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Korean Strangeness Comes To America

You may recall that a few years ago Fred Patten wrote an article for about a very, very strange Korean animated film called Satellite Girl and Milk Cow. Here, we’ll let Fred summarize the plot: It’s about “… a pianist (male), transformed into a cow (female) by Merlin the Magician in the form of an anthropomorphic roll of toilet paper, and pursued by a villainous incinerator that wants to incinerate him/her; while a communication satellite falls from space, becomes an Astro Boy-like robot girl, and saves the cow from the incinerator and its secret agents.” Got all that? No? It’s okay, we don’t either. So why bring this up now? Well thanks to Animation World Network we’ve learned that GKIDS has finally picked up the rights for the film, and they will be releasing a subtitled version to theaters and DVD later this summer.

image c. 2018 GKIDS

Monster in the Mountains

Recently, Netflix released a teaser trailer for OKJA, an upcoming film that (we will admit) caught us by surprise! Directed by Bong Joon-Ho (Snowpiercer) and starring Tilda Swinton and Jake Gyllenhaal, the film tells the story of a young Korean girl named Mija who befriends a monstrous creature– the result of a genetic experiment that has produced a being “somewhere between human and animal”. We only catch a glimpse of OKJA from the trailer, but already horror and fantasy fans are buzzing. Look for OKJA this June on Netflix.

image c. 2017 Netflix


Bush Baby Saves the World

Interesting series you probably never heard of. Yoohoo & Friends is both a 2D animated TV Show and a toy line created by Aurora World in South Korea. According to Wikipedia, “Officially developed in 2007, the series was created to educate children about protection and preservation of the environment and encourages parents and their children to appreciate friendship, harmony, honesty and courage.” The star is a young bush baby named Yoohoo, hoo (gotcha!) travels with world having adventures with his young friends — all of them representing endangered species. The series has been picked up for distribution in North America. No sign of it yet — except in Europe and Asia — but you can see episodes (in English no less) on YouTube.

image c. 2015 Aurora World

image c. 2015 Aurora World

Gon — Not Forgotten

In the “about bloody time” department: Word is out that Gon, the globally-popular manga by Tanaka Masashi, is finally being made into a CGI animated TV series. Gon, if you’ve been living under a rock and don’t know (or perhaps if he threw one on top of you) is a miniature dinosaur-like creature of tremendous speed and power. He lives in the animal world, and always seems to be getting into fights (comical, but still…) with other animals over simple matters like food and territory. Interestingly, this famous Japanese manga is being brought to television by an animation house in Korea, Daewon Media, with the help of the Japanese publishing house Kodansha. There’s a preview video up on YouTube which shows footage that was displayed recently at the TV trade show MIPCOM. The show is all set to premier in Japan and Europe early next year, with the rest of the world hopefully to follow soon after.

image c. 2011 Daewon Media

Cartoon Chickens from Korea

Leafie, A Hen into the Wild is a new 2D animated film from Korea. It’s based on a very popular series of illustrated children’s books by Hwang Sun-mi. It was directed by Oh Seong-yoon, and co-produced by Myung Film and Odoltogi Studio. Released in Korea last month, the story of a young hen who leaves her chicken farm with a dream of raising her own egg has made more at the Korean box office than any home-grown animated film has in decades. Now there’s plans to release the film widely in mainland China. Unfortunately, no one (that we know of) is talking about distributing the film to North America. Looks like our loss. You can see a trailer for the film on YouTube though.

image c. 2011 Myung Film