Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Hutos - The Flying House

What do you think?Hutos - The Flying House is a new show made for preschoolers. It is made here in Korea and broadcast on KBS. This subway advertisement showcases the main characters. Do these characters strike you as very similar to another international hit show for preschoolers?Here's an abstraction of the main characters into basic shapes and colors. Don't they seem awfully familiar to you? Tell me what you think in the comments sections. I'll add more about Hutos to this post later.

UPDATE (March 15th, 2008): The similarities between Hutos and Teletubbies are not coincidental. Hutos is intended as the 'Korean Teletubbies'.The first obvious similarity is the character design. The characters are very similar colors as well as other design elements. The second similarity is in the structure of the show. It is undeniably like the Teletubbies. It is set in a beautiful nature reserve and they live in similar eco-friendly structures. The previews for this show even feature the characters posing in the same ways as Teletubbies and speaking baby talk as Teletubbies do. Although, in the actual show, a major difference is that the characters speak full sentences in Korean. And a further difference is that the show features music videos and animated segments (not beaming from their bellies).

Do you think that modeling Hutos so closely off of Teletubbies is a good idea? Here are some possible pros and cons:


Pros:


  1. Teletubbies is a proven international success, so Hutos need not reinvent the wheel.
  2. The similarities between the two shows helps audiences (parents) and global investors know exactly what to expect from this property.
  3. Teletubbies rip-off or not, at least a Korean television program is gaining international interest. And anyways, nothing is ever completely original and it's not EXACTLY like Teletubbies.

Cons:

  1. People may criticize Hutos as a blatant rip-off.
  2. Is there a need for a Korean Teletubbies? There already is Teletubbies, so why bother with Hutos?
  3. With all the financial backing for Hutos, the lack of originality is a missed opportunity for Korean talent to truly shine.

Hutos is a cute show that will likely have success on its own merits. The show looks beautiful. And, the heavy marketing can't hurt it either. However, will the Teletubbies similarities hurt or harm it? And what does Hutos reveal about the state of the Korean animation industry? Please share your thoughts.


Here are some links I found useful while researching this that you may too:

  1. Episode of Hutos (with advertisements)
  2. KOCCA: 'Hutos', KBS Young Kids Program, to develop a character manual

14 comments:

TrojanTrumpet said...

In the subway advertisement, it is not as obvious. But in your abstraction, I would say they look a lot like TeliTubbies without the TV screen bellies.

Anonymous said...

It just looks like Teletubbies.
The color remind me of them.
Just the same. -_-;;

Agent Anderson said...

Well, I'd have to say that the ones in the subway add dressed up in animal suits kinda resemble Reubs and Tashes in animal costume for the making of Turnabout: the sitcom! But the second picture definitely reminds me of the Teletubbies. Given that Jerry Falwell is no longer around, perhaps they will be spared the negative publicity...

Alex in Hoju said...

Hmm,
I don't mind colour coding characters for new generations... we can't let someone argue they own the right to colours.

Sesame street has been color coding since the early seventies and now the Wiggles do the same thing and make around 50 million bucks per year from it.

I believe the idea began with the different coloured Thunderbirds in 1964 as imagined by Gerry Anderson. Prior to that, Anderson was making characters that could have all been wearing the same coloured costumes because there was ONLY black and white TV.

The Japanese became obsessed with the Thunderbirds as soon as it was shown on Japanese TV- the fanatastic individual vehicles performing exciting and unique tasks appealed to the Japanese mentality.

In 1972 the Japanese launched the Ninja Science Force (Gatchaman) or 'Battle of the Planets' as we got it in the West. The differing characters all had their own bird colours and individual identity.
======

Some thoughts on some issues here.

The Rock band Kiss now have two new younger members dressing up in the make up of the original band- thus KISS could survive for as long as Rock and Roll survives with injections of new members to keep the masked characters of Lizard, Cat, Space man and Love junkie going.
This same principle applies to animation: Old ideas become new with the injection of youthful vitality and new technology.

Midodok said...

I just updated this post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I think it looks like Teletubbies, too, obviously.

Alex, as always, you raise some good points. I'm a huge fan of color coding! In fact, I think families and friends should even apply it to their own lives, ha ha! Color coding is nothing new and is perfect for preschool programming. And it's also good to regenerate old concepts with fresh ones, even if they are very similar. However, according to a co-worker, this show is definitely intended to be the Korean Teletubbies. The first episode I watched of this show was VERY much like the Teletubbies, but the current one I'm linked to in the post is more original. I think the similarities is a good marketing strategy. However, the world of preschool programming is full of such strong brands (Thomas the Tank Engine, Barney, Teletubbies, Dora, Yo Gabba Gabba, The Wiggles, etc.) that I think Hutos will need more originality to really stand out. Why choose Hutos when you can choose Teletubbies?

Julie said...

That would be cool if we had Hutos here in California--I think they're cute! :o)

Nice website Midodok! We miss you! Take care!

Love, your cousin & Baby Higgy :o)

Midodok said...

Thanks for visiting, Julie.

Hutos aren't cuter than the pictures of Higgy I've seen!

dokebi said...

Hi. I quit my old blog & started a new one that's focused solely on Korean manhwa & animation: http://dokebiclub.blogspot.com/

I like your blog, but I don't think it's focused. People don't find much about Korean animation here. You see, there is a severe dearth of coverage/interest/fan-created contents on Korean manhwa & animation. We see the web overloaded with anime wallpapers & fan fictions, etc., but none or very little of them exist for Korean manhwa.

There were recently very great Korean animation productions such as Yobi: The Five Tailed Fox & Oseam, etc., but I don't think you covered them.

I'm just offering a constructive criticism. I don't know you. You don't know me. For the same reasons, I quit my previous blog, flavcorn.blogspot.com. It was getting significant amount of traffic, but it wasn't focused on anything & it wasn't getting the regular followers/readers/visitors/wateveruwannacalldem.

Thx.

sanjay said...

Sir,

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Kindly support this noble and a country uplifting cause,

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a big little kid said...

uhh has anyone actully SEEN the show?? its nothing like the teletubby! if anything is similer its the coloring, but im 13 and growing up the teletubbys were allways the most joked show for its babyness. and we were 3 and 4 years old! even being in middle school the hutos dosent do that thing where tv characters ask kids a question then wait like 10 min untill they do something.its funny its cute the songs are memorizeable and make u want to sing along! it teaches about being eco-friendly, shareing, and all the other concepts but in a way that will make kids wanna be jest like them! this maye become mnore populer than spongebob! i say great job korea! you outdid yourself. all the teens and parents and kids in virgina support u 100%

Gottacha said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gottacha said...

though the colour is the same but it's so different from Teletubbies! Hutos is way to cuter than Teletubbies. OMG.i love ara!
(pss: though i'a a adult but Hutos is so cute!)

Anonymous said...

wow.. they are so cute..
wish i had a collection of them..

Anonymous said...

I love Hutos! I discovered them from an iPhone app and my kids are obsessed with them. They didn't remind me of the Teletubbies at all... They're way cuter anyway and the Teletubbies are just creepy. Wish we could have more of these cuties! :)