Robot Taekwon V/ Voltar the invincible(1976)
Robot Taekwon V is a South Korean animated film directed by Kim Cheong-gi and produced by Yu Hyun-mok, the prominent director of such films as Obaltan (오발탄) (Aimless Bullet) (1960). Released on July 24, 1976, it was Korea's first full-length animated science-fiction feature. It was a very popular film in Korea during the late 1970s, and inspired a string of sequels.Robot Taekwon V was released in the United States in a dubbed format under the name Voltar the Invincible. Robot Taekwon V became the first Korean film to receive full digital restoration treatment in 2005.
The Japanese giant-robot anime Mazinger Z (マジンガー・ゼット, 마징가 제트) (1972) was popular in South Korea at the time of Robot Taekwon V's creation, and Kim Cheong-gi freely discusses the influence of Mazinger Z on his cartoon, saying he wanted to create a Korean hero for Korean children. In order to emphasize the Korean ties of the film, he had leading characters perform the traditional martial art, taekwondo, and gave the robot the ability to do taekwondo kicks.While Korea has become the global hive for animation outsourcing (Korean studios now work on most Japanese anime feature films) 1970's Korea had a very different vibe to modern day South Korea. Bitter memories of the brutal occupation of Korea by Japan were still fresh in the minds of many. Chongi Kim's Taekwon V proudly bares the helmet the legendary Korean Admiral Yi Sunsin wore in his quests to fend off Japanese annexation. In a very real sense Taekwon V is a national hero representing the fight for freedom from Japan and independence
The sequel, "Super Taekwon V", had taken designs from "Gundam" and "Xabungle".
The original print of Robot Taekwon V has long been thought lost, and for years the only available print was incomplete and in very poor condition. However, a duplicate print was discovered in a warehouse of the Korean Film Commission in July of 2003. Beginning in August of that year, the Korean Film Council made the film the subject of a 2-year restoration project budgeted at 1 billion won. 72 people were involved in cleaning up and digitizing each of the 108,852 frames. The original mono soundtrack was transferred to Dolby Digital 5.1. The restored version premiered at the Pusan International Film Festival on October 6, 2005.In late 2006 Taekwon mania soared to new levels with a celebrity attended gala event in Seoul celebrating the 30th birthday of the robot and film. In 2007 yet more giant 3 meter tall size statues of Taekwon V have appeared around Seoul; instead of fronting art galleries in the hip areas of Hongdae and Insadong, one of the statues landed outside of the National Assembly (parliament) building. The restoration was widely released in early 2007 and set a new record for domestic animated films, attracting over 500,000 viewers in 13 days