Asia's top cartoons set to thrill world


BY DEVID RAJAH

TOKYO: Asia's top animated films and cartoons are well poised to flood the magical world of animation with United States, Europe and Australia showing keen interest in Tezuka Productions' work. 

Apart from its regular regional based consumers like Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, the company's newer animated TV series, namely Astro Boy 3, have already found a market in the US, with television companies buying up to 25 of the 50 episodes. 

According to the Tezuka Prodution Co Ltd general manager Yoshihiro Shimizu, the company, which had won several international animated film awards like in the 1988 International Animated Film Festival in Hiroshima, started with comic series in 1952 before moving into animated television series in 1963.  

The company was founded by the talented medical doctor Dr Osamu Tezuka. 

Tezuka, moved on from producing cartoons to the popular Mighty Atom series, which eventually evolved into Astro Boy, as well as Jungle Emperor (Kimba The White Lion), W3 (Amazing Three) and Princess Knight. 

Shimizu said the company would continue to strive to achieve greater heights, drawing inspiration from how Dr Tezuka produced Japan's first two-hour television animated special, Bander Book in 1978, a new colour version of the Mighty Atom, or Astro Boy television series and Phoenix 2772, a full-length feature, both in 1980. 

“Sony Pictures will also be promoting Astro Boy 3 in Australia, Singapore and Malaysia,'' he said, adding that, the Japanese Animated Film Festival, which opened on Wednesday, was timely to review the development of the Japanese animated film industry.  

  • Another perspective from The Yomiuri Shimbun, a partner of Asia News Network. 

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