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Iran’s animation industry progressing fast

Mahdi Abbasian
Press TV, Tehran 

By some accounts, the history of animation stretches back to the turn of the 20th century. However, the art finds its roots in antiquity. A 5,200-year-old vase found in Iran’s Burnt City in the 1970s features a series of five images that researchers have only recently identified as being sequential, much like those in a zoetrope. Giving it a spin, one would see a goat leaping to snatch leaves from a tree.

Fast-forward to today, Iranian animations have made significant progress. While the first modern cinematic animations were produced in Iran about a decade ago, thanks to the efforts by Iran’s talented youths, the country’s animated movies have attracted the attention of a huge number of viewers.

The number of high-quality animations has grown compared to previous years. The new award-winning animated blockbuster Loupetoo is a perfect example. The name Loupetoo is inspired by a word local people in Kerman province of Iran use to refer to handmade toys that mothers used to make for their children in the past.

The animation is about a sanitarium where a doctor treats his mental patients by teaching them to make toys. An unknown culprit vandalizes the creative toy workshop, which is particularly popular among Iranian children, and causes its closure. The doctor’s son, Ali, tries to help his father to solve the problem.

The process of making the animation took over three years. It was ready to be screened in 2020, however, the corona-virus outbreak delayed the screening, and finally it hit Iran’s silver screens from early November 2022. The box office hit is one of the most popular on-screen films of Iranian cinemas right now. It managed to become the most popular movie in Iranian cinemas only within a month and a half of its release in the fall season.

Loupetoo has also taken part in various national and international festivals. 

Despite their success, the director of Loupetoo says there is no room for complacency, adding Iranian animation studios should redouble their efforts to keep up with the big names in the industry.

Loupetoo’s producers say it will soon be screened in other countries, with Turkey and Russia showing interest to screen the animation in their cinemas.

Several high-quality cinematic animations produced in Iran in recent years, and Loupetoo is one of them. The blockbuster animation’s success testifies that Iran has made significant progress that puts it on a par with big names in the industry .

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