The world has expanded more than ever. Nowadays, thanks to modern advances in communications and transportation, it is easier than ever to use and interact with media around the world. So why is the world of animation so isolated?
Many of the animated content we see in the West is mostly from the United States, France, or Japan. When it comes to Asian animation or movies, many people first think of Japanese anime and rightly so. Anime has attracted the attention of countless viewers since the early 1990s, with its unique visual style, lovable features, and incredible genre diversity.
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But the world of animation, just like the rest of the world, is much wider than a few restricted countries. Some of you may be looking for animations outside the realm of the famous realm, but you do not know where to start and you do not know which other countries have their hands on animated fire. So it is better to look at Asian countries to answer your questions.
These countries have various animations that are suitable for adults and children, from China to Kazakhstan, from the horror genre to romantic comedy and from 2D to Three-dimensional. The range of these animations is very wide. Hopefully, as an animator explorer and adventurer, you can use this list as a springboard to your next deep dive into the world of international animation. So sit back and watch any anime you watch right now and get acquainted with some of the best non-anime Asian animations.
1. Padak Padak ( Padak Padak )
- Country of origin: South Korea
- Director: Dae Hee Lee
- Release Year: 2012
Padak Padak, sometimes known as Padak or Swimming in the Sea, is a 3D independent adult animation from South Korea. Padak Padak, despite the main aquatic characters, is different from the animation in search of Nemo. If you learn how live seafood restaurants work, you will feel suffocated, and this is exactly where our fish heroes are caught. Padak, the main character in our story, is a mackerel taken from the sea and placed in a tank at a live seafood restaurant, where he and his friends are waiting for the inevitable death but are trying to escape. The other fish in the tank have no hope of escaping, but he recognizes the reward of the sea and decides to return to it. The sad environment and the death of the fish in this animation seem very serious.
Death, especially the painful death at the hands of the restaurant chef, is shown in bitter detail that adds to the psychological horror of the film. This film is a remarkable work not only for its story, but also for its interesting details. For example, this animation is one of the few animations in South Korea that is available for rent or purchase on broadcast services. The film was also produced not as a large studio production, but as an independent project by its director, Dae Hee Lee, and was screened at the Jeonju Film Festival before being released in South Korea. This animation may not be as beautiful or sophisticated as the Disney work, but its subtle nature and thought-provoking, emotional and terrifying story make it attractive. Surprisingly, this film is something like a musical. There are three different songs in this movie: Forgive Me, Nightmare and Think About It, or Eel Song, each of which is shown in a different animated style. This movie is heavy, but if you can handle the presuppositions and the horrible visual effects, it is definitely worth watching.
2. Leafie: A Hen Into The Wild )
- Country of origin: South Korea
- Director: Seung Yun
- Release Year: 2011
This film is an animation that focuses on ideas such as freedom, inhuman treatment of animals, love of mother and the limitations of Our bodies impose on us, pay attention to us, and everyone is told from a fibrous point of view that it is a bird that escapes from a chicken farm and goes into the wild. There he finds a duck egg and raises it even though he is not a duck. When his son, Greene, reaches the age when he realizes that his mother is not the same as him, he leaves him, but he gets stuck in the same farm from which Liffey had originally escaped and gets into trouble. The animation is visually stunning and fluid, and the characters are memorable (even if you want to, you can't forget the weird ducks in this animation) and the images are beautifully presented. Even the darkest moments of the film have such outstanding features.
It is better to watch the original language of this animation than the dubbed version, because the Korean voice actors, just like other artists, do their best for a great performance. have given. The film has some shocking and awkward parts, for example, some inappropriate jokes, but other than that, the whole work is very coherent. You fall in love with Liffey, you see him as an independent person, how he fights and how much he loves his goal and you want him to succeed and that is what makes the ending of the animation so powerful. The original language version and dubbing should be discussed again here, because the English dubbed version is censored. If you share this movie with an older audience, the original uncensored version will surely be a pleasant experience for you. Apart from its fascinating scenes, this version has a beautiful, cruel and bitter ending. This movie is a bit hard to find, but the censored version can be found for free on YouTube, and the uncensored version can be found by searching further.
3. Deer Not Color ( A Deer Of Nine Colors )
- Country of origin: China
- Director: Jiajun Kian
- Year of publication: 1981
The nine-color deer is a short 2D animation made in China. The animation design is surprisingly based on a story told in a Buddhist mural. This mural, called Roro Jataka, is found on the walls of the Mugao Caves in Dunhuang, China. Its plot is a fundamental moral story about the value of life and its protection. The animation itself is fantastic. The style of the film is vibrant and colorful, and reflects both the color and the design of the main mural character.
Each of the characters, especially the main deer, is dynamic and lively. The movements of the animated characters, such as their walking or running, are heartwarming and full of life. The animation style may be a bit out of place today. The animation is full of inappropriate cuts, the disappearance and appearance of the main character and the relatively strange movements of various other characters, but the beauty of this work makes you never get bored while watching it. It seems that the slow speed of the animation gives you time to touch its artistic and incredible atmosphere more. The soundtrack, as expected from that time and period, is full of traditional Chinese songs and instruments that not only match the tone of the film, but also make the visuals more beautiful. Despite its Chinese origin, this film has a strange nostalgic feeling and brings to life memories of old stories and animations of the past. You can watch this work with English subtitles for free on YouTube.
4. The Legend of LuoXiao Hei )
- Country of origin: China
- Director: Amtijiji
The character that this film deals with has a history beyond this film. Luciao Hee was created by an artist named Emtijiji and originally appeared in short Flash animations and Webton comics. Currently, there are about 43 short films centered on this film. The film is a prequel to the sequel to Luciao Hee: The Cat's Soul, in which the cat's home is destroyed by deforestation. Now out of his comfort zone, he is caught in a dilemma between loyalty to his supernatural friend and his human master.
This animation is a must see. It's reminiscent of Ghibli Studios films, but visually distinct, it dominates two-dimensional images that we often do not even see in the world of three-dimensional films. The background of the film is a beautiful part of it that takes you to a world where monsters and humans live together. The animation atmosphere is really impressive. The camera angles and its explosive and fluid movements all represent a magnificent work of art. This special work of art is currently available for rent or purchase in Mandarin on the voodoo distribution service and its English DVD is now available on the market.
5. Wandering in the Land of Elementalia ( The Wanderer In The Land Of Elementalia )
- Country of origin: Philippines
- Director: Robert Coelho 2008
Wandering in the Land of Mantalia, sometimes known simply as Daewoo, was the first all-digital animation to come out of the Philippines. The film follows the story of Bobby, a young child who is abducted by his grandparents and transported to a mythical land known as Mantalia, where Bobby tries to save them with the help of his new supernatural friend. This animation, which is the turning point of Filipino animations, has a combination of two-dimensional and three-dimensional style and has two-dimensional and three-dimensional background characters. The film strongly depicts traditional Filipino elements and culture, and critics praised the film for its unique view of the Philippines. In a country that today serves Western outsourcing beyond the animation and film industries, it was crucial to make an independent film that reflects their lifestyles and traditions.
Interest in this project in the production process It's obvious, because the film itself had a budget of about $ 1.3 million, and a team of more than 500 local animators worked together to create it. The soundtrack won numerous awards, including Best Sound, Best Soundtrack and Best Background Song at the 2008 Manila Film Festival. The animation is similar to an American animated television series or television movie in the 1990s, both in terms of visual style and character design, but that does not detract from its cultural and spectacular significance. What may affect its visibility is the difficulty for Western audiences in finding this animation. Many trailers and clips of this animation and even the full version are available for viewing on YouTube, but none of them have subtitles, and except for the narration of the trailer and some words in the clips, the rest are in Tagalog, but even if you are not fluent in Tagalog, This animation is still worth seeing because of its historical and cultural issues.
6. O animal! (! You Animal )
- Country of origin: Philippines
- Director: Ovid Liongorn
- Release year: 2020
O animal! A romantic comedy animation for adults from the Philippines and one of two on this list available on Netflix. This animation is also the first Filipino animation to be distributed via Netflix, although it is only available in areas outside the United States. The story of an animal! About Nymph is a humanoid cat that lives in Manila and is trapped in a sensitive love triangle between its poor friend Roger, a caretaker bull and a rich and successful dog named Ionigo. The tone of this work is like a watery film, full of romance, comedy and drama. In a conservative country like the Philippines, the film's open themes about sex, abortion, and the wealth gap were shocking to many, but it shows others the necessary picture of the dark side of life in the Philippines and supports the film. , Another step towards attracting Filipino animated content to the spotlight. The animation style of this film is unique, without lines and has almost geometric characters in precise and painted backgrounds. The movements are fluid, real and, when necessary, dramatic. Every moment of this film is full of love and concern that the animators and the production team have brought to it, and if you think that it is interesting for you to watch, be sure to do so. Supporting animation projects in talented countries like the Philippines gives them confidence that they have enough audiences to continue their art.
7. Goopi Gawaiya Bagha Bajaiya ( Goopi Gawaiya Bagha Bajaiya )
- Country of Manufacture: India
- Director: Shilpa Ranid
- Year of release: 2019
Guppy Gawaya Bagha Bajaya, sometimes abbreviated as JJB, is a two-dimensional musical animation. This animation is the story of two disabled musicians named Guppi (who loves to sing) and Bagha (who loves drums) and their travels around the world. Together they enjoy the blessings of the King of Ghosts and go on many adventures, thwart wars and try to put a happy ending to everything they encounter with their song. Although only 80 minutes long, the guppies and the garden have a long history.
These characters were first created in a 1910 story by Bengali writer and painter Opendra Kishur Richwudry. Satrajit Ray, Opendra's granddaughter, later adapted the story into three live-action films in 1969, 1980, and 1992. Guppy Gawaya Bagha Bajaya is the latest work of the two old couples, specifically inspired by their first film in 1969. The film's visual design and music are its strengths. The movie has some beautiful songs that are available on YouTube and each of them has a special energy and pleasure and you really do not know which one you like the most. The visuals are just as musical, unique and feature two-dimensional digital puppet animation with very vivid and colorful characters. Although the movements of the characters are not correct or realistic, they are perfectly in tune with the tone and speed of the music. If you are a fan of music and unique arts, be sure to watch this movie. This animation is currently available on Amazon.
8. Lava Kusa: The Warrior Twins ( Lava Kusa: The Warrior Twins )
- Country of origin: India
- Director: Davala Satyam
- Release year: 2010
Lava Kosa: Twin Warriors is a film that bears a strong resemblance to the Western-style cartoons of the 1990s. The animated story is based on the famous Ramayana epic, which includes the twins Lava and Kosa, and like the epic itself, narrates the youth of these two characters. The film was highly acclaimed at the time of its release in India. Its production required significant resources and took three years and cost $ 5 million. The film received a lot of attention in India at the time, but it is strangely difficult to find in the West. The full HD version is available on YouTube, although it is entirely in Hindi with no English subtitles. You can find some DVDs of this movie at cheap prices on eBay and Amazon. The visuals of the film are bright and colorful, and also a few moments of animation are three-dimensional, but most of it is two-dimensional. The style of this work is similar to the Western cartoons of the 90's, but it shows dynamic action scenes and spectacular images. The song, dance, magic and action of the film are unique and evoke a sense of vitality and excitement of childhood. The music is exactly right for Bollywood. The soundtrack, which is available separately from the film, has been sung by famous Indian singers such as Isudas and Chitra. If you are interested in Indian music or epics, be sure to watch this animation.
9. Sitara: Let the girls dream ( Sitara: Let Girls Dream )
- Country of origin: Pakistan
- Director: Gloria Steinem
- Release Year: 2019
Sitara: Let the girls wish that it is sometimes called Sitara for short, a Pakistani short film and just another project This list is available for viewing on Netflix in the United States. This film deals with the very real problem of child marriage. Perry is a young girl who lives in Pakistan with her older sister Sitara in the 1970s. They both dream of becoming pilots one day, but Sitara realizes that her father intends to force her to marry an old man. The ending of the film is really bitter and the final part of the story is shown through the caption images. Making this short film was a big challenge for Wadi Studios, which lacked resources at the time of production. They wanted to make high-quality animation, but obstacles like old cars, a one-hour power outage, and production in a company with a shortage of animators were constantly in their way. However, Sitara was completed and released on International Women's Day.
The film won three awards at the 2019 Los Angeles Animation Festival and a special screening at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. The interesting thing is that this film is silent and allows us to experience this story only with our images and thoughts. The great conscientiousness and commitment of the whole team to this film is evident even in the very first minute. The environment and atmosphere of the animation is lovely and precise, and the city in which the sisters and their families live is beautifully designed, and the way the characters' emotions are expressed in their bodies is fascinating and eye-catching. The hope and joy that the characters feel is evident in their bodies and faces. Of course, the frustration and betrayal that families feel for their father is equally evident. This very heartbreaking short animation has a clear message and the production studio deserves support. So be sure to watch this movie.
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