Tim Brooke-Hunt: An Animation Producer with Creativity Is the Heart of a Good Animation

Tim Brooke-Hunt is sharing his views on the future of Chinese animation. Pic by Wu Kai
      When we entered the room, Tim Brooke Hunt, who just finished his job as the Jury President of Animation Section in the Magnolia Award, was still in an extremely high pitch of excitement. Mr. Masahiko Minami was also there with him. After simple greetings, Mr. Hunt talked about his feelings today as he couldn’t wait any longer.

      The Daily News: Presented with these 10 excellent nominated animations, what kind of criterion did the jury apply when making decisions on the awards of Best Animation and Best Animation Screenplay?

      Tim Brooke-Hunt: Among the 10 nominees, there is a very significant difference between the types of shows we get. Some of them were in 3D, some of them were in 2D, some of them were fashioned in little older styles and some were a bit newer and all of them were very enjoyable to watch and were very impressive. I think that we had three stand-out shows and it was difficult for us to choose which the best among them were. But in the end, the jury all agreed.

      The Daily News: So from all the 10 nominees this time, we found out that there are eight animations used animals as the main protagonists and all of them are very enjoyable, relaxing and humorous.  So we are very curious about that is this type of animation the mainstream animation from maybe the 80s to now? And do these animations have a history of dominating all the animation market?

      Tim Brooke-Hunt: Well I think the truth is that animation is a wonderful medium that can tell a great number of different stories. And whilst it is often the case that animals are the chief protagonists, what we saw today was a range of programs that included humans as the main characters and that managed to tell the stories very interestingly and very enjoyably. The main difference really was in we had very different lengths, we had some like Peanuts that were about a minute and then we had others like Thunderbirds that were half an hour, so we had very different styles of storytelling and those different stories employed different types of animation, but all of them were entertaining and enjoyable. .

      The Daily News: As we know nowadays a lot of Marvel Comics and DC Comics have been adapted to films and especially all of them are very good and very popular in the market. How do you think of this phenomenon? Do you think it is a signal that shows the target audience of the comics has been changed?

      Tim Brooke-Hunt: One of the beautiful things about animation is that it is something we see when we are young and that we love. And whether it’s a Marvel superhero, which we may have seen maybe in a comic book or whatever it is, the fact of the matter is that when these characters appear in animation they work both for the parents and for the children because the parents remember them from when they were young. And I think that the animation of superheroes is a trend that will continue. I think it will continue because particularly boys love adventure stories and these superheroes have wonderful adventures, they are very entertaining.

      The Daily News: Now we call our society an internet society. So do you think that animations should pay attention to the internet?

      Tim Brooke-Hunt: Today’s television is really on a screen, the kids’ screen, and that’s the way it is. I think that what it sometimes does is to encourage what we call short-form animation, and it was very interesting to us in the jury to see some of the shows that were episodes of less than five minutes that were very impressive and very strong and I think that is the type of animation that often does best on the internet because it’s short form and you can snack on it, you can just enjoy the joy and then move to something else.

      The Daily News: In your opinion, what’s the difference between the Chinese animation and the western animation? This year the Magnolia Award cancelled the award called Best Chinese Animation, which makes the Chinese animation have a platform to compete with all the animations from all over the world. As the founder of the Asian Animation Summit, how do you think about current and future situation of Chinese animation industry and market?

      Tim Brooke-Hunt: There are inevitably cultural differences. We have seen Japanese anime spreading across the world very successfully and presenting stories told in a Japanese style and they are much loved. China has always been a very large producer of animated stories and increasingly what China’s animation industry produces is indeed competing with the best in the world. In order to spread around the world, I think more attention probably needs to be paid to the scripting.

      The Daily News:As an animation producer, from your perspective, how to bring out the good animation from what kind of mind or initial intentions?

      Tim Brooke-Hunt:  Animation needs to have a creator at its heart, somebody who has a vision for the show that they are making and who is going to hold to that vision very strongly. The biggest problem is when animation is made by committee, when you get too many people trying to influence the creative. There must be a strong central creative force to realize a good program. My strength has been in helping the people who can draw to realize their dream by helping them to raise the money to make their shows.