Animation around the world
Are you interested in studying Animation?
There are so many different styles, processes and techniques involved that Animation is a whole field unto itself when it comes to Film and TV Production. Depending on the work, animators can often spend months on a single episode or piece, animating scene-by-scene plus making revisions. Animation requires a lot of patience and attention to detail when working on a single piece of work, even if it’s just a twenty minute episode of a children’s cartoon (in fact, children can be rather discerning as viewers). Animation is used as a technique for many types of media; whether it’s a feature-length film for the whole family; an TV advert for a gas company; or a comedy short online which is aimed at an older, mature audience.
Everyone loves cartoons – Kids are everywhere and no matter where you are, cartoons are used to entertain them. While it always depends on parent, most kids grow up watching cartoons, as they’re educational and form early knowledge. For parents, they help keep kids quiet and content when they need to get on with their own jobs, tasks or chores. Meanwhile, adults will likely sit down to watch a cartoon as well; whether it's a favourite from their childhoods, or it uses animation to deal with mature themes in a new way.
Cartoons travel around the globe – Cartoons and films aren’t just made for an audience in one country. Often cartoons are syndicated elsewhere, dubbed over in multiple languages. Of course in the case of children’s cartoons, they are too young to understand this inconsistency and will happily watch regardless.
Outsourced work – Animation work on large projects like a TV show is often outsourced from large companies and studios to smaller companies, often abroad. This can be because it is more cost-effective and simply because there is so much work to do. For example, did you know that American comedy favourite South Park is animated in Korea? Of course, this requires two offices from different countries to coordinate and communicate effectively together; hence why there is such a demand for international graduates with key skills like knowledge of other languages and familiarity of working laws abroad. When it comes to films, you may be surprised to know just how many small companies in other countries work on the project, but are legally not allowed to talk about this (next time you watch an animated film at the cinema, stay behind when the credits roll and
Diversity in style – Animation styles and techniques will vary from country to country. The anime style of Asia has spread to America in the last twenty years, and is clearly very different compared to an old British cartoon from the 80s in its “look”. You may also see differences in certain attitudes and ideas which these cartoons send out, or the kinds of stories being told. Depending on the country, certain aspects may be censored out or slightly changed. This makes Animation a career which is always introducing you to new things and allowing you to be creative.
Take an animated tour of the world with us, and see what kinds of cartoons are popular in particular countries:
The Simpsons (USA):
George Bush once said that Americans should aspire to be more like The Waltons and ‘less like The Simpsons’. However this hasn’t stopped the Simpsons clan becoming the most beloved yellow family in the world. Almost twenty five years old, The Simpsons has become a cultural phenomenon, with phrases like ‘Doh!’ and ‘Eat my shorts’ becoming a part of the western vernacular.
Wallace and Gromit (UK):
The adventures of this inventor and his silent dog have brought delight to many generations at Christmas and Easter. The TV specials and feature length movie have been created in stop motion with plasticine figurines, which is a long, arduous process (hence why it’s a real event when a new special is released). The style is a charming throwback to older forms of animation (with very British sentimentality and references), but that doesn’t stop new kids becoming fans through their parents and grandparents.
Khan Kluay (Thailand):
Khan Kluay, an animated elephant, was originally the title character of a feature film, but has since become a star of the TV too. The subject matter is rather mature given the young audience: Khan Klay is picked on by the other elephants because he doesn’t have a father, whom he goes in search of. The story also features themes and plot-points involving discrimination, war and warlords; so don’t let the cute elephants and gentle animation fool you.
Isla Presidencial (Latin America):
This satirical cartoon sees several Latin American presidents stranded on a desert island following a plane crash coming back from a political summit. These include Hugo Chavez, Sebastien Pinera and Juan Carlos, with all struggling to get along and survive, while poking fun at their public profiles and political beliefs. Definitely one for adults!
Paul Ellett is the editor for Hotcourses Abroad. His role is to plan, produce and share editorial, videos, infographics, eBooks and any other content to inform prospective and current international students about their study abroad experience. When he's not thinking about student visas in Sweden and application deadlines, Paul is an avid fan of comedy podcasts and Nicolas Cage films.