SHENZHEN, China - Seen from outside, there is nary a hint of the Magic Kingdom about this ambitious young animation studio nestled amid magnolias and palms on the campus of Shenzhen University.
Early next year, Global Digital Creations Holdings, a fledgling animation studio that has mostly labored in anonymity, is aiming for the big time with the worldwide release of its first 3-D feature film, "Thru the Moebius Strip," (http://movies2.nytimes.com/gst/movies/movie.html?v_id=296121&inline=nyt_ttl) a science-fiction adventure about a determined boy's time travel to another galaxy to rescue his stranded father.
Low costs almost guarantee the Chinese a major impact. China is far from alone among fast-developing nations eager to pursue a piece of the lucrative animated film business by marrying their mastery of advanced computer technology with low labor costs. Taiwan, South Korea and the Philippines have been ramping up animation production for several years, while many experts consider India to be the biggest recent comer in the field.
"I have no doubt that the technical skills in China are beginning to rival those of Hollywood or Europe," said John Lent, a professor of communications at Temple University, the editor of the International Journal of Comic Art and the author of "Animation in Asia and the Pacific