Empress Chung (partially found Korean animated film; 2005)
Empress Chung (Korean: 왕후심청) is a 2005 animated feature film, produced in both North and South Korea and directed by Nelson Shin.
The movie is based on a famous Korean folk tale about a daughter who sacrifices herself to restore her blind father's eyesight.
As a personal project, Shin spent eight years getting the project off the ground, including three and a half years of pre-production. The film was co-produced in North Korea by the Chosun April 26th Children Film Studio (also known as SEK), and the score was also recorded in the North by the Pyongyang Film and Broadcasting Orchestra. In a move unusual for the Korean film industry, the character voices were recorded in both the South and the North due to differences in dialect. For the definitive international release version, the South Korean dub is the one used.
Release & Disappearance
On August 12th, 2005, Empress Chung became the first film to have been released simultaneously in both North and South Korea. The film was featured at the 2004 Annecy International Animation Festival, and was also recognized with several awards in Korea.
The film grossed US $140,000 on its opening weekend against a US $6.5 million budget, continuing a trend of under-performing animated features made for the Korean market.
Since then, the film simply vanished and no home release was ever produced. Nowadays, the only things related to the movie that is online is the trailer, sound test animation, some screenshots and a collection of children's books.
There has also been evidence suggesting despite not being released on DVD internationally or in South Korea, that it was in fact released in North Korea because Johannes Schönherr has mentioned Empress Chung when talking about his latest North Korean DVD acquiring, however without more evidence it can neither be confirmed or disconfirmed whether North Korean DVD release is real.
Another thing worth noting is that the movie does have a page on FilmDoo which does allow users to vote if they wanna see movie available on platform.
- Korean database entry on Empress Chung. Retrieved 06 Oct '19
- Link to a site selling children's books based on Empress Chung. Retrieved 06 Oct '19
- North Korean film's page on North Korea animated films containing a section on Empress Chung. Retrieved 07 Oct '19
- FilmDoo page on Empress Chung. Retrieved 06 Oct '19