An investigation found that some Amazon and Warner Bros. animated series. could have been produced in North Korea. Security experts have found evidence that North Korean designers contributed to production Invincible, the popular Prime Video series, which has just completed its second season. Documents with sketches and instructions for improving the design of some characters were hosted on a server in an Asian country.

In accordance with Wiredresearchers from 38 North, a group specializing in reporting on North Korea, files were found on an incorrectly configured server. These included design and animation documents for several animation projects, including third season Invincible and series Iyanu, Wonder Child, from MAX. The files contained Korean-translated instructions for designers to make changes to characters or animation sequences.

“Every day a new batch of files appeared containing instructions for working with animation and the results of that day’s work.”

Evidence suggests that a studio in China would subcontract work to North Korean designers. The original sketch instructions included comments in Chinese, which were translated into Korean before being uploaded to the server.

The sketch was found on a North Korean server.

The researchers clarified that connections to the server originate from three Chinese cities bordering North Korea and that they hire workers from this country. It is likely that one or more of the studios that signed contracts with Skydance and other production companies acted as intermediaries, outsourcing the work to North Korean designers. The creators of the series never found out that people from an enemy country were on the payroll.

Invincible, Octonauts and other series produced in North Korea.

Still from Invincible found on North Korean server

Among the projects identified by 38 North are Invincible, the popular Prime Video animated series. The document on the server bore the name of the series and “Viltruminte Pants LLC”, which appears to be part of the Skybound group. File includes frame with chapter number and details of the animated episode.

Documents are hosted on the server Iyanu, Wonder ChildMAX series; Dahlia in bloom And Cattwo projects from Japanese studios, as well as a video archive Octonauts, a BBC children’s programme. The files concern not only animated series, but also television commercials and Chinese films that require special effects.

Skybound Entertainment, responsible for Invincible, made a statement distancing himself from the facts.

“We do not work with North Korean companies or affiliates, and we are not aware of any North Korean companies working on our animation. Our policy strictly prohibits any subcontracting with third parties without our prior written consent, which was not requested or provided in this case.”

Kim Jong-un working on the design for the third season Invincible

When Iyanu, Child of Miraclesr, Lion Forge Entertainment, outsourced the work to a South Korean company, which in turn outsourced it to other studios without notifying the client. Some of them are likely to be employed North Korean designers connect via VPN from China. After all, Lion Forge, Skydance and other companies are looking for cheap labor to get the job done.

Michael Barnhart, a security researcher at 38 North, said no US company knows the origin of the files. The studios said they would cooperate with authorities in the investigation.

Source: Hiper Textual

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