HCM CITY — Most cartoons shown on television are foreign-made, with few of them produced by local companies because of a lack of funds.
|Dearth of drawings: A scene in the cartoon Chiec La (The Leaf) made by the Viet Nam Animated Cartoon Studio, which won the 17th Golden Lotus Award in February 2011. Few Vietnamese cartoons are produced now by local companies because of a lack of funds. — File Photo
Dang Vu Thao, director of the Viet Nam Animated Cartoon Studio, said his studio produced between 200 and 250 minutes of animated films each year at the order of the State.
"So, this is only enough for one month, with each show lasting less than 10 minutes," he said. "We would like to exploit the country's untapped cartoon market, but we lack State funding and support."
Thao's studio and the Animated Cartoon Studio run by the Viet Nam Television Film Company (VFC) are the country's two studios specialising in animated films.
HCM City's Giai Phong Animated Cartoon Company, which made two cartoons each year as required by the State, stopped operation many years ago due to financial losses.
"Thanks to cable TV, children are entertained by foreign cartoons on the US-based Cartoon Network," Nguyen Van Tin, father of a 10-year old girl, said.
The majority of cartoons shown during children's programmes on national television networks are not produced in Viet Nam, but come from abroad, mainly Japan, France, China and the US.
Cartoon characters Tom and Jerry, Donald Duck, Doraemon, Pikachu and Ben 10 are known by many Vietnamese children.
"My son loves both locally and foreign-made cartoons," Nguyen Thi Loan, mother of a six-year-old boy, said. "But with only a few local cartoons shown on national television, my son doesn't remember any characters in these cartoons."
Phung Van Ha, who used his own money to make the Lu and Bun cartoons which use 3-D technology, said the lack of co-operation between film producers, distribution companies and TV stations meant that local cartoons rarely reached audiences.
"Few filmmakers want to invest in cartoons because making cartoons is not easy. It takes time and skills," Ha said. "Making films or TV series focusing on romance or action brings more profits than cartoons." — VNS