The history of Korean animation, the manipulation of images to make them appear as moving, began with Japanese and American characters dominating the industry. The first sound animated character was created in 1936. The first feature-length animated character appeared in 1967. Dooly the Little Dinosaur revolutionized the character market in 1987. As animation characters specific to Korea appeared, the Korean character market continued to grow. Since then, Korean character franchises have even exported their characters to other countries.


Tayo bus 'Rudolph' According to records, the first sound animated character was 'Gaekkum' (개꿈), who was created in 1936.

Divided Korea ― South Korea

Han Chang-Wan, a professor at Sejong University, published the history of animation character design in Korea at the Character Licensing Fair 2016. This study became the first to have rabbit and turtle illustrations as Korean animated characters. This was revealed in 'The Independent' newspaper. This first feature-length animated character appeared in 1967, in the namesake movie about a character named Hong Gildong (홍길동). With American and Japanese characters dominating the Korean animation industry until the 1970s, it wasn't until 1983 when Dooly the Little Dinosaur (아기 공룡 둘리) appeared in Bomulsum—a monthly magazine for kids—and changed the Korean character market. In 1987, Dooly the Little Dinosaur first aired as a six-part TV show, with another seven parts airing in 1988. In 1995, Kim Soo-jung, its creator, established a company named 'Dooly World' and went into the character design industry. The following year, the animated movie 'Dooly the Little Dinosaur' was released. In the 30 years since Dooly the Little Dinosaur launched, its related market generated 2–3 billion won per year (about 1.7–2.7 million dollars as of July 2018). This paved the way for the character market in Korea. In 2003, Pororo the Little Penguin (뽀롱뽀롱 뽀로로) aired on EBS and became the new representation of Korean animation characters. Pororo aired in 127 countries around the world and was the first domestic animation to make a contract with Walt Disney Animation Studios directly. It was estimated that its brand value was worth and its economic impact amounted to 5.7 trillion won in 2013. Currently, many other domestic Korean animations have gained popularity, such as Tobot (변신자동차 또봇), Larva (라바), and Tayo the Little Bus (꼬마버스 타요). The animated Larva recorded in sales in 2013. In addition, domestic characters such as Tayo the Little Bus have earned considerable sales due to the support of young children.

Divided Korea ― North Korea

Transition in character production methods

In the 1980s–1990s, cartoon characters expanded mainly because comic books were popular. Between 2000 and 2010, Flash characters became prevalent in Korea because, they facilitated production. In the files, scaling doen't affect quality and are much smaller, which increases speed of transmission. Later in the decade, 3D animations were mainly done with 3D STUDIO MAX or MAYA softwareOSMU is a kind of sales strategy that develops contents service on various media such as book, movie and game. It is referred to as Media franchise in America and Media mix in Japan. and their production costs are much greater than for 2D Flash animations.


External links

History of Tayo bus and Seoul bus (타요버스와 서울 시내버스의 역사)
Article published in 2014 by the Seoul government.
Ride 'Larva', Where? (‘라바’를 ‘타요’, 어디서?)
Article published in 2014 by the Seoul government. {{DEFAULTSORT:History of Korean animation Category:History of animation Category:Korean animation Category:South Korean animation Category:North Korean animation Category:Cinema of Korea