The art of Korean animation, or Han-guk Manhwa Aenimeisyeon (한국 만화 애니메이션), has gone from hand-held flip books in early times to studios that produce most of the work for major American animation companies and Collaboration/Minor Contribution contract for Japanese animation companies. The South Korean animation industry can be considered dynamic in that there are around 120 animation studios, mostly competing with some of the larger studios that throw smaller studios by way of overseas export market (OEM) work. Notable examples of Korean animation include all episodes of Hey Arnold, The Simpsons, Family Guy, The Legend of Korra, and Justice League Unlimited which were made and drawn in Seoul, South Korea. While it is mostly firms in South Korea that contract with Western studios, some of the work is reported to be subcontracted to North Korea as well.
The Korean animation industry was in a period of crisis throughout the 2000s as depression born of the realities of being merely an industry the West gave factory-type drawing work to, began to sink in. This followed the 1990s, a period of explosive growth for the industry when Korean studios made most of their profits from OEM, mostly from the United States.
2011 was in many ways a bright transitional year for Korean animation with 'home-produced' animated feature films finally finding box office success in South Korea instead of the usual financial failure. As far as OEM is concerned, the likes of Rough Draft Korea (RDK) keep on landing new contracts which have seen Rough Draft perform the manual work on over 45 popular 'Western' cartoon titles over the last 16 years.
Korean animation has boomed in popularity in Eastern Asia with the success of the series Pororo the Little Penguin and Origami Warriors in 2011, leading fans to want to discover more Korean animated product. This success is due to the perfecting of technique and financial returns being reinvested into new animated product.
The success of Japanese Manga in western nations has resulted in some Korean Manhwa being purposefully mis-marketed as such, in order to attract potential consumers who are typically less familiar with animation from Korea.
Some Korean animators still blame the booming Korean game industry for draining the animation industry's talent pool , but the box office success of the Korean animated film Leafie in 2011 in South Korea is inspiring a new generation.