SEK Studio

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SEK Studio
Native name
Chosŏn 4.26 Atong Yŏnghwa Ch'al-yŏngso
FoundedSeptember 7, 1957 (1957-09-07)[1]
HeadquartersOthan-dong, Central District, ,
Key people
Jun Ok Kim
Number of employees
1,500 (2003)[2], 500-800 (2007)
SEK Studio
Revised RomanizationJoseon 4.26 Adong Yeonghwa Chwal-yeongso
McCune–ReischauerChosŏn 4.26 Atong Yŏnghwa Ch'al-yŏngso

Scientific Educational Korea or SEK Studio (Chosŏn'gŭl조선4·26만화영화촬영소; lit. "Korean April 26 Animation Film Studio") is a North Korean animation studio, based in Othan-dong, Central District, Pyongyang.[3]


The studio started operations in September 1957, as April 26 Children's Film Studio.[1] Around 1985, it began to outsource animation for European television.[4] It was registered as the SEK Studio in 1997 in order to take part at an animation festival in France.[2] SEK Studio participated in "Shijiazhuang International Animation Exhibition" on September 30, 2014.[5] SEK Studio is expected to introduce a new science fiction genre animation.[6] Since 2010s, SEK studio has contracted with many animation studios in China and outsourced in Chinese TV series, web animations, game graphics and commercials. SEK is currently pursuing large-scale projects with Chinese animation companies. It relates to web animated series that will be produced in China. [7]

History of Names[edit]

  • Chosun National Film Studio – Puppet Animation Film Research Institute (1957~1959)
  • Chosun National Film Studio – Animation Film Studio (1959~1960)
  • Chosun National Film Studio – Animation Film Production (1960~1964)
  • Chosun Children's Film Studio (1964~1971)
  • Chosun Science Education Film Studio – Animation Film Production Team (1971~1980)
  • Chosun Science Education Film Studio – Children's Film Production Team (1980~1996)
  • Chosun 4.26 Children's Film Studio (1996~2013)
  • Chosun 4.26 Animation Film Studio (2013~)

Corporate size[edit]

As of 2003, SEK Studio employed over 1,500 people[2] and subcontracted work for over 70 companies from around the globe, including Europe, South Korea, China, Canada and the United States. After the introduction of advanced equipment, the number of employees was reduced to about 500.[8] There are 11 animation production teams in SEK Studio, 9 production teams are responsible for overseas animations subcontracting, and the 2 production teams produce domestic animations.[9] According to Animation Career Review, SEK is the 85th most influential animation studio of all-time. SEK Studio's staff is mostly from Pyongyang Art Academy, and SEK Studio has established an animation training institute to teach young students.[10]

In 2014, SEK Studio cooperated with Chinese companies to establish an office in Beijing. also SEK invested $ 70,000 in Chinese companies.[11]


SEK has provided animation for the following works:[12]


SEK Studio has produced over 300 Animations.

English Title Original Title Year Notes
Gojumong 고주몽 2016-
The Boy General (Series 2) 소년장수 (2부) 2015-
Two Boys who Found the Answer 답을 찾은 두 소년 2015
Byeolnam and Rubber Ball 별남이와 고무공 2011
The Enchanted Mountain 금강산 팔선녀 2008 A film based on the Korean fairy tale "선녀와 나무꾼"
Heungbu and Nolbu 흥부와 놀부 2008 A film based on the Korean fairy tale "흥부전"
A Boy Defeats Robbers 도적을 쳐부신 소년 2006 Remake of the 1983 film
The Oriole’s Song 꾀꼴새가 부른 노래 2006
A Butterfly and a Cock 나비와 수탉 2006 Remake of the 1976 film
Squirrel and Hedgehog (Series 2) [ko] 다람이와 고슴도치 (2부) 2006-2012? The show was discontinued in 2012 for reasons unknown.
Let's Keep the Traffic Order 교통질서를 잘 지키자요 2006- Traffic Safety Animated Series for Kids
A Cat and Kids 야웅이와 꼬마들 2005
A Little Squirrel in Tolbaegol 돌배골의 꼬마 청서 2004
The Bell 방울소리 1999-2005 7 episodes, ended in 2005.
Prince Hodong and the Princess of Nakrang 호동왕자와 락랑공주 1990
Clever Raccoon Dog 령리한 너구리 1987- [13]
Welcome to Pyongyang Festival 평양 축전에 오신걸 환영합니다 1985-1989
Monkey Brothers 원숭이 형제 1985
A Winged Horse 날개달린 룡마 1983
A Hedgehog Defeats a Tiger 호랑이를 이긴 고슴도치 1983
A Boy Defeats Robbers 도적을 쳐부신 소년 1983
The Boy General 소년장수 1982-1996 50 episodes, ended in 1996.
Gun Shooters 포쏘기 선수들 1978
Squirrel and Hedgehog 다람이와 고슴도치 (Series 1) 1977-2005 26 episodes, ended in 2005.
Raccoon Dog's Height Measurement 너구리의 높이재기 1976
A Butterfly and a Rooster 나비와 수탉 1976
Why did the dog cry? 멍멍이는 왜 울었나? 1974
Time Bomb 시한폭탄 1967 Anti-USA Propaganda Film
Pig's Pumpkin Seeds 꿀꿀이의 호박씨 196?
Dog and Cat 멍멍이와 야웅이 1965
Little Red Star 꼬마붉은별 1961
Swallow Brothers 제비 삼형제 1961
Our Hill 우리 동산 1959 SEK Studio's First Animation Film

Animation services[edit]

SEK Studio has subcontracted over 250 Foreign Animations. They mainly work on subcontracting Italian, French, Spanish and Chinese animation. American animation is outsourced in an indirect way.[14]

SEK has done work on several animated series from Mondo TV, including Pocahontas: Princess of the American Indians[15] and Simba the King Lion,[16][17][18] (due to this two, it has been repeatedly misinformed that SEK has worked for The Walt Disney Company). SEK also has produced features such as the French science fiction epic Gandahar (The Light Years) and Empress Chung.[19]

According to DVD commentary and IMDB, 2007’s The Simpsons Movie was the most prominent US project that SEK helped with. Other projects include Futurama: Bender’s Big Score and even an episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Therefore, it’s highly possible that millions in America and beyond have unknowingly experienced the handiwork of North Korean animators.[20]

According to the Korean Film Council, SEK Studio outsourced episode 72 of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003 TV series).[21]

The list below is a part of the works outsourced by SEK studio.

Title Year Notes
Adrian 2019 With Clan Celentano, Beijing New Century Wit Technology, and Green Dreams Investments, uncredited
Bu-Bum! La strada verso casa 2016 With Rai Fiction
Sissi The Young Empress 2016
Egyxos 2015 With Rai Fiction and Musicartoon
Stan Lee's Mighty 7 2014
Star Key 2014 Italian television animated series, With Gama Movie Animation and Rai Fiction
Le straordinarie avventure di Jules Verne 2013
Il sogno di Brent 2013 With Rai Fiction and Lucky Dreams
Baskup Tony Parker 2011 French television animated series, With Télé images kids and The Walt Disney Company France
Spike Team 2010
Giovanni e Paolo e il Mistero dei Pupi 2010
Chumballs 2009
Romance of the Three Kingdoms 2009 Chinese-Japanese Co-produced animated series based on the Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
Angel's Friends 2008 Produced by Mondo TV
Avatar: The Last Airbender 2007 Episode "The Awakening", outsourced by MOI Animation Studio
Jurassic Cubs 2007
Padre Pio 2006
Foot 2 rue 2005
La cuisine est un jeu d'enfants 2004
The Boy (TV series) 2003
The Spaghetti Family 2003 Produced by Mondo TV
Pororo the Little Penguin 2003 Season 1 (26 episodes); credited as Sam-Cheon-Ri
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003 TV series) 2003 Episode 72 (1 Episodes); uncredited
Raindrop, water is adventure 2002 Produced by Motion Pictures, S.A., TVE, TV3 and TVV
The Bellflower Bunnies 2001 Season 1 (4 episodes)
Lazy Cat Dinga 2001 With Hanaro Telecom; credited as Sam-Cheon-Ri
Prudence Petitpas 2001
Marcelino Pan y Vino (anime) 2001
Bécassine et le Trésor viking 2001
Narigota 2001
Les enfants de Toromiro 2000
Les Aventures outre-mer 2000
La Princesse du Nil 1999 1999 Animated Series
Sophie's Misfortunes 1998
Princess Sissi 1997
Dragon Flyz 1996 French-American television animated series
Princess Sheherazade 1996
Papa Beaver's Storytime 1993 1999 episodes; credited as Studio SEK
Pocahontas: Princess of the American Indians 1998 Italian television animated series, Produced by Mondo TV, Directed by Orlando Corradi
Simba the King Lion 1997 Italian television animated series, Produced by Mondo TV, Directed by Orlando Corradi
Davy Crockett 1994
Les Misérables 1992
Pif and Hercules 1989 Credited as Studio S.E.K.
Ernest Le Vampire 1989
Bamboo Bears 1995


Title Year Notes
Futurama Bender's Big Score 2007 Outsourced by Rough Draft Studios
The Simpsons Movie 2007 Outsourced by Rough Draft Studios
Empress Chung 2005 First animated feature produced and released simultaneously in North and South Korea[19]
Tentacolino 2004 Produced by Mondo TV[4]
Corto Maltese, la cour secrète des arcanes [fr] 2002
The Legend of the Titanic 1999 Produced by Mondo TV[4]
Gandahar (Light Years) 1988 [4]
How Wang-Fo Was Saved 1987

In popular culture[edit]

Canadian animator and cartoonist Guy Delisle documented his experiences whilst working at the SEK Studio in his graphic novel, Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea.[22] because SEK studio subcontracted the Corto Maltese animation.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Yonhap News (December 26, 2001). 北`4.26아동영화촬영소` 아동영화 다수 창작 (in Korean). Tongil News. Retrieved June 23, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c Susan Kitchens (March 3, 2003). "Axis of animation". Forbes. Retrieved June 23, 2013.
  3. ^ "Korea SEK Company". Naenara. Archived from the original on 2005-02-13. Retrieved 2016-05-16.
  4. ^ a b c d "Korean-made Cartoon Films Win Popular Acclaim among Animation Film Fan[s] in Europe". PK Report from Pyongyang. The People's Korea. December 26, 2001. Archived from the original on February 23, 2002. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
  5. ^ "북한 애니메이션 산업 육성, 해외진출 확대 전망" (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  6. ^ "북한 "SF애니 과학기술 역군 육성위한 중대한 과업"" (in Korean). 2017-04-18. Retrieved 2018-05-03.
  7. ^ "韩媒:朝鲜动画达国际水准 用动画片教育孩子" (in Chinese). Retrieved 2019-01-24.
  8. ^ "북한의 비교우위 산업은?...애니메이션!" (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-05-09.
  9. ^ "북 대표적인 아동영화 제작소 '조선4.26아동영화촬영소'" (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-05-23.
  10. ^ Fronczak, Tom. "Top 100 Most Influential Animation Studios of All-Time". Retrieved October 12, 2012.
  11. ^ "中 북한 대중투자 금지 조치의 영향은?" (in Korean). Retrieved 2019-02-28.
  12. ^ "SEK Animation Studio [kp]". IMDb. Retrieved October 12, 2012.
  13. ^ "Title not available" (PDF) (in Korean). Korea Culture & Travel Institute. 2012. pp. 138–39. Retrieved June 30, 2013.
  14. ^ "North Korean animation industry, Expansion into overseas markets" (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-04-24.
  15. ^ "Mondo tv S.P.A - LIBRARY Pocahontas".
  16. ^ Khorsand, Solmaz (April 2007). "Knuddelachse". Datum (in German). Archived from the original on July 17, 2010. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
  17. ^ Park Chan-Kyong (February 5, 2007). "North Korea supplies laughs as well as lethal weapons". North Korean Economy Watch. AFP.
  18. ^ "Mondo tv S.P.A - LIBRARY Simba the King Lion".
  19. ^ a b Russell, Mark (August 31, 2005). "Uniting the Two Koreas, in Animated Films at Least". The New York Times.
  20. ^ "A Short History of North Korea's Animation Industry".
  21. ^ "North Korean animation industry, Expansion into overseas markets" 남북 애니메이션 교류 백서 (PDF) (in Korean). Retrieved 2019-02-01.
  22. ^ Delisle, Guy (2004). Pyongyang: A Journey into North Korean. Montreal: Drawn and Quarterly.

External links[edit]