Open main menu

Peter Chung (born April 19, 1961) is a Korean American animator. He is best known for his unique style of animation, as the creator and director of Æon Flux (which ran as shorts on MTV's Liquid Television before launching as its own half-hour television series) and Reign: The Conqueror (Alexander Senki).

Peter Chung
(피터 정)
Jeong Geun-Sik (정 근식)

(1961-04-19) April 19, 1961 (age 58)
Known forÆon Flux
Alexander Senki
Matriculated (The Animatrix)


Early life and careerEdit

Peter Chung was born on April 19, 1961. Since his father was in the foreign service of the Republic of Korea, he has lived in Seoul, London, Nairobi, Washington, D.C., New York and Tunis. His parents then immigrated to the United States; he lived in McLean, Virginia. Chung studied animation at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) from 1979 to 1981, one year at the Character Animation program, and another year in the program in Experimental Animation.

Chung started his animation career at a small animation studio in Maryland at age 18, working for animator and illustrator Salvador Bru. From there at age 19 he was designing characters for Hanna-Barbera. About this time he also started working on the layout and animation on Ralph Bakshi's Fire and Ice before being hired by Disney for feature development.[1]

Directing creditsEdit

In addition to Æon Flux (3 seasons: 1991, 1992, 1995), Chung's directing credits include the Matriculated segment from The Animatrix, and The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury. Chung served as lead character designer for the animated series, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987), C.O.P.S. (1988) Phantom 2040 (1994–1996) and Reign: The Conqueror (1999). The designs feature lean angular characters inspired by the art of Egon Schiele, a look which has become Chung's trademark character design. He also, along with Arlene Klasky and Gabor Csupo, co-designed the characters in the Nickelodeon series Rugrats, as well as directed the pilot for this series, "Tommy Pickles and The Great White Thing" and the opening sequence. In addition, in 2007 he directed the opening three-part episode for GameTaps' Revisioned: Tomb Raider, entitled "Keys to the Kingdom".

He has also directed some television advertisements – available at Peter Chung at Acme Filmworks – including a Diet Pepsi advertisement featuring Cindy Crawford and Malcolm McDowell.

As of 2009, among other unannounced projects, he was working on a full-length animated feature entitled Luvula. He is also director of the television adaption of Firebreather for Cartoon Network.[2] Mr. Chung has also expressed interest in creating a new direct-to-video animated feature of Æon Flux.[3]

Animation style and influencesEdit

Chung names Japanese animation, German expressionism and European comics as his influence, in particular the illustrative quality of the art that depends on expressive drawings instead of lots of surface details. He names in his influences expressionist Egon Schiele and comic artist Moebius.[4] As narrative influence he names Kazuo Umezu, Sanpei Shirato, Osamu Tezuka, Jack Kirby, Moebius, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Schuiten and Peeters, Silvio Cadelo, Tatsuya Egawa, Geof Darrow and Frank Miller.[5] He also names as influences, in no special order: David Lynch, Stanley Kubrick, Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, Federico Fellini, Michelangelo Antonioni, Alain Resnais, Jean Cocteau, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Seijun Suzuki, Yoshiaki Kawajiri, Yoshinori Kanada, Horst Janssen, and Frank Lloyd Wright.[6]

Chung's animation, particularly Æon Flux and Matriculated, tends toward the artistically and thematically experimental.

In the animation field, he admires Yoshinori Kanada, Koji Morimoto, and Igor Kovalyov.

Ralph Bakshi, one of the first to hire Chung, has stated that one of Chung's favorite artists is Toulouse-Lautrec.[7]

Chung was one of the artists working on the Underground roleplaying game (1993) from Mayfair Games; Aeon Flux was also an influence on the game.[8]

Personal lifeEdit

Chung has also been a participant in online forums, where users have asked him about his work and creative process. Two of the more prominent forums are ILX and Monican Spies.

Chung currently teaches a Master Class at the Division of Animation and Digital Arts at the USC School of Cinematic Arts since Spring 2013.


  • "For me, a degree of ambiguity, or mystery, is the key ingredient of any artistic statement."
  • "I often remind myself that animation is the creation of the illusion of spontaneity. Because nothing is in fact less spontaneous than the process of animating."
  • "The task of the animator, to breathe life into his characters, requires concentration akin to that of an actor whose performance has been entirely scripted down."



  1. ^
  2. ^ Rob M. Worley (2009-03-25). "Chung to direct Firebreather movie". Archived from the original on 2009-03-28. Retrieved 2010-11-09. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  3. ^ Chung, Peter. "Aeon Flux DVD release on Tuesday". Retrieved 5 April 2013.
  4. ^ Tasha Robinson (April 30, 2003), "Peter Chung interview", AV Club, retrieved June 25, 2016
  5. ^ Peter Chung (July 1998), "The State of Visual Narrative In Film And Comics", Animation World Magazine (Issue 3.4), retrieved June 25, 2016
  6. ^ "Interviewing the Animatrix, Part 2", IGN, May 22, 2003, retrieved June 25, 2016
  7. ^
  8. ^ Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. p. 169. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7.

External linksEdit