Both books are far more travelogues than than they are concerned with animation. They fall into the genre of visitors to new environments who document how life differs from what they are used to. Delisle is an entertaining guide to the two cities. As as he spent months working and living in each, the reader gets a fuller appreciation for the locales than if he was just a tourist who dropped in for a week.
Still, there is interesting material about how animation production proceeds under these circumstances. As I've never worked in Asia, I have no idea how typical Delisle's experiences are but I can't help regretting how TV animation is produced. I can only imagine, based on Delisle's cultural dislocation, how it must be for Asians to be working on Western projects, dealing with languages and cultures they're not familiar with, having to take orders from a foreign boss who can't communicate with them directly and answering to someone who has no understanding of their lives.
Has anyone from Asia written about the experience of working on Western TV animation? If so, can someone please let me know?
If Delisle's writings are accurate, they are proof that animation made for television is created under such broken conditions that an animated performance is an impossibility.
Excerpted from Shenzhen (Click to enlarge)