Cine21 had a 4 page spread about the upcoming projects in Korean Animation. You probably know just about every single Korean Animation film ever released has been a flop, but there seems to be hope for the future. The market has picked up 25%, the films are winning awards at important festivals, and the new projects seem to be a little more varied and business-oriented (at least in terms of production. Lots of popular manhwa adaptations). The future will tell...
You can click the linked Korean title, and it will lead you to a screenshot page (if available).
Director: Min Kyung-Jo
Release: December 2005
This is an adaptation of Cheon Gye-Young's million selling manhwa (Korean manga). Started production in 1999, and it signed a MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with a Chinese company for co-production. The popular manhwa is about Song Myung-Ja, a young musician who has to bring back her father's music label to its past glory, finding four musicians to form a band, in order to win a competition. Although it's been released in France, I don't think it ever had an US release. 50% of the main artwork, 68% of the backgrounds, 40% of digital effects, and 70% of layouts have been completed (65% of the entire production). Lined up for the soundtracks are rock acts Park Hye-Kyung, Kim Jong-Seo, Doctor 911 and Every Single Day.
'아치와 씨팍' ('Aachi and Ssipak')
Director: Jo Beom-Jin
Release: November 2005
This has been a work in progress for so long, yet it's still one of the most interesting new projects I've seen. There are some decent clips of the film in the Korean Animation Directory DVD, and it looks like a good ole batch of fun. Dubbing by Ryu Seung-Beom and Im Won-Hee, unique artwork and lots of swear... interesting dialogue promise well for the future. I smell an animated Dajjimawa Lee-style film.
'럭키 서울' ('Lucky Seoul')
Director: Kwon Oh-Seong
We already reported about this clay animation film from the director of '강아지똥' ('Doggy Poo'). It's about a countryside boy venturing into the city in the 70s. Judging from the two screenshots, it looks quite good.
천년여우, 여우비 (Cubby The Fox)
Director: Lee Sung-Gang
Release: Summer 2006
The new film from the director of the beautiful '마리 이야기' ('My Beautiful Girl, Mari'), Lee Sung-Gang. It tells the tale of a 10 year old fox wanting to become human, after falling in love with a girl. It's been in production since 2002. The director says it will be much more active than his past film. Budget is 3 Billion Won. The artwork looks stunning, a little on the Miyazaki side. Lee experimented with simple software like Flash for his past film, but this looks to be traditional style.
소중한 날의 꿈 (A Dream of a Precious Day)
Director: Ahn Jae-Hoon
Release: April 2007
A 'nostalgia drama' taking place between 1979 and 1984, about a normal high school girl and the little accidents she has with her unique friends. Compared to Takahata Isao's works (that's one hell of a comparison!). Budget is 1.8 Billion Won.
마당을 나온 암탉 (The Hen is Out in The Yard)
Director: Oh Sung-Yoon
Release: Summer 2008
Another adaptation of a popular Manhwa. It's about a hen going outside, with the desire of becoming a chicken. Director Oh was resposible for the animation in Jang Sun-Woo's 1996 masterpiece '꽃잎' ('A Petal'), and the script is written by Kim Eun-Jung of '접속' ('The Contact') and '텔미썸딩' ('Tell Me Something') fame.
에그콜라 (Egg Cola)
Director: Hong Sung-Ho
From the same team that produced the CG for '원더풀 데이즈' ('Wonderful Days') comes this Full 3d Animation film. Pre-production started in 2002, and it has a 12 Billion Won (!) budget.
With a name like that, what could this film be about? If you thought 'dog,' you win. Started pre-production in 2003, still waiting for more funds. Initial budget was 3 Billion Won
로버트 태권V (Robot Taekwon V)
The obsession of most Koreans in their 30s and 40s, the most famous Animation series ever produced in Korea, big shiny Robot Taekwon V is making a triumphal return. Shin Cine will work on the script until next year, and we'll have to wait until 2010 for its release. But if you're a fan, you know you've waited much, much longer than that already...
Director: Sung Baek-Yeob
The new film from the director of '오세암' ('Oseam'), a story about a little girl in the Korean War. Script is being written right now, and the film should enter production this Winter.