Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Friendly Graffiti

Graffiti in Korea is rare. The graffiti that does exist is quite friendly.
Hello. My nostrils are handles!!!!

I think these two green ones above must be by the same person.

What a motley crew! From left to right: bunny rabbit, Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th (?), Marge Simpson, Homer Simpson, and a happy tree stump (?).

Good morning, pedestrian!

Since graffiti is not a common part of Korean culture, not even in Seoul, there are not many examples to share. Hope you enjoyed these friendly ones.

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:


  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.


  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

Monday, 10 March 2008

What's On Your Desk? Park Min Sun UPGRADE!

It's time for another 'What's On Your Desk?'!
This time we revisit Park Min Sun.

Min Sun's upgraded his desk toys since our last visit with him. Apparently, his Disney and Keroro figures have been wiped out by Captain Harlock and his fleet of space ships.

Captain Harlock is the debonair star of a Japanese animation of the same name. The space ships from this anime are intricately designed.

Here's ship 1:
Here's ship 2:

Here's ship 3:

Lastly, here's a crazy bird:

Min Sun is currently the technical director on an animation that deals with the open seas. So his Captain Harlock models make perfect reference materials. Hmmm . . . I wonder what happened to his other desk toys?


  1. See what used to be on Park Min Sun's desk.
  2. Check out what cool stuff other Korean animators have on their desks.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

New Links: Useful Korean Animation Stuff +More!

I was walking through a snowy mountain when . . .Squirrel: Psssssst! Aren't you Midodok?
Midodok: Yeah.
Squirrel: I've been visiting your blog. It's okay. But I wanna see more stuff done by Korean animators. Whaddya say?
Midodok: Sure, how about I put up some links to friends and co-workers of mine? You can visit the artist Skitsch's sketch blog. She's got a lot to say and drawings to share. Or you can visit Park Min's Naver blog. He posts his animation work sometimes and does it with a lot of style. Or how about Studio Moziri? They create cute and funny animations for you to watch online. Check it out!
Squirrel: Wohoo! Thanks a lot!

Woodpecker: Tk tk tk tk tkkk. It's not enough! It's not enough!

Midodok: Huh?.

Woodpecker: You don't post enough on this blog! I want more, more , MORE!! Tk tk tk tkkkk.

Midodok: Sorry. I do my best!

Woodpecker: It's not enough! Tk tk tk tk tk.

Midodok: Well, there is this website hosted by the Korean Culture and Content Agency (KOCCA). They've got a wealth of information about Korean animation, comics, characters, video games, edutainment and more! I think it could be of great use to people interested in Korean creative content. I should visit that website more often myself.

Woodpecker: Thanks, I guess. Tk tk.

Bees: Bzzzzz. Bzzzzzzz. Bah! Who cares about Korean animation!? We want to read about Korean movies. And sometimes music. Not animation!
Midodok: Sheesh! You mountain animals are asking for so much today!
Bees: Bzzzzzzzz.
Midodok: Okay, there is this blog called Korea Pop Wars by Mark Russell. He covers Korean movies and music in a professional manner. You bees would dig it.
Bees: Why thank you!

All the new links discussed here have been permanently posted on the right side of this blog. I hope they are useful to you. Check them out!

Monday, 3 March 2008

You Can't Do That On The Subway!

Seoul has a magnificent public transportation system: the subway. With so many people riding the subway daily, simple rules need to be set to assure the comfort of all passengers.

What better way to communicate these rules than through cartoons? Cartoons can lay down the law of the subway without coming across as being overly harsh. They also aren't boring.

The following images come from four campaigns using cartoons to teach subway passengers common courtesy.

Campaign 1:
These images are taken from various public service announcements placed on the subway.

This guy looks like he enjoys causing others discomfort. How rude!

I feel sorry for this poor big guy. Maybe it's not his fault he's bow-legged and has to sit like that.

Yikes! I hope this image doesn't plant any bad ideas in anyone's head.

This campaign proudly brought to you by KORAIL.

Campaign 2:
This public service announcement was placed on the wall of the subway station.

Here's a closer look.

This simple message brought to you by Seoul Metro.

Campaign 3:
This poster was displayed on a subway station wall. Here are closer views of what's on them:

The subway station man in the last three images seems to really dislike confrontation.

This campaign humbly brought to you by Seoul Metro.

Campaign 4:
This large illuminated display was also placed within the subway station.

Check out the zigzag line being used to represent yakking.

This last campaign brought to you by Seoul Metro. Peace out!

Which of the four campaigns do you like best?

I pick Campaign 1. Why? First of all, the cartoon characters effectively convey the intended message. Unlike Campaign 4, they aren't drawn so loosely that they lose their believability as living characters. And unlike Campaign 3, they aren't drawn so rigidly that they are trapped in a limited range of emotions. When I see these characters, I know exactly what they are feeling and what I'm not supposed to be doing on the subway. Second of all, the layout of the images are really good. The images read easily from a distance. The layout in Campaign 2 seems cluttered and a bit confusing. I think the artist behind Campaign 1 is excellent!

What do you think?