East Meets West: The Dawn of an Age for a NEW line of
Asian Superheroes Because
Animation is Enjoyed by Both Adults and Kids Together
Growing up in America, many of us have fallen in love with characters from Greek Mythology like: Zeus, Hera, Athena, etc., and from their Roman counterparts: Jupiter, Juno, Minerva, etc. Then there is Norse Mythology with: Thor, Odin, Loki, Freyja, etc.
Now, it is time to introduce some beloved characters from Asian mythology, legends and folklore to the Americans, and global, community – starting with Vietnamese. Vietnamese myth, like all mythic systems, reflects influences from other cultures amongst which are: Chinese, Indian, Philippine, Korean and Japanese.
Thus, VAMN-TV has taken on this enormous project to create original anime-stylization animation series to share with the world the rich stories about Vietnamese (and Chinese) mythology, legends and folklore where family members old and young can enjoy together as part of its project to re-introduce Saturday Morning Cartoons.
Such stories would include the following:
- Monk Tang Disciples Monkey King (Tề Thiên Đại Thánh/The Great Saint of Heaven/孫悟空): Journey to the West (Tây Du Ký) (16th Century)
- Legend of the Dragon and Fairy Descendants (Con Rồng Cháu Tiên) and the One Hundred Eggs
- Myth of the Mountain God and Water God (Sơn Tinh/山精 – Thủy Tinh/水精)
- The Four Immortals (Tứ Bất Tử/四不死): the God of Tản Viên Mountain (Tản Viên Sơn Thánh/傘圓山聖), also known as Sơn Tinh (山精); the Giant (Phù Đổng Thiên Vương/扶董天王) also known as Thánh Gióng or Ông Dóng; the Marsh Boy (Chử Đồng Tử/褚童子); and the Heavenly Spirit and Mother Goddess (Princess Liễu Hạnh/柳杏公主)
- Legend of Đinh Bộ Lĩnh, the First Vietnamese Emperor, Dinh Dynasty (924–979)
- Stories of the Supreme Commander of Vietnam Trần Hưng Đạo (1228–1300)
- Heaven's Will (Thuận Thiên), the Mythical Sword, of the Vietnamese King Lê Lợi (1418-1428)
- The Four Holy Beasts (Tứ Linh or Tứ Thánh Thú ): the Dragon (Long) in the East, the Qilin (Lân) in the West, the Turtle (Quy) in the North, and the Phoenix (Phụng) in the South
- and many more wonderful enlightening stories.
Brief Storyline Summary
The Monkey King is a 4-volume books set with 100 chapters:
Sun Wu Kong (Tôn Ngộ Không), also known as “The Monkey King”, was born from a stone that was shaped into a monkey by the wind on Mountain of Flowers and Fruits. “Tôn Ngộ Không” means “awakened to emptiness” and sometimes translated as “aware of vacuity”. The Monkey King is a mischievous and curious human-like monkey.
The stone was a magic stone that had received powers from the heavens and earth since the beginning of time. Kong was crowned the “Monkey King” when he took on the challenge and succeeded in going through the Water Curtain to find the source of water. He called himself the “Handsome Monkey King”.
Kong sought to become immortal and obtained supernatural powers through Taoist practices when he discovers that life is limited. He then established himself as the most powerful and demons in the world. The Ten Judges of the Dead came for him, but Kong fought back and erased his name and all the monkeys’ names from the Book of Life and Death. His wrongdoings were reported to the Jade Emperor in Heavens.
In an attempt to control the Monkey King, the Jade Emperor invited him to Mount Penglai, the immortals’ residence, and appointed him the Keeper of the Heavenly Horses. When Kong realized his low rank, he rebelled and created havoc in Heavens and called himself “Great Sage, Equal of Heaven”. He rebelled again when he was excluded from a banquet and stole and devoured the peaches of immortality, pills of longevity, and the Jade Emperor’s royal wine. Kong continued to wreak havoc and fight against the Heavens.
Buddha finally trapped Kong; and Quan Yin made him Monk Tam Tang’s disciple and bodyguard. The Monk was tasked to journey west to retrieve the sutras from India. The Monk named Kong (“Tề Thiên Đại Thánh”) which means “The Great Saint of Heaven”.
On his 7-years journey to collect the scriptures/sutras, Kong alternated between protecting his travel companions and causing mischief – it is the tendencies of being a monkey. Along the way, they face many calamities and must fight demons, monsters, ogres, Immortals; save the innocent; and walk the path of Buddha without fail to bring the scriptures back to China. Their reward is enlightenment and living in Buddha’s paradise. Kong ultimately achieved enlightenment and becomes a Buddha – obtaining his life-obsession for immortality.
What We Need & What You Get
Animation is very expensive to create. Here are some examples of TV animation costs:
- The Simpsons - $2,000,000 per episode in 2007
- Nickelodeon Animated Shows - $600,000 – 700,000 per episode in 2011
- Ellen DeGeneres’ Green Eggs and Ham (May 2018) - $5-6MM per episode
We need an Animation DREAM TEAM to make our animation projects a reality.
For this first round of crowdfunding, we want to raise $250,000 for a pilot episode ($200,000) and ($50,000) to cover costs for legal, music scores, marketing, administrative, etc. Each season will consist of 12 episodes. Any money raised in excess of the $250,000 would be applied to production of more episodes for the series. It is estimated that we would need $4.0 million to complete our first season. Anything in excess of the $4.0 million raised will be used to produce a second animation series or the second season.
The money will be applied to the following:
- Storyboard & Animatic
- Voice Recording
- Music & Sound
- Administrative Fees & Costs (e.g., staff, crowdfunding, etc.)
- Merchandising: T-Shirts, Storybook(s), Stickers, etc.
Our Animation DREAM TEAM
We would like to raise enough capital to have, at the very least, the following talented and creative individuals, whom we have already discussed this project with, on our Animation Dream Team to take the lead:
- Tony Bancroft (Director for Mulan & Animal Crackers ’16, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Emperor’s New Groove, Stuart Little 2, Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Masters, etc.)
- Mike Nguyen (Curious George, The Road to El Dorado, The Iron Giant, Space Jam, Beauty and the Beast)
- Michael Bonitatis (Animation Libation Studios, Instructor at East Los Angeles College, The Art Institutes and The Los Angeles Film School)
- Mike Libonati (Animation Libation Studios)
- Tuan Nguyen (The Simpsons)
- Don Bui (Brave, Cars 2, Toy Story 3, Up)
- Van Phan (Dragons: Riders of Berk, Shrek 2, Madagascar)
- Lillian Tran (The Avengers, Capitan America: The First Avenger, Thor)
- Tom Nguyen (Vinamation)
- THERE is a NEED to DEVELOP RELATABLE and PARABLE-LIKE STORIES where people can watch over and over.
- In a digital age, children and adults do not spend quality time as a family without having their cellphone, iPad, etc.
- There is currently NO Asian Culture, Folklore and Mythology-Inspired Animated Television Series Created for Syndication.
- There is also currently NO Asian Culture, Folklore and Mythology-Inspired Animated Feature Films Created for Box Office;
- Animation is on the top of the list of things that adults and kids can enjoy together.
- Nostalgia. Animation allows us to remember what it was like to be a kid.
- Opportunities for Animators to get creative to display their works of art.
China & Overseas Chinese
Vietnam & Overseas Vietnamese
Risks & Challenges
The risks and challenges are great. We run the risk of not being able to raise the funds to produce the films and TV series. We also run the risk of not being able to hire the right talents to help produce the contents.
However, we have a plan and are optimistic about our success in this project. We have several investors who have expressed their interests in our project. So through this campaign, we want to validate that our project has great potential.
Other Ways You Can Help
If you cannot contribute, it's okay. You just need to help pass the word and help us make some noise. Please use the Indiegogo share tools!
And that's all there is to it.