Among Korea’s younger generation of animators, one of the most recognized names is Aaron Lim. While an MFA student at San Francisco’s Academy of Art U. in 1995, Lim was inspired by “Toy Story” and decided to switch his major to animation.
After making the award-winning 3-D animated short films “Clock” and “Angel,” Lim returned to Korea in 2000 and began working for Cyper Entertainment as head animator and later for RG Animation Studios.
Lim’s best-known creations are a series of characters in the TV series and feature-length film “Mug Travel,” including a polar bear, a penguin and a baby. Originally produced on the Internet, the series was picked up by educational broadcaster EBS, which financed and broadcast the episodes.
“The TV series and the feature film were made at the same time,” Lim says. “I noticed that there were few shows targeting preschoolers at the time, so we created it as a children’s feature. We used a lot of humor, as this is something that kids can relate to immediately.”
The theatrical version opened in Korea on March 22 and proved adept at drawing kids and their parents. The TV series and feature film cost $5.9 million to make and have already brought in revenues of more than $10.5 million.