2.2Mb Korea Times - January 31, 2005

Animation 'American Dragon' to Come to Korean Airwaves

By Han Eun-jung
Staff Reporter

Just being 13 can be tough enough. But, in 13-year-old Jake Long's case, thingsare a little more complicated as local audiences will learn in Disney Channel's soon-to-premier animation series "American Dragon: Jake Long," which will hit Korean airwaves on Feb. 12.

Meet Jake Long of New York City who prior to learning of his extraordinary destiny was nothing more than what he appears to be - one of the millions of Asian Americans living in the United States, a music loving, video game playing teenager who can't do without his skateboard.

Guided by his recently immigrated grandfather Lao Shi and Grandpa's rather unique "associate," a gruff 600-year-old magical Shar-Pei named Fu Dog, Jake finds himself able to turn into a dragon whose mission it is protect the magical beings that live secretly among the masses from evil foe.

Feeding off the popularity of recent fantasy-adventure screen creations (for instance the "Harry Potter" and "Lord of the Ring" series), Walt Disney Television Animation took a different take on the mythical creature of the dragon and came up with the idea that these beings, thought only to exist in the imagination, really live amongst us, taking on human form and shifting form if need be.

Jake Long is the first of the "dragons," a long tradition of forces livingunder a secret identity all over the world, whose duty it is to defend the world of menace, and protect America.

Usually portrayed as fire-breathing harmful monsters in European mythology, in Asia they are thought to be wise, benevolent and the ultimate representation ofexcellence. The series producers' imaginations budded off the idea of "What if?"

"What if there were dragons? We suggest that there are dragons. Then what we did was combine the rumors to come up with this new concept of a force of evil fighting dragons, " the show's writer and producer Jeff Goode said in a telephone interview with The Korea Times.

Regarding the series' milieu, Goode also said that Jake's most important challenges find him working together with magical creatures of different worlds andcultures."

"Hopefully, after watching the show they will think, 'maybe I'm a dragon?' making watching more fun, " he said.

"Kids watching from different cultures will get to know more about the world of the show than the makers themselves."

The producers also said that the second season will also see a Korean dragon, true to the characteristics of Korean culture and heritage.

"American Dragon" will air every Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m.


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