AKOM, production, Ltd., is one of the largest Korean Animation Studios producing TV series, 2D and 3D animations, feature films and even commercials. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chairman, Nelson Shin (1939-present), founded AKOM in 1985. Since then, AKOM has become one of the largest animation studios in Korea producing over 2,000 episodes for major animation production companies around the world (AKOM 2011). Some distinguishable production companies that AKOM has worked, or is currently working with, include; Warner Bros., Universal Studios, Dream Works TV Animation, Mattel, and CINAR Animation. For their independent work, AKOM and Nelson Shin have been awarded multiple awards by the government of Korea. These honors include the “Trophy of 10 Million Export Record by President of Korea (KFTA)” which AKOM received in 1993(AKOM 2011). AKOM not only does digital animation work but also publishes “ANIMATOON,” a compilation of digital stills, in a professional animation magazine. The magazine focuses on the continuation of the globalization of Korean Animation and the education of professional animation. AKOM has contributed since 1995.
As AKOM is a leading production company, they have a specific process they follow when creating an animation. The process consists of 3 major units: Pre Production, Production, and Post Production. Pre Production contains important steps such as ideas and planning, scripting, voice recording, and storyboard work. Production focuses more on the creation of the actual animation like directing, animation, and digital painting. To complete their animation, Post Production finalizes the piece through editing.
AKOM is known in Korea for their original creative animations, many based off of popular stories. For example, their 2D Digital animation “Adventure in Oz World” expands on ‘The Wizard of Oz.’ ‘The Wizard of Oz’ is an American film released on August 15, 1939 by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), an American media company. The famous story begins when a tornado lands in Kansas, transporting Dorothy the main character, and her dog Toto, to a magical fantasyland called Oz(The Wizard of Oz 2013). AKOM’s “Adventure in Oz World” captures and modifies stories on Dorothy and her friends. These stories include adventures and challenges the characters face together which are represented in a television series, along with a feature film.
AKOM has also worked with FOX Broadcasting Company on The Simpsons, an animated American comedy television series, since its first episode aired in 1989. This popular series focuses on a family in a town called Springfield. In 2010, the production studio in California and AKOM’s Shin had a difference of opinion in the creation of an episode called “MoneyBART.” This was well documented because it was one of few conflicts between AKOM and FOX. FOX had asked Shin to animate “a dark commentary about labor practices in Asia’s cartoon industry” that included “a dungeon-like complex where droning Asian animators worked in sweatshops, rats scurried around with human bones, kittens were spliced up into Bart Simpson dolls, and a gaunt unicorn punched holes into DVDs (Cain and Seoul 2010).” Shin expressed his disappointment and concerns on this matter and how he feels it degrades people from different cultures.
— H. E. Haines
See also: Nelson Shin, The Simpsons, ‘The Wizard of Oz’