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Essay about Variations in Animation in Different Cultures

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Animation in different cultures

Animation has a variety of differences between Japanese culture and the culture of the United States. While animation is usually made for the sole purpose of entertainment for children in the United States, Japanese animation, also known as anime as it is referred to both in Japan and in the West, is a form of media that is enjoyed by people of all ages. Unlike the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and SpongeBob Square pants, both very popular American animations shows in their times, anime focuses more on drama and other non childlike qualities. The differing cultures of the United States and Japan can be considered the main factor to the huge differences in their own respected animation styles.

Anime is
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Created by the Toei Doga Company, this film showed that full-length animated feature films were a viable commercial product in the Japanese market (MacWilliams 50). Previously only animated films from foreign nations reached Japanese theatres, mostly coming from the United States.

With the rapid spread of television in the 1960’s, Japanese animators found a new way to sell their products. One of the first Japanese anime to see great success was Tetsuwan Atom also known as Astro Boy, seeing success in western countries such as the United States and Europe. Another popular series from this time period was Tetsujin 28-go or Gigantor. Unlike the cartoons being shown in the United States at this time period, such as Spiderman, The Flintstones, and The Jetsons, Astro Boy and Gigantor focused on bigger, more mature issues. Cartoons in the United States aimed more at entertaining children with superheros thwarting criminals, and both prehistoric and futuristic comedy. These types of cartoons were never meant for anything other than entertainment with a small side of morality lessons put in for good measure. While entertaining, very rarely did the cartoons that were from the United States create critical thinking or questions about morality amongst their young viewers.

In comparison, Astro Boy, while similar to
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