How Long Can A Submarine Stay Under? Leveling The Play Ground: Animation In South Africa

Over the years a whole lot has happened in our country, different industries have thrived whilst some not so much.

Particularly the Performance, arts & Animated fields. Musicians, DJs, actors, actresses, television presenters etc are thriving, honestly, which is good however to me they are a bit irrelevant.

One industry has been slow quite honestly I am disappointed, sad and just battled. The South African Animation industry has been slow, yet animators have been working hard over the years to gain recognition and standout within the clouds.

Before I can continue I know most readers don’t know nor heard of South Africa. well here is the “Rainbow Nation” as we are portrayed, located in the South of the African Continent don’t be mislead we are actually at the top of the game, we have one of the Wonders of the World dubbed Table Mountain (yes yes you guessed it, a mountain shaped like a table. We hosted the Fifa 2010 World Cup if this still doesn’t ring a bell, be like our politicians and google our first Democratic black elected former President Mr/Tata Nelson Mandela, may he rest in peace. and sorry for using your name.

I am happy and unhappy that we only have about 7 Animated movies and a few animated series under our belt created by animated companies here. I get that these animators face challenges and it is, of course, costly and a lot of time is spent on it, however, that shouldn’t hinder their ability nor capabilities to produce masterpieces if we all work as a collective. I am not an expert on this nor am I presuming to know it all, however, having seen what other continents have achieved this idea isn’t far fetched.

I am going to get a whole lot of criticism for this, yet, it’s cool as long as my point goes across. Name a person who has done or said something and was not criticized for it, and I’ll show you a person who hasn’t been living in the same world as us.

Firstly; let’s look at what we have done so far with animated series

Jungle Beat

Was by far my favorite short animated series to date, it was fun, captivating, comedic & just so wonderful, although I was still in primary when it came out back in 2003 I still enjoy it from time to time with my niece. I even got the DVD set and that collection when they partnered with Sasol way back when. I know what you are thinking, “why on earth do you have those in adulthood, don’t judge me those things are funny, plus my niece enjoys them, so their’s my excuse to keep watching Jungle Beat and not feel guilty that am in my mid 20s not to mention I spend most time with her during December Holidays, You can bet this year we will be dusting those DVDs, hope my older sister doesn’t kill me for this. I am glad that they took it further and brought Munki and Trunk to television.

URBO: The Adventures of Pax Afrika

A children’s science fiction series Science Fiction Science Fiction so good had to say it twice, about a young Super Saiyan hair wearing Pax Afrika, you can tell by the way it’s standing that the creator was obviously inspired by Vegeta. Moving on about Pax he is a boy living in a city created by a greedy dictator. He has ancestral powers that allow him to make it rain, see the future and a whole lot more you can imagine the dictator kept a constant eye on him.. Airing in 2006 & ended in 2009 quite frankly it was interesting & exciting at first waking up to a South African story every weekend. No American produced series, don’t get me wrong by this statement I like American animated series, it was just good to see something local for a change. At this point, I was in Secondary & Pax Afrika went from awesome to boring and I think the storyline became tedious, yet I still liked it. Thanks to Sean Rogers and the cast for spicing my childhood a little and bring something different.

Secondly – Movies South Africa has released

It’s surprising we only have about seven (7) movies under our belt, one of them being Jock the Hero Dog a South African-American animated adventure & comedy movie was my favorite.about boy and a mans best friend, full of mischief and Uplifting dog tale features more menace.

There have been great awards winning shows like Stick Man to name a few, however, I always wonder why don’t we have something that is at the same level as American & Japanese series. Before I can go further let me set just say after Stick Man, Revolting Rhymes was a success on its own last year thanks to the teamwork of Triggerfish Animation in collaboration with a Berlin motion picture company Magic Light Pictures, I wonder if have worked with Tomorrowland Music Festival.

 

The worst of them all was Zambezia I really didn’t like this I commend the creators for trying however not even my little sister liked it and she was 12 at the time. that’s all I have to say about it.

Next came Khumba about a half-striped Zebra turned down by his herd, it goes on a journey to earn it’s striped however soon finds the courage to save all the animals of the Great Karoo. Thank you Anthony Silverston for giving life to such spectrum.

 

Before the first three we had Tengers now this was Ama-zing, to say the least, Mr. Michael J. Rix I don’t know him nor have I ever met him, you did justice on this one. and you literally opened doors which we all thought were impossible to crack.

I would love to see something different and wow for a change, although some were good and others plain out terrible, I commend our animators for keeping up their high spirits and trying their level best to be visible enough for the world to see and gain a fair amount of notice. Your guys who created the YouTube Sensations Noko Mashaba, Izikhokho, Unhappy Husband and many more my hat goes out to you guys for following your passion and making us laugh time and time again.

In closing I would like to say, You know the saying “when 1st you don’t succeed try and try again”.  “Never give up on what you want to do. A Person with big dreams is more powerful than one with facts.” We need people with this mindset in the industry. Peace, love, SA Animators

By: Blunimation

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