Korean Cartoon Characters

What was your favorite cartoon character when you were a kid? From past to present, lots of characters have appeared all over the world through TV cartoons, animations and movies. Mickey Mouse, Tom & Jerry, Moomin… lots of characters linger in my mind. Though there are numerous characters in the world, today I would like to introduce Korean cartoon characters loved by many people.

1. Dooly

Though there are lots of cartoon characters in Korea, Dooly is obviously the classic character that represents Korea. Dooly is a baby dinosaur. He has special powers that he received from an extraterrestrial. When he is in danger, he can use the power by casting a magic spell, ‘Hoihoi’. Dooly was created and shown in comic book named ‘Bo-Mool Sum in 1983 and this cartoon was first broadcast in 1987. The plot of this cartoon is simple. Dooly was kidnapped by aliens and trapped in the ice glacier for a long time. 100 million years later, the glacier he was trapped broke off and he came to Seoul. So Dooly went on the adventure to find his mother dinosaur. Before the character “Dooly” was created, the situation of Korean cartoons was really bleak, because of social circumstances and lack of expressive power. Unlike previous Korean characters, this character was cute and stylish. And most characters of appear in this cartoon resemble normal people who we can see in our daily lives, so people have a close affinity with those characters. And thanks to Dooly’s high popularity, Dooly has a resident registration card. This fact means that he is a real citizen of South Korea!

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Source: Dooly Nara Blog

As time passes, characters loved by people changes. So from now, I’m going to introduce recent cartoon characters.


2. Pororo

Pororo is the most successful Korean character in the 2000s, so its nickname is ‘Po President’. Pororo cartoon was created in 2002 and this character is jointly produced by South Korean animation firm Iconix Entertainment and the North Korean graphic design company Samcholli. Pororo is the little penguin who lives in the polar areas, ‘Porong Porong Forest’, with other animals like bears, crocodile, and bird. Pororo cartoon is a computer-generated animated cartoon series and it shows the adventure of Pororo and his friends in each episode. This cartoon is meaningful, because Pororo’s appearance changed the evaluation of Korean animation and proved that Korea animation has enormous potential for development. Most of all, Pororo inspired numerous plays, merchandising, stamps and movies and became sensations. Now, Pororo is exported to over 100 countries and there are over 2,200 kinds of merchandises you can buy.

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Source: EBS


If you commute by subway, you may see Larva trains which operated six times a day at least one time. Larva is the butterfly caterpillars and in this animation, you can see two cute and hilarious larvae whose names are ‘Red’ and ‘Yellow’. This animation is evaluated as the new leader of Korea content industry like Pororo. This cartoon shows each episode in the form of 3D CGI animation and The genre of this animation is slapstick comedy, so watching two larvae’s silly behaviors makes people laugh and happy. Like Pororo, larva inspired numerous merchandising. There are over 1,000 Larva products from clothes to foods and you can even buy Larva thermometer. Larva was exported to various countries, including Indonesia, Taiwan and Japan and gained popularity.

라바음수대_서울시제공 라바지하철_서울시제공 라바체온계 라바캐릭터상품_Gmarket

Source: Seoul Metropolitan, GMarket

Till now, I introduced three Korean cartoon characters. I hope more Korean characters become famous all over the world in the future.


Article by Hyunyoung from Korea

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