VietNamNet Bridge – Several locally-made animated films that recently captured public attention like: Dai Chien Bach Dang (Bach Dang great war), Duoi Bong Cay (Under the shade of tree) and Co Be Ban Diem (The little match girl), are not enough to raise up Vietnam’s sluggish cartoon industry.
A scene from "Bach Dang Great War".
Bach Dang Great War is not a very outstanding animated film but it was still praised because it was a product of a group of students and its topic is about Vietnam’s history – the Bach Dang battlefield in 938.
In late 2011, The Little Match Girl by True-D Animation also attracted the attention of the online community. Many viewers said that this animated film is not inferior to American products.
Earlier, Under the Shadow of Tree, produced by a group of young people, was complimented by viewers after it was posted on Youtube.
Notably, the three above cartoons were released on the Internet.
A scene from "The Little Match Girl".
Vietnamese audience, particularly children, almost don’t know about Made-in-Vietnam animated films because these products occasionally appear on TV channels for kids. The audience are only familiar with foreign animated films, mainly American films.
Annually, the Vietnam Cartoon Studio is allocated with around $500,000 to produce 10-20 short animated films. Most of these films cannot come to the audience, especially children.
Mr. Nguyen Danh Duong, director of the Hanoi National Cinema Center, said that perhaps the Vietnam Cartoon Studio had its own projection rooms so this firm had not released its cartoons via the center.
Duong said that previously, the center chose several short animated films of Vietnam to screen in the month of films for kids but these films did not attract viewers. Most of cartoons released at the National Cinema Center are Hollywood products. This summer the center introduced up to eight foreign cartoons.
Most of State-funded animated films are produced for being archives because they cannot approach to the audience. Meanwhile, students and amateur cartoon makers produced animated films of better quality than State-funded films, and try to introduce them on the Internet. These films are praised to have better quality than Asian cartoons aired on local TV channels.
Why are State-funded cartoons put in mothballs?
Ms. Nguyen Thi Hong Ngat, former director of Hoda Film, the producer of Nguoi Con Cua Rong (Dragon’s Son), said that this cartoon was produced in 2010. She asked the Hanoi authorities to send dispatches to the Vietnam Television Station and the Hanoi Television Station to request these broadcasters to air the cartoon on the occasion of Hanoi’s 1000th anniversary.
The cartoon was then handed over to Hanoi, which ordered the cartoon for Hanoi’s 1000th anniversary. Two years since the cartoon was produced, it has not been released at cinemas. It only appeared on television several times.
Actually, four years ago, Hollywood animated film Kungfu Panda was refused by many cinemas in Hanoi because of the conception that animated films are only for kids. If Hollywood cartoon used to be neglected by local cinemas, let alone locally-made cartoons.
It is more difficult for Vietnamese cartoons owing to the come of American animated films. Since March 2011, 8 Hollywood cartoons have been dubbed into Vietnamese. Vietnamese artists who involved in these projects were closely supervised by American producers. The original voices of American artists were replaced by Vietnamese voices. After being dubbed into Vietnamese, American cartoons became Vietnamese cartoons.
Under the attack of Hollywood cartoons, Vietnamese cartoons cannot lift up its head. The audience, who are familiar with Hollywood products worth millions of USD, turn to criticize the quality of Vietnamese cartoons, which were produced at modest cost of several tens of thousand USD.
It is an impossible mission for locally-made cartoons to compete with foreign products.
Recently, several made-in-Vietnam cartoons attracted public attention but these are short cartoons produced by private firms, which were released on the Internet to advertise for their producers or films made by young people who love cartoons.