May 29, 2024
Analysis

The North Korean studio that has animated a Christmas film and Italian cartoons

Newly sanctioned SEK Studio has worked with South Korean and European artists for decades, raising money for Pyongyang

North Korean animation was thrust into the spotlight last month after the U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned Pyongyang’s SEK Studio. “Seemingly fueled by the desire for unreasonably low-cost labor, foreign media companies continue to subcontract animation work to SEK Studio,” the department said in a statement.

SEK Studio has been involved in at least 1,200 different films and television shows, according to IMDB, and it may have helped animate well-known American products like “The Simpsons” via South Korean subcontractors. North Korean talent may have even contributed to “The Lion King,” “Pocahontas” and others.

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