success is? I'll stick to my theory that penguins are just irresistible.
Tuesday, 11 December 2007
Mi Ra: Well, don't you wish we had more of our own toys? And our own cartoons?
Jae Woo: I don't know. If you want your own cartoons so much, why don't you just tell your uncle to make them. He's an animator, isn't he?
Mi Ra: Tell my uncle! Are you crazy? He spends six days a week animating for other countries. Actually, he makes the animation that they base all these toys off of and then sell back to us at high prices. He doesn't have the time or money to worry about creating his own thing!
Jae Woo: Oh, lighten up! If it's so bad in animation, he should just go work in real estate then.
Mi Ra: Okay, okay. I won't complain about our lack of original content. Still, doesn't something seem awfully suspicious about that giraffe mascot?
Mi Ra & Jae Woo: Definitely!
Giraffe: Hey everybody! We've been open since December 8th and like to stay open for a loooooong time! So don't go to those small little toy stores everywhere else, come to Toys R Us located in Lotte Mart! It's conveniently located next to the Guil subway station in Seoul.
Useful Link: Toys "R" Us opening first store in South Korea
Saturday, 8 December 2007
Can you draw me something using them, please? Please?
Hey, that's too cool! Is that the dog from some anime or something? That girl reminds me of you! Great drawing!
Now that I think about it, I think it's not the crayons that are magic. I think it's you!
Friday, 7 December 2007
Take a look at this extreme close-up of a real female beetle. See how her mouth is more like the muzzle of an otter than the mouth of a human? The button eyes more closely resemble an otter's than a human's, as well. So I think this bee design is quite brilliant!
Wednesday, 5 December 2007
This is a quick guide to getting Korean names right.
Do you ever read Korean comics or the credits of Korean films and wonder, "Why do so many parents name their kids 'Kim' in Korea?" Actually, Kim is just a very common last name. After reading this quick guide you can write your favorite Korean artists fan letters and know that you addressed them correctly.Name Order:
In Korea, family names are placed before given names. So Park Min Sun was born into a family of Parks. And the name his parents gave him is Min Sun. You could call him Mr. Park if you want to be professional. Or you could call him Min Sun if you are his friend. Park is a very common family name, along with Kim and Lee.
Very rarely will somebody have less syllables in their given name, such as Park Min (not to be confused with Park Min Sun).
Just as rare is having more syllables, such as Hong Jemina.
Sometimes names are written without a space: Park MinSun
Sometimes names are written with a hyphen in the first name: Park Min-Sun
Sometimes people just use their initials to be cool: PMS or MSP
This blog uses this format: Park Min Sun
Sometimes overseas, names are presented in reverse order. For example, Park Min Sun may be noted as Min Sun Park in another country. However, this isn't always the case. Yes, this can be confusing!
A common practice is to choose a nonKorean name for using when interacting with English speakers. Example: Christine Yu.
Of course, there are people who create an artist name for themselves. Example: Skitsch.
Lastly, never write names in red. It is considered bad luck.
You may already know this, but I thought those who didn't might find it useful. Please let me know if you have any questions.