South Korea actually has a thriving animation industry. However, this is not common internationally, because the main domestically produced animations are produced for the children's television market. Last year's "The Haunted House: The Secret of the Cave" was based on the popular cartoon of the same title.
"The Haunted House: The Secret of the Cave" was quite successful by minor animated theatrical release standards in South Korea, grossing 678,091 admissions. It also did well on the secondary market, as fans of the ghost hunting TV show impatiently awaiting a new season were, of course, interested in the movie that introduced a second goblin character. However, the movie's draw was limited, as it implicitly relied on familiarity with the characters.
The upcoming "Banzi's Secret Diary - Theatrical Version" faces the same benefit and the same pratfall. It's based off of the popular, overly cutesy animation, itself based on an overly cutesy comic book that is likely familiar to South Korean children, but no one else.
The fairytale pastiche "Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs" breaks new ground in the South Korean theatrical animation business by being an original story that has to be promoted largely on its own merits, rather than brand familiarity. But even its ambitions may be short-lived. Even as the film is shaping up to be a success, its production studio has said it will take LOCUS Animation time to put out a new original film, and relevant insiders have said the next project will be more adult-themed.
Written by William Schwartz
"Banzi's Secret Diary - Theatrical Version" is directed by Han Seung-woo-I, and features Bang Yeon-ji, Kim Sun-hye-I, Jo Kyung-yi, Chae Min-ji, Jo Jin-sook, Hong Bum-ki. Release date in Korea: 2019/09/11.
"The Haunted House: The Secret of the Cave" is directed by Kim Byung-gab, and features Jo Hyeon-jeong, Kim Young-eun, Kim Chae-ha, Yang Jeong-hwa, Kim Yool, Shin Yong-woo. Release date in Korea: 2018/07/25.
"Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs" is directed by Hong Sung-ho, and features Ahn So-yi, Shin Yong-woo, Jeon Jin-ah, Kwon Seong-hyeok, Jeong Jae-heon, Choi Han. Release date in Korea: 2019/07/25.
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's News] "Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs" Stands Apart From Other South Korean Animated Projects"
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