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'Padak': Korean animation coming a new way

Edited as of 02:11
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Padak, a 2012 South Korean CGI feature, is coming to America – but not to theaters. EigoMANGA, a San Francisco-based media publisher, has announced that it has been acquired from Lionsgate to be distributed beginning on June 6 on Linux, Mac, SteamOS, Windows, and all other online Steam-supported platforms.

The 78-minute feature, directed and written by Lee Dae-Hee and produced by the E-DEHI studio, will be released with the original Korean voice actors including Kim Hyeon-ji, Si-Yeong-joon, Ahn Yeong-mi-l, Hyeon Kyeong-soo, and Ho-san Lee, and subtitled in English. It was first shown at the Jeonju International Film Festival on July 25, 2012, and has also been shown at international film festivals in Warsaw, Dallas, Melbourne, Vladivostok, Seoul, and other cities, winning awards at many of them.

Padak has never gotten a general release, not even in South Korea. The trailer suggests why. It’s about the live fish in an aquarium in a Korean waterfront sushi restaurant, and it’s no Finding Nemo. The fish are aware that they’re on display for the diners’ selection to be eaten, and they’re terrified; desperate to escape, especially Padak, a female Mackerel. “Why bother?” a resigned flatfish asks. “Whether we’re eaten by humans in this restaurant, or by bigger fish in the sea, we’ll be eaten. It’s the law of nature.”

Judging by this trailer, Padak is excellently made but too grim for most audiences. It will show you more than you want to know about what happens to the fish in a seafood sushi restaurant.

Padak is the name of a Korean popular dish, usually fried chicken, served “topped with a heaping mound of thinly sliced spring onion and a healthy drizzling of a sweet soy-mustard sauce”, according to the “Cooking With Yoon” online recipe site.


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Here is a bit more information about "Padak". Apparently the fish's name was "Flappy" before it was decided to re-name her and the film for a Korean popular food preparation.

Fred Patten

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As an ethnic Korean, I can say that the name of the movie in Korean is Padak-Padak, which does not represent the Korean fried chicken dish. Instead, it's the sound of a fish flopping, a bird flapping its wings,or anything that resembles that noise.

I'm guilty of eating at tons of those restaurants, but the fish /do/ taste superb. Would be interesting to see the other side of the story ;)

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Thanks for the correction. "Flappy" makes more sense now. How many furs intend to watch this online?

Fred Patten

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You can count one, though it'll be in secret when nobody can watch me, just in case I cry!

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Wow. Not since Watership Down have I seen adorable characters mixed with such violence and dread. It's the kind of tricky balancing act between visual aesthetics (cute/horrific) that can work if done right, but risks alienating if viewers are closed-minded as to what an animated movie should accomplish (i.e, entertaining young children).

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“an animated movie should accomplish (i.e, entertaining young children)”? Here are five examples of animated movies, not exactly for children. (Sorry these aren’t anthropomorphic.)

Waltz With Bashir



Grave of the Fireflies

Another Day of Life

Fred Patten

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Just to be sure... that quoted portion is not my own beliefs of what an animated should do. I love "adult" animation such as the examples cited above, though I have only seen Persepolis and Anomalisa.

Although it was marketed as a general family film I thought Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole had a good light/dark balance with the character designs in its story toned just right.

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If you to see some truly masterful mature animation, i recommend Yeon Sang Ho's works: The Fake, King of Pigs, Seoul Station. He's the guy who directed Train to Busan.

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About the author

Fred Pattenread storiescontact (login required)

a retired former librarian from North Hollywood, California, interested in general anthropomorphics