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A Treatise of Schemes and Tropes.png This a Useful Notes page. A Treatise of Schemes and Tropes.png

Han-guk Manhwa Aenimeisyeon refers to South Korean Animation. For Korean comic books see Manhwa.

South Korean animation nominally began with a commercial for Lucky Toothpaste in 1956. However, it is usually agreed that it really began with the production of Hong Gil-dong, the country's first animated feature by Shin Dong Woo of the Shin Dong Hyun brothers (S. Korea's answer to Walt and Roy Disney).

South Korea finally entered the world of first color animation feature with the release of Hong Gil-dong, produced by Seki Production and directed by Shin Dong-Heon on January 21, 1967. Adapted from the Hong Gil-dong the Hero comic strip by Shin Dong-won, Hong Gil-dong achieved tremendous success during its initial premiere in 1967. The film's success sparked public interest in S. Korean animation. Though after one more film, the Shin brothers' success ended due to a dispute with their distributor.

Prior to the release of Hong Gil-dong, there were several factors that influenced Seki Production to finally produce this first Korean animated feature. First was the considerable success of re-introducing several classic animation (mostly from Disney such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Peter Pan) to the new generation. Second was the screen quota system that required some movie theaters that generally played foreign films to screen Korean movies around 60-90 days out of a year. Because Seki Production (who owned many of those theaters) wanted something exciting to run during those time in order to minimize the lost of revenue, turned into animation as the answer. Third factor was the harsh censorship enacted by the new Motion Picture Law that somehow did not apply to children?s movies.

Hong Gil-dong soon was followed by the Korea?s first stop motion animation, Heungbu and Nolbu directed by Kang Tae-wong, on June 30, 1967. Other notable animation features includes Hopi and Chadol Bawi (1967), Golden Iron Man (1967), Son O-Gong (1968, as Korean-Japanese production), The Golden Bat (1968), General Hong Gil-dong (1969), Treasure Island (1969), Prince Hodong and the Princess of Nakrang (1971), Lightning Atom (1971) and War of the Monster (1972).

After that brief expansion, the market for S. Korean animation rapidly shrank as the country was flooded with foreign animated films and TV shows before it gave the way to one of the most beloved S. Korean animation, Robot Taekwon V, directed by Kim Cheong-gi in 1976. The animation productions then become more abundant, and during 1976 to 1985 there are 62 animation features produced.

Animation production then shifted to TV series to serve the growth of tourism regarding two international sports events that were being hosted by South Korea: Asian Games in 1986 and Olympic Games in 1988. KBS produced the Korean first animated TV series, Wandering KKachi in 1987.

During the 1970s and 1980s, the South Korean government implemented a ban on Japanese media, including newspapers, magazines, movies, television programs and manga.[1] It was within this period that S. Korean animation was in its infancy. Many examples of early S. Korean animation incorporated unauthorized uses of Japanese anime characters and likenesses. For example, Space Black Knight featured characters that looked exactly like Amuro Ray, Char Aznable, Sayla Mass and Dozle Zabi of Mobile Suit Gundam. In Space Gundam V, the protagonist mecha was an unlicensed version of the VF-1J Valkyrie from Super Dimension Fortress Macross.

Another important note regarding the animation development in Korea was the growing of animation industries that did the subcontracting work for overseas productions, most notably for America and Japan studios. (In a couple instances, these same studios produced films directly plagiarized from anime that was subcontracted to them. For example, Toei outsourced some of Video Senshi Laserion to Korean studio Dai Won, who then made a Laserion ripoff called Video Ranger 007 which reused not only designs, but also animation from the original. This also happened with a Korean ripoff of Gatchaman II called Eagle 5 Brothers which copied entire scenes from the series and condensed them into a 70-minute film.)

With the rising cost of living in South Korea, Western producers decided to shift production to lower-cost area such as China and Vietnam in 1990s, the animation industry in Korea faced a great turmoil. Although several studios managed to retain contracts for high profile animations such as The Simpsons, Futurama, and Avatar: The Last Airbender, it became evident that the only way to survive was by developing original productions.

Recent developments in S. Korean animation parallel that to the country's industrial policy, which is noted for government working hand-in-hand with the private sector. The most impressive example of this collaboration was SICAF, where attendance was over 300,000, once again illustrating the great interest in locally-made product. The S. Korean government also sees animation as the most competitive industry for the 21st century. To demonstrate their confidence, it has provided tax breaks by changing animation's industrial classification and providing services to producers--two changes which clearly demonstrates the government's commitment to the field.

In contrast to Japan, Korea rarely adapts its manhwa into animated form. However, Korea has been responsible for countless animated series from around the world, most coming from Japan. South Korea is undoubtedly the largest supplier of television animation in the world. Industry estimates are not always precise, but no one would argue that in peak production years the country's production houses can turn out over a thousand half-hour (22 minute) episodes. Despite being the largest producer of animation for television, Korea's animation industry has acquired the unique distinction of its domestic animation being dominated by feature films.

Korean Animation Tropes
  • Animation Age Ghetto: Despite the large volume of animation S. Korea produces, almost of all of it that is produced for the Korean market is made for kids.
  • Animesque: After having done animation segments for Japanese shows for so long, it is no wonder there is such an influence.
  • Plagiarism: A few animated films obviously rip off some Japanese anime shows, and do not put the Korean animation system in a good light.
  • Super Robot: Much earlier Korean animations are just this.
  • Toilet Humor: Koreans are more keen on this than the Japanese.

Also see Asian Animation for a list. Compare Anime, Japanese animation.

Examples of Hanguk Manhwa Aenimeisyeon/Useful Notes include:

Animated Films

  • Hong Gil-dong (1967) - South Korea's first animated feature.
  • War of the Monsters (1972)
  • Iron Man 007 (1976)
  • Robot Taekwon V (1976) - also known as Voltar the Invincible
  • Taekwon Boy Maruchi and Arachi (1977)
  • Tori Janggun series (1978-1985)
  • Golden Wings 123 (1978) - also known as Goldwing
  • Starland Trio (1979)
  • Space Black Knight (1980) - also known as Captain of Cosmos
  • Super Manzinger 3 (1982)
  • Solar Adventure (1982)
  • Dok Go Tak series (1983-1985)
  • Computer Nuclear Warship Bombing Operation (1983) - also known as Savior of the Earth
  • Super Express Mazinger 7 (1983) - also known as Protectors of the Universe
  • Space Gundam V (1983)
  • Super Titan 15 (1983)
  • Phoenix Robot Phoenix King (1984) - also known as Defenders of Space
  • Video Ranger 007 (1984)
  • King Robot (1985)
  • Micro-Commando Diatron-5 (1985) - also known as Space Transformers
  • The Adventures of Lotty (1990)
  • Blue Seagull (1994)
  • Super Child (1994)
  • Red Hawk: Weapon of Death (1995)
  • Armageddon (1996)
  • The Last Warrior Ryan (1997)
  • Turtle Hero (2001)
  • My Beautiful Girl Mari (2002)
  • Oseam (2003)
  • Wonderful Days (2003) - also known as Sky Blue
  • Hammerboy (2004)
  • Blade of the Phantom Master (2004)
  • The Great Pig Pirate Mateo (2004)
  • Empress Chung (2005)
  • Aachi and Ssipak (2006)
  • Yobi the Five Tailed Fox (2007)
  • Mug Travel (2007)
  • Green Days (2011)
  • The King of Pigs (2011)
  • Leafie, a Hen into the Wild (2011) - One of South Korea's most recent and successful films, especially on an international level.
  • Speckles: The Tarbosaurus (2012)
  • Padak (2012)
  • Miniforce: New Heroes Rise (2016) - prequel to the 2014 Miniforce animated TV series listed below
  • Seoul Station (2016) - A prequel to Train to Busan released in the same year
  • Lost in the Moonlight (2016)
  • The Underdog (2018)
  • Bad Boss (2018)
  • Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs (2019)

Animated TV shows

  • 2 Eyes Monster
  • 2020 Space Wonder Kiddy
  • The Adventures of Koby & the Oakey Dokeys
  • Aerover
  • The Airport Diary
  • Alloo's Little World
  • Aqua Kids
  • ARPO: The Robot for All Kids
  • Art Odyssey
  • Baby Shark's Big Show!
  • Bamboo, Velvet & Beak
  • Banana Royale
  • Banzi's Secret Diary
  • BASToF Lemon
  • Battle Marvelians
  • Bbambara Q
  • Bboguri
  • The Beet Party
  • Bellbug Popo
  • Bernard
  • Bio-Cop Wingo
  • Black Rubber Shoes
  • Bolts and Blip
  • Bread Barbershop
  • BuBu Baba
  • Call for Chi-Chi
  • Canimals
  • Catch! Teenieping
  • Chiro and Friends
  • Cloud Bread
  • Cobot
  • Cocomong
  • Cosi Mosi
  • Cubix: Robots for Everyone
  • Cute Chocomi
  • Dao and Bazzi: Boomhill Adventures - based on the Crazy Park video games
  • Dalki
  • Dibo The Gift Dragon
  • DinoCore
  • Dooly the Little Dinosaur
  • Dodami and Tori Tori
  • Doyajibong
  • Dreamkix
  • Duchi and Puku
  • Element Hunters
  • Eori
  • Fairy Land ABC
  • Fantasy Village Topo Topo
  • Fire Beadman
  • Fish 'n Chips
  • Flowering Heart
  • The Flying Superboard
  • Franky and Friends
  • Fuss Farm
  • Geisters
  • General of the Earth
  • Ghost Messenger
  • Giga Tribe
  • Ginga Minga
  • Gon
  • Grami's Circus Show
  • The Green Chariot Hamos
  • Greensaver
  • Guardian Fairy Michel
  • The Haunted House: The Secret of the Ghost Ball
  • Hello Carbot
  • Hello Jadoo
  • Hello Pawmily
  • Hero Circle
  • Iljimae
  • Inner Ranger
  • Iron Kid
  • Jaedong, Let's Go To School
  • Jang Geum's Dream
  • Kambu in Mystery Island
  • Kemy
  • Ki Fighter Taerang
  • Kioca
  • Kokomom
  • Kommi
  • Koongya Koongya
  • Kori, The Son of Wizard
  • Kung Fu Dino Posse
  • Larva
  • Lazenca: Revival of a Myth
  • The Legend of Blue
  • The Legend of Rexa
  • Let's Go! MBA
  • Little Wizard Tao
  • Magi-Nation
  • Magic Han War
  • Magic Kid Masuri
  • Mask Man
  • Maxman
  • Medical Island
  • Mental Rope (Hang On in English)
  • MetaJets
  • Milo's Great Adventure
  • Mind Blowing Breakthroughs
  • Miniforce
  • Mix Master: King of Cards
  • Molang
  • Monk the Little Dog
  • My Friend Haechi
  • My Giant Friend
  • Nalong
  • Nano List
  • Nono in Wonderland
  • Noonbory and the Super 7
  • Old Travel of Cho-Rong
  • Olympus Guardian
  • Once Upon a Time
  • Origami Warriors
  • Paboo & Mojies
  • Papadog
  • Penking & Liking
  • Petit Petit Muse
  • Pink the Fairy
  • Pinkfong Wonderstar
  • Pikapo and Friends
  • Pipi: Alien Pig
  • Poe Funny
  • Pororo the Little Penguin
  • Power Battle Watch Car
  • Power Top Plate
  • Princess Pring
  • Pucca
  • Puni Culi
  • Rainbow Ruby
  • Restol: The Special Rescue Squad
  • Revbahaf Kingdom
  • Robocar Poli
  • Rocket Boy & Toro
  • Rolling Stars
  • Run Hani
    • Naughty Hani
  • Running Man
  • Scan2Go
  • School of Love
  • Secret Jouju
  • Semi and the Magic Cube
  • Shadow Fighter
  • Shining Star
  • Sinarak
  • Space Hip-Hop Duck
  • Speed King Bungae
  • Spheres
  • Spookiz
  • The Story of Miho
  • Super Duper Sumos
  • Super Hams Band
  • Super Wings
  • Taekwon Dongja Maruchi
  • Taekwon King Kang Tae-Pung
  • Taeng-gu & Ulasyong
  • Tai Chi Chasers
  • Tales of Greenery
  • Tank Knights Fortress
  • Tayo the Little Bus
  • Telemonster
  • Tickety Toc
  • Tobot
  • Tori Go! Go!
  • Towards Astar Chagu Chagu
  • Track City
  • Turning Mecard
  • Twinkle, the Dream Being
  • Uniminipet
  • Vicky & Johnny
  • Vroomies
  • Wandering KKachi - one of South Korea's first cartoons produced for television
    • Kkachi's Wings
  • Welcome to the Convenience Store
  • White Heart Baekgu
  • The White Seal
  • Wizard Boy Mutterl
  • Woobi Boy
  • Wow Dog
  • Yeongsimi
  • YooHoo & Friends
    • YooHoo to the Rescue
  • Yorang-Ah Yorang-Ah
  • Young-sim
  • Z-Squad
  • Zack & Quack
  • Zak Storm
  • Zelly Go
  • Zombie Dumb
  • Zoobles
  • Zootopia (no relation to the Disney film)

Animated Webtoons

  • Avata Star Sue
  • I Love Eggs
  • Mashimaro
  • Ramyun Boy
  • There She Is


  • Doggy Poo
  • Mad Monkey
  1. Partly due to atrocities and Japanese cultural imperialism during the Imperial Japan's colonization of Korea.