Magazine article Variety

Rising Toon Powers Spotlighted in Lineup

Magazine article Variety

Rising Toon Powers Spotlighted in Lineup

Article excerpt

Over the years, Japan has been considered the powerhouse of Asian animation. The island nation continues to hold that lead, but it was shut out of the competition the Annecy Inti. Animated Film Festival. Instead, the lineup showcases the new players that have risen to prominence throughout East Asia and the new diversity of Asian animation.

In competition, South Korean helmer Yeon Sangho's "Seoul Station" is a zombie apocalyptic thriller and a prequel to his live-action debut "Train to Busan," which recently screened in Cannes. Like his previous features, "Seoul" deals with human nature and absurdities in modem society.

Yeon also produced the festival's out-of-competition Korean entry, "Kai." Loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen," the Lee Sung-gang indie film is the antithesis of "Seoul Station," a mass-appeal adventure with warm, bright colors.

While South Korea is Japan's strongest competition for regional dominance, China's "Monkey King: Hero is Back" and the Philippines'"Manang Biring" also represent rising players in Asian animation. Both films are showing out of competition.

While China's film industry has been booming, its animation industry was a late bloomer. At first, only a few franchises like "Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf" saw box office success. …

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