[KS] Pocahontas in Pyongyang

Lucas Hüsgen lhusgen at kirogi.demon.nl
Mon Jul 19 16:25:12 EDT 2004

German TV art magazine Aspekte some weeks ago aired a documentary on North  
Korean animated movies, produced for Western companies. Here's the URL to  
the article which is in German only:


The following is a short summary:

The North Korean studio SEK employs 1900 people, all of them highly  
qualified. ZDF showed their studios, that is, showed their computer rooms,  
computers being of the latest standards. According to a German multimedia  
specialist their films belong to the highest level of quality worldwide.  
SEK now works for about 70 western firms. Many of these productions are  
said to be undercover: the program claims 'Pocahontas' actually was  
produced in Pyongyang. Employees are said to make an average montly income  
of $ 3 (sic). This of course would attract any western firm. The studio  
manager claims to be as good as Disney and to have the capability for  
producing up to 7000 minutes a year.

The page amongst others links to an extended article on South Korean  
animated movies  
(http://www.awn.com/mag/issue2.6/2.6pages/2.6vallaskorea.html), stating:

One other note, North Korea has joined the South in the animation  
industry. SEK is a state owned and operated animation studio in North  
Korea with a staff of 500 people. We haven't heard too much about this  
company in the U.S. up until now, and we couldn't do business with them  
legally, but the French can and do. Currently this studio is producing 26  
half-hours a year at a very competitive price for European producers. I  
suspect that it may not be long before political differences are put aside  
and business interests are addressed between the two Koreas.

www.pororo.net will bring you to the result of an inter-Korean cooperation  
in the field. Storyline of this educational project goes:

Far far away, unknown and untouched by human civilization, lies a peaceful  
island covered in snow and ice. On this white island, deep inside a small  
secluded forest, is a tiny village inhabited by little animals.No-one  
knows how they came to live on the island but they naturally came to live  
together in the village situated in the little valley where the sunshine  
is warmest and the cold wind is least harsh. In the village lives Pororo,  
a very inquisitive impish little penguin, good-natured polar bear Poby,  
smug nosy red fox Eddy, shy and timid little beaver Loopy.All of our  
friends have distinct personalities and different interests which  
sometimes cause little ( and sometimes not so little) Happenings in their  
calm white world. But they are all good friends and know how to help each  
other in times of trouble. It all begins on one sunny day, when Pororo  
finds something in the ice mountains and brings it home . .

I wonder what Pororo may have found at Paekdusan....


Lucas Hüsgen

There's nothing like the old songs, but what's the good if you can't  
remember them. Mem. Mem. Memory.

William H. Gass


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