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Animation in South Asia

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Until recently, South Asian animation has lagged far behind that of other parts of Asia for lack of the technological, financial, and personnel infrastructure. This is still the situation in most of the region, with India an exception. What has happened in the development of Indian animation since the mid- 1990s is phenomenal. By 2007, India had about 300 animation studios, and by 2010, the country's animation industry was expected to hover around US$ one billion. Increasingly, Bollywood has taken a keen interest in Indian animation, as have foreign studios, including Disney. Based on interviews and a thorough review of secondary sources, this article traces the history of Indian filmic cartoons from 1915 to the present, discussing reasons for the lag in development previously and the tremendous surge in the 21st Century. The limited amount of animation production in Nepal and Sri Lanka is also discussed.
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Keywords: Asian animation industry; Disney; International animation; Ram Mohan

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Temple University.

Publication date: 01 May 2009

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  • Studies in South Asian Film and Media (SAFM) is the most promising new journal in the field. This peer-reviewed publication is committed to looking at the media and cinemas of the Indian subcontinent in their social, political, economic, historical, and increasingly globalized and diasporic contexts. The journal will evaluate these topics in relation to class, caste, gender, race, sexuality, and ideology.
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