Happy Australia Day!
In honour of today being Australia Day, I thought it would be nice to focus on Australia as a source of animation. I was vaguely aware of it as a base for out-sourcing animation way back in the day (Hanna-Barbera were the first) but it would appear that now, it is very much a source of content as well!
Australia would not be the first place one would think as a country you could out-source productiont to, but back in the 70s, it made perfect sense. Everyone spoke English and having been ruled by the British, also shared certain cultural norms with the likes of Britain and America thus reducing some of the higher hurdles that having production overseas can entail. As I mentioned above, Hanna-Barbera were the first (if I remember correctly) to realize that there were gains to be had by utilising the nascent artistic talent of the vast country.
However, over time, these same Australians who were producing work from overseas gradually began to realise their own potential and began making films and TV shows. Perhaps the most famous of the first wave is “Arthur! And the Square Knights of the Round Table” which was broadcast in the mid 1960s.
In more recent times, feature films such as FernGully, $9.99 and Mary and Max along with TV shows like Tracey McBean have helped solidify Australia as a successful source and base for animation production, perhaps more so than other countries who have attempted similar efforts. No doubt, Australian animation will continue to be successful in the future with the growth of the internet helping to lessen the physical isolation of this fascinating country.