Global Animation Industry Shifts Focus

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a remarkable surge in the demand for animation content.

Thai artists have shown their expertise in producing original and culturally rich animation content that resonates with global viewers.

Prominent animation companies in Thailand are now focusing on developing original intellectual properties (IPs) and forming collaborations with investors.

The world of content animation has undergone a remarkable shift due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This has led to a significant surge in demand for animated works that extend beyond children to encompass individuals of all ages, particularly those adults who have grown up watching animations. Consequently, new opportunities have emerged to create fresh and targeted content that appeals to diverse audiences — a departure from the trend of the past two decades.

“There is a growing trend of hiring talent from streaming platforms. Contemporary animation content is now catering to young adults, featuring more intense and action-packed scenes compared to the past,” says Nat Yoswatananont, Founder and CEO of Igloo Studio. “The focus has shifted from pursuing hyper-realism or showcasing advanced technological capabilities to blending handcrafted and 2D elements. This approach relies on artists’ human-like interpretation like never before, potentially driving the future of animation towards greater immersion and innovation.”

With 16 years of experience and a global clientele, Igloo Studio operates as a hybrid creative agency and production house, offering a boutique-like personalised approach. Their comprehensive one-stop service spans storytelling, character design, 3D animation and motion graphics, enabling them to transform customer ideas into breathtaking animations. The collaboration with Netflix Japan on the anime series My Daemon exemplifies their involvement from the initial conceptualisation stage.

With their ability to produce original and culturally rich content, Thai digital artists shine on the global stage. Their visually captivating creations evoke distinctive moods and tones that resonate with global audiences. The impressive skills and professionalism of Thai computer graphics artists make them highly sought after by international clients. This has led to several European and Japanese animation companies establishing branches in Thailand, positioning the country as a potential content animation hub in Southeast Asia.

“Currently, we focus on producing animated series and game cinematics. This presents significant challenges, requiring a seamless blend of artistry and technology to convey compelling stories within a few seconds,” says Yoswatananont. “Nevertheless, ultimately, our aspiration is to create original content, including feature films, series, games and cartoons, by developing unique intellectual properties (IPs) and collaborating with interesting investors for global expansion.”

While the industry thrives, it faces challenges in attracting and retaining local talent as many artists seek opportunities abroad. Moreover, intense competition in the global animation market has prompted countries to offer incentives, such as tax benefits, to attract international clients. Overcoming these challenges and fostering further growth in the industry may be facilitated by state support, encompassing software rights, employee benefits and funding.

Thailand’s animation industry is driven by artists and companies dedicated to making a lasting global impact. Their goal is to showcase their creative brilliance and skills by delivering captivating animation content that resonates with audiences worldwide.

Words by: Pattareeya Puapongsakorn

Photo courtesy of Igloo Studio