[EDITORIALS]Animation's revival

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[EDITORIALS]Animation's revival

Korean animation has finally grabbed the interest of the world. It is the greatest feat of all for this industry since the first Korean animation, "Honggildong," was produced in 1967. Lee Sung-gang's animation, "My Beautiful Girl, Mari" received the grand prix at the 26th Annecy International Animation Festival held in France Saturday. The festival is one of the four festivals accredited by the International Animation Association along with the Hiroshima Festival in Japan, Ottawa Festival in Canada and Jagreb Festival in Croatia.

In particular we are proud of Mr. Lee's animation because the Annecy Festival is considered the most prestigious among the four festivals. We now can start talking about our animations' artistic value and creativity. We are not any more a subcontractor for Japanese animation.

The Korean animation industry has made the right choice. It started producing its own animations after Japanese animators turned away from Korea to low-cost labor in China, Thailand, India and the Philippines for subcontractors.

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism helped the industry by designating it as an industry eligible for government assistance.

Animation's future in Korea is bright. More than 3,000 animation majors graduate each year from two-year or four-year colleges. More than 130 companies are officially registered with the Korean Animation Association.

But the numbers are not all that matter. If Korean audiences and drama writers continue to believe that animation is only for children, we cannot expect additional development of the industry.

The market for Korean animation is not yet fully developed. People tend to think Korea's animation is not as good as America's or Japan's. That is why Korean animations still have difficulties finding a stable market.

We have seen one or two original animations a year. That is not enough to dream of a top animation industry. In that sense, it is imperative that we break up the prejudice against Korean animation as soon as possible. We have already revived Korean movies. Now it is animation's turn.
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