Friday, November 19, 2010

Next Media Animation TV

Not sure if you have gathered, but I am a big fan of hilarious snarky satire and Next Media Animation (NMA) is here to provide. "NMA is the brainchild of HK tycoon Jimmy Lai. His vision was to animate news events that hasn't been caught on camera", and I first heard about them in the Atlantic monthly article where that quote is from. They have a brilliant catalogue of sketches ranging from Christine O'Donnell's campaign themes to a rap video of Obama and Hu Jin Tao having a currency rap-battle. The videos are predominantly in Mandarin and a lot of them are still lacking English subtitles. But, with a little background knowledge, the animation itself is able to clearly describe the jokes. This is the case for the sketch entitled "Is Palin Gunning for 2012", which while I speak very little Mandarin, is still hilarious to watch.

The site does predominantly make fun of western news events, and has very little content that addresses Asian news. While this can be interpreted as being a way for people to "laugh at the crazy westerners", I think it is simply a brilliant opportunity to hear the views (and more importantly, the jokes) of the 'other side', especially when the issue is related to Asia. Which is exactly the case when NMA produced their genius response to CAGW's ridiculous ad.

NMA is brilliant at the satirical side of things, but I do struggle to come to terms with the concept of animated news for 'serious news events'. While I realise there are plenty of animation of serious issues, e.g. Waltz with Bashir, there is something really off-putting about watching an animated re-enactment of the killings of Christians in the Baghdad church. However, there isn't really a large amount of 'serious news events' within their portfolio and I really can't imagine this aspect of NMA taking off…..then again, I thought reality TV was just a phase. For the moment, NMA seems to mainly be reporting on news events that are either already funny in itself or create a beautiful opportunity for satire. I hope they continue with this and look forward to more subtitles to their work and an explanation as to what the hell the Weather girls are all about.

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