Seoul Station, the third animated feature by young South Korean director Sang-ho Yeon (The King of Pigs, The Fake), has been among the more delightful surprises at Annecy this year.
It’s a layered film that can be enjoyed on many levels. At its most basic, Seoul Station is a nail-biting, action-packed film about a father in search of his runaway daughter during the middle of a zombie outbreak in the South Korean capital. But alongside the growing horde of zombies, there’s a deep vein of social commentary that runs throughout the story, offering a non-didactic statement on homelessness, social alienation, and income inequality.
The animation style appears to be cel-shaded cg of some sort, possibly with hand-drawn facial elements. Cel-shaded animation can (and has) undermined many a solid film, but the process is used tastefully in Seoul Station. The animation performances feel naturalistic and character personalities are well-delineated. Even minor figures have compelling character arcs and evoke empathy from the viewer.