This made me pretty sad…but excited for season 6
- Persepolis: Marjane Satrapi
- My Neighbor Totoro: Hayao Miyazaki
- Porco Rosso: Hayao Miyazaki
- Transformers Prime (Seasons 1 and 2): Roberto Orci/Alex Kurtzman/Jeff Kline/Duane Capizzi
- Ponyo: Hayao Miyazaki
-The Triplets of Belleville: Sylvain Chomet
- Nausicaa and the Valley of the Wind: Hayao Miyazaki
- Jason and the Argonauts: Don Chaffey (Effects by Ray Harryhausen)
- Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger: Sam Wanamaker (Effects by Ray Harryhausen)
- The 7th Voyage of Sinbad: Nathan Juran (Effects by Ray Harryhausen)
- The Golden Voyage of Sinbad: Gordon Hessler (Effects by Ray Harryhausen)
- The 3 Worlds of Gulliver: Jack Sher (Effects by Ray Harryhausen)
- Kiki’s Delivery Service: Hayao Miyazaki
- Betty Boop (Volume 1): Max Fleischer
- Cannon Fodder: Katsuhiro Otomo
- Stink Bomb: Tensai Okamora/Katsuhiro Otomo
- Magnetic Rose: Koji Morimoto/Katsuhiro Otomo
- Guard Dog: Bill Plympton
- Oban Star Racers (the complete series): Savin Yeatman-Eiffel
Persepolis (the title is a nod to the ancient city of the same name) is an autobiographical animated film by Marjane Satrapi about her life during the revolution in Iran and how she became an expatriate.
“The film is presented in the black-and-white style of the original graphic novels. Marjane explained in a bonus feature on the DVD that this was so the place and the characters wouldn’t look like foreigners in a foreign country but simply people in a country to show how easily a country can become like Iran. The present-day scenes are shown in color, while sections of the historic narrative resemble a shadow theatre show. To help with the translation of the comic to animation, art director and executive producer Marc Jousset came up with the design.” (-Wikipedia)
I feel like the simple black-and-white cartoon style of this film really helped the theme they where going for.
Transformers Prime is a recent animation from Hasbro that is shown on its new network channel, the Hub. The series is written and directed in the United States and is animated in Japan by a company called Polygon Pictures. It follows the war between the Autobots and the Decepticons. Team Prime is stationed on earth and is trying to stop Megatron from uncovering secrets from Cybertron’s ancient past (such as weapons of the Primes, the Iacon database, and Dark Energon). They animation is a mixture of 2D and 3D CGI. The metal and rocks and other textures of the robots and backgrounds are made to look ultimately realistic. The humans on the other hand seem very flat, hence the 2D.
You’d think a fully CGI action animated show such as this would have blocky fight scenes with clumsy robots but the action and explosions are spot on. The robots have very fluid movements and the transformations blow my mind. They are very reminiscent of the live action films.
Ray Harryhausen was a film genius who reigned from the 1950s through the 1980s. He was a master at special effects and stop-motion animation. “At the start of the 1950s, Harryhausen devised a relatively low-cost method of stop-motion work that permitted the creation of special effects on a smaller budget than had theretofore been the case,” (Eder; Answers.com) and started his name in fame.
He was known for doing mythical films that were never considered doing because of the lack of knowledge in special effects and how expensive it was. He brought stories to the table, including greek myths and other folklore, and created astonishing films using his stop-motion techniques such as Clash of the Titans, Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, and Jason and the Argonauts.
His films cultivated quite a fan-base but “he was unable to get further films produced, however, as the generational change in the movie industry, combined with his good taste, his advancing age (as well as his corresponding desire not to be divided from his family for months at a time), and his unwillingness to utilize CGI technology, left Harryhausen seeming out of step with the business” (Eder; Answers.com).
His films were able to display great illusions of real life like in Jason and the Argonauts when the skeletons crawl out of the ground and attack Jason and his comrades. They look lifelike and fool the eye a bit, even after seeing today’s great advances in CGI technology. He has paved the way for animation and live action films alike with his astonishing stop-motion animation and special effects.
This DVD collection of three anime films based on three of Katsuhiro Otomo’s manga short stories. They are all portrayed in three different and beautiful animation styles.
The first film in the trio is Magnetic Rose, directed by Koji Morimoto, depicts the story of a trash-collecting shuttle crew who picks up a distress signal from deep space. They go to investigate the signal and come upon an ship graveyard around a space station. The crew investigates only to find that the station belongs to the dead diva, Eva Friedal. The crew soon finds out that something is wrong here and the Eva may not be resting as peacefully as they thought. The animation style of this film is a more realistic form of anime where the people don’t have over exaggerated eyes or facial features. The colors are very dark and fitting of the mood the film is trying to convey.
The second film in the trio is Stink Bomb, directed by Tensai Okamora, tells the story of an unfortunate lab technician, Nobuo Tanaka, who is fighting the flu and is referred to some pills in his boss’s office. He takes the wrong pills which causes everyone around him to become unconscious. He is instructed by his superiors in Tokyo to bring the pills and research to them. They soon realize that it was a mistake for him to come hear as all of Japan and its military try to stop him. The animation in this film is your usual anime style, but not too over exaggerated, it looked more realistic than most. The speed of the characters and their movements are a little fast to help with the comical air of the film. The attention to detail in the background paintings are wonderful.
The third film in the trio is Cannon Fodder, directed by Katsuhiro Otomo himself, depicts a would at war. A city made of cannons and turrets fights an unknown enemy. This story focuses on one family that lives in this city and follows them through their daily routines. This style of animating was very dark and uncommon. It seems like it was based of of the sketchy style you see in some comic books but it has its own touch that makes everything and everyone look dirty and miserable. Its style is very profound and is the one I remember the most vividly from the film.
Each anime style in these three films brings a special touch to its story. It enhances the way the audience perceives the story. Each one of these films is a masterpiece. I highly recommend these films for their great stories and wonderful style.
Here is Kanye West’s music video for his hit song: Heard Em’ Say. The animation in this video was done by Bill Plympton.
On Friday February the 10th, Bill Plympton came to the Robinson Film Center in Shreveport, Louisiana to do a little screening of his short films and to talk to those interested about animation and his career as an independent animator. He was invited to shreveport by Bill Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg of Moonbot Studios.
I went to the Robinson early to see if i could meet Bill Plympton. He was sitting at a table signing cards and doing a small doodle of his “guard dog” for everyone there. I got in line for a doodle and when I reach him, I handed him the card and shook his had and introduced myself. He was very nice and while he doodled the dog, I told him that I wanted to be an animator as well. He asked me where I went to college and I said Centenary College of Louisiana and he told me it was a good start and to keep at it and that he was glad I came.
At 7:15pm, everyone was ushered into the theatre for Bill’s screening to begin. It started with Bill Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg introducing Bill and making jokes and telling everyone how hard it was to get him here. After they sat down, Bill started talking about his “guard dog.” He told us that people loved his dog because he was funny and his skits were short. He drew the dog on a large sheet of paper for us all to see and the we watched his short film: Guard Dog. It was was a quick film and showed the dog running around the park barking at everything and without realizing it, strangling his master after running in circles and tying him up. It was really cute. After that we watch the same short again, only this time it contained different art from a contest that was held for artists around the world to draw different shots from the short.
Next we saw his short about a cow wanting to be the best hamburger he could be and another short by Winsor McCay, about a flying house, that Plympton had cleaned up and rereleased with sound. Both were fantastic. During that time he did a few drawings of other characters from some of his other shorts and films. He talked about his three steps to being a successful independent animator. He called them “Plympton’s Dogma.” - “1) make your films short. 2) make your films cheap. 3) make your films funny…no one wants a short, sad film.” The audience laughed but he went in to how those are key to his success.
After that he screened a sketched out version (similar to a rough draft) of his new feature length animation project. It was of a woman walking through the town wearing a large hat, a long dress, and a book. All the men in the town are staring at here but she doesn’t notice. It was a fantastic bit of animation and was accompanied by great music. Afterwards he answered a few questions…they were the obvious “so when did you know you wanted to be an animator?” type questions. After that everyone went up to Abby Singers and got drinks.
It was a great experience and Im glad I got to meet Bill Plympton.