Animation industry in South Africa

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The Animation Industry in South Africa encompasses with traditional 2D animation, 3D animation and visual effects for feature films. in 1916, Harold M. Shaw first created his first animated film called An Artist's Dream, it tells a tale about a protagonist who is an artist whose drawings come to life.[1][2][3] No person knew where and when animation in Africa began, its origins lie in Asia, for example: China and Japan, no evidence is shown for its history. In 1927, the first animators David and Shlomo Frenkel, two brothers from Egypt were inspired by first Disney Studios' Mickey Mouse. Unfortunately their first animated film was destroyed in a fire in Cairo, however their later works were saved and preserved in a museum.

The first feature film about the African Continent was Madagascar the 3D animated film was released by DreamWorks in 2005, it talks about four animals from Central Park Zoo who find themselves marooned on the island of Madagascar and must learn to survive in the wild, the film is also devoid of African people.

In Africa, young animators are passionate of their work, their stories to tell the outside world for generations. In 50 to 60 years, South Africa will be the leading producer of animation, powerful to surpass the U.S and the Western world and many African countries will follow the same path to bring their story images to life.

Awards and festivals[edit]

Awards and conventions for the South African animation industry include:


South Africa's animation industry consists of 29 production companies with few of its major studios including Triggerfish Studios, Clockwork Zoo Animation and Sunrise Productions. While still a young industry compared to other parts of the world – South Africa's animation industry has been around a long time, although there are only a handful of studios. South Africa may be 30 years behind in the animation section, however its sector is booming for the next 8 years. It consists of private companies using animation techniques for advertising, websites, architecture and etc. While others are private and their animation and VFX are used for educational purposes and produce feature films, their animation is done in flash animation like Jozi Zoo, its production was done by using powerpoint and flash, its technique is poor and lacking any improvement, the reason behind is that South Africa's animation studios don't have the funding for Traditional Animation, their market was too small to make it viable.


Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Plettenberg Bay, Johannesburg and Durban have several major animation studios in the country. Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) values its animation sector at R464 million in the film industry and box office,[5] WESGRO values it in the international market at the cost of R365 million in a cinematic budget, Visit website. The Media, Information and Communication Technologies Sector Education and Training Authority (MICT SETA) encourages skills for young animators to boost South Africa's Socio-economic sector, also the Small companies.[6] The largest producer and exporter in animation is the Western world, it produces and exports animation for an estimate of US$145.4 million per year, and South Africa can produce for US$13,0 million per year due to its straining economy and lack of resources.

List of South African animated films[edit]

One of the first animated films released in 1916 was An Artist's Dream, many of its films being released in South Africa.

List of South African animated television series[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Animation Industry in Africa: A Brief". 2012-03-23.
  2. ^ "Animation movies - African life, great lesson". YouTube.
  3. ^ "African animation at a tipping point". 2013-10-14.
  4. ^ "South African animation awarded at prestigious festival". 2016-07-10. Retrieved 2019-02-13.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-05-24. Retrieved 2019-05-21.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "Home Page".