Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Maybe Cartoon Recession is an Asian Thing

It isn't just Japan where animation lags.

Despite government support for Chinese animation, private capital has been slow to fund the domestic sector, leaving it lagging in the wake of 2008's imported "Kung Fu Panda" success.

So far in 2009, just four Chinese animation and animation-related merchandise producers have received capital injections, according to a report released Wednesday by investment analysts at JLM Pacific Epoch ...

While Disney's "Mulan," based on Chinese legend, spawned a sequel and DreamWorks is considering a follow-up to "Kung Fu Panda" -- which raked in $560 million in global ticket sales -- China's animation industry lacks talent, originality and creativity, [JLM's Ely] Yan said ....

I'm picking up a trend here.

All these spokespeople for overseas cartoon industries keep saying their domestic studios are missing something, and that's why they don't keep up with, you know, those Stateside cartoons.

I'm not convinced that this will forever be the case. I'm not sure it's completely the reality now, since there is quality work coming out of various countries beyond the Pacific and Atlantic.

The U.S. doesn't have a monopoly on animation talent; it's just taking awhile for overseas cartoon makers to get it together, one reason being that a lot of their high-end artists keep jumping ship to go work in America. (I know this because their immigration visas come across my desk with a metronomic regularity.)


Anonymous said...

They're trying to stimulate animation by giving capital injections to "animation-related merchandise producers"?

I suspect a bit of ethno-centrism in their situation. They see the few really good American films that make it to their country and think that's common output and then say "If mere Americans can do that, certainly we will do much better."

Aurorah said...

It's more of a problem with the government throwing money at studios but then never giving them the green light. I know of one studio in particular in Nanjing where the gov just keeps throwing money at them for at least 2 years now. But they have never been able to actually get past character design stages because the government people they deal with have no clue about the animation industry. they just get bored and go to sleep during the meetings. It's not a lack of creativity or hard work on the studios end, the government people just aren't used to dealing with creative types. Plus the whole distribution side of the industry is a bit wonky and based in the US. The studios with the best distro deals make the most money, hands down.

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