A short animation titled Snowstorm Traveller has, fittingly, taken the global internet by storm. Recent Canadian university graduate Gerri Jin created the video as part of her graduation requirements, and though it clocks in at a mere 3:46, video still delivers an engaging plot with an unexpected twist ending, so sit back and enjoy watching the result of all of her hard work!
If there’s one Japanese artist just about everyone is familiar with, it’s Hokusai. Even if they don’t know the late Edo-period painter by name, his landscape series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji is instantly recognizable, with The Great Wave off Kanagawa and South Wind, Clear Sky, better known as Red Fuji, perhaps the most famous works in all of Japanese painting.
Hokusai passed away in 1849, meaning he never got the chance to work in the mediums of motion pictures. Had he been born a bit later though, and had the desire to move into animation, perhaps the result would have looked a little something like this video.
Lush greenery, magical flying machines and huge, squelching monsters, overlaid with a soaring orchestral soundtrack. This animated short makes no pretence about its strongest influence – it’s a beautiful homage to the works of Hayao Miyazaki.
The film even features a mysterious-looking gentleman who looks suspiciously like Miyazaki himself. But this short, which has been gaining attention online in Japan and abroad, was not made by a team of professional animators, but a young film student in Paris.
While there are plenty of American movies and TV series set against the backdrop of producing a film or television show, Japanese animation usually doesn’t get so self-reflective. So anime fans were in for a treat with the recently concluded Shirobako, which focused on a group of five friends trying to establish their careers in the animation field.
But while Shirobako is a work of fiction about creating other works of fiction, it was still produced by a team of hard-working real-life men and women, many of whom finally get to step in front of the camera in this special credit sequence for the anime. And bringing the circle back around to fiction again, it turns out many of the characters who appear in Shirobako are based on famous animators, directors, and voice actresses, as depicted in this detailed side-by-side chart that shows some uncanny likenesses between Shirobako characters and their inspirations.
Everybody loves a good Disney/Pixar movie (unless you don’t, in which case you obviously hate fun). And (mostly) everybody loves awesome automobiles and methods of transportation. First, we had “Cars”, and then we had “Planes”. The next logical step has to involve outer space, right? (Huh? Trains? Boats? Drones? Ssh…) After all, we all love space movies like Interstellar and, you know, Star Wars.
Now, we finally have the perfect marriage of space hi-jinks and cute animation in X-Wings, aka Car Wars! Wait, what?
With the upcoming Disney animated short Frozen Fever set to debut in theatres on March 13, you might be in need of a recap of the original film, so check out this two-and-a-half-minute video of Frozen as told through emoji.
Think of the two greatest animation achievements in history least likely to go together, and you might come up with an incongruous mishmash of The Simpsons and Akira.
Perhaps precisely because of the way these two animated works (with the exception of “Treehouse of Horror”) couldn’t be further apart from each other in style and execution, the “Bartkira” project – which mixes characters from the series and anime film into each others’ universes and animation styles – has been a huge success.
And it’s coming to Tokyo’s Gallery Hakusen on March 7 and 8; this very weekend at time of writing.
You might remember the Moon Animate Make-Up! project that brought over 250 artists together to recreate the opening scene of anime classic, Sailor Moon. It featured a mishmash of artistic styles that gave viewers a visual feast of creative talent. Now Pokémon fans are in luck because a similar project was just released online, featuring Ash, Pikachu, and the rest of the gang as seen by 32 different animators!
Calling all movie-goers, animation fans and literature enthusiasts! It’s not often that we get the chance to pique the interest of individuals from these three groups all at the same time, but the animated version of The Little Prince, one of the most famed pieces of French literature of our time, is set to hit the big screens in the later half of this year! If you haven’t already seen the trailer, read on and get ready to be mesmerized!
If you’ve been following behind-the-scenes entertainment news for a while, you’ve probably heard the reputation that animators have as low-paid peons that, despite providing a valuable and necessary service for both the obvious animated films as well as any movie that relies heavily on computer animation, often get paid meager wages and work hellishly long hours.
Some, then, might reverse that logic to assume this is all because animators are basically the burger-flippers of the entertainment world; cranking out a desirable product through simple, mindless repetition. Hence the low pay, right?
Well, if this Touei Animation employment exam “question” – among myriad other evidence – shows us anything, it’s that animation is hard work that requires creativity, sure, but also a fair bit of mental agility in addition to all those long hours.
I recently spent five bucks for a latte at a zoo just because it had a panda stenciled on it. The chocolate powdered cartoon panda was gone the moment I stirred in my sugar and really, all I wanted was to Instagram it. The allure of the Latte Art boom constantly appeals to fascinated casual drinkers and caffeine addicts alike, and the art has evolved from elaborate manga drawings to adorable 3-D pop-ups. Japanese coffee maker AFG, however, recently took the art to a whole new level when it released a stop animation in which each frame is created with cups of latte art! Now that is some serious dedication!
Get into the Christmas spirit with this festive video featuring flip-book style animation and a Japanese rock rendition of “Happy Christmas”, put together than none other than master animator Tekken.
You’d think the art of flip book animation had seen its apex by now. The medium’s emotional limits have already been pushed by the works of Japanese comedian and surprisingly talented artist Tekken, and others have recreated famous anime almost perfectly, but it seems there isn’t much else to do with the medium of flicking pieces of paper to create a moving image.
Or so we thought, until witnessing a line of flip books by Japanese company Another Laboratory (Mohitotsu no Kenkyujo). These brief but beautiful works not only breathe life into the format but make it superior to film or computer animations through clever use of the book itself as part of the imagery.
Have you ever twirled a pencil between your fingers, drawn on an eraser, or chewed on a pencil? Most of us have done at least one, if not all, of the above-mentioned things when we were in school. But have you ever considered the feelings of these objects? If inanimate objects had any feelings, that is…and we bet you can’t guess what happens when a pencil and an eraser tie the knot! See the humorous vid after the jump!
There are a lot of topsy-turvy world “What if…?” scenarios to ponder. Like, “What if I’d invested the money from my crappy summer job as a kid instead of blowing it all on Fruit by the Foot?,” “What if John Candy had lived to make Cool Runnings 2?,” or even, “What if cats ruled the world?” (oh wait, that one’s true…).
But if you were ever wondering what the world would be like if Disney were run entirely by Japanese people, it looks like a particularly talented animator with a love of anime has taken the time to give you a short glimpse of that scenario with this awesome anime tribute titled, “What if Gravity Falls was an anime?”
Supposedly 2014 was the “Year of Universal Studios Japan,” as the park introduced radical changes and saw a substantial spike in attendance. This must have made Mickey Mouse and Co. a little nervous, as Tokyo Disney Resorts is introducing an almost comical number of new events and attractions for 2015 in what could be a scramble to maintain their long reign as king, or perhaps magical princess, of the theme parks.
At the moment there’s not a lot of information about the new attractions, but it seems that many of them are aiming to bring a little more traditional Japanese culture to The Happiest Place in Japan. In no particular order, here are the new planned events and attractions for Tokyo Disney Resorts in 2015:
If there’s anybody in the world that loves a good non-scientifically supported personality or psychological measurement, it’s the Japanese. You’ve got the thoroughly debunked blood type indicator, Western-imported horoscopes, the “which way do you fold your arms?” test, the “how you like your meat cooked says a lot about you” test, and, of course, if you have sword-shaped fingernails, you’re a complete and utter psychopath.
Well, given Japan’s propensity for personality indicators as well as Japan’s affinity for adorable Disney princesses, it was only a matter of time before somebody mashed the two together to create a Frozen princess personality test. Jeez, why can’t they take all this superstition and just LET IT GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
If you’ve seen or read Harry Potter, you’ll probably be familiar with how things such as newspapers and paintings move in that magical world. Wouldn’t it be awesome if those were for real? Imagine having a glimpse of a movie trailer packed within a movie poster!
We’re not here to discuss Harry Potter today though. A hardcore Studio Ghibli fan recently cast their own magic on the world-famous Studio Ghibli productions, creating some amazing animated “movie posters” that took our breath away! See them after the break!
Back in April, we ran an article on mind-bogglingly tiny kitchens in a bottle. Now, Japanese beverage giant Kirin has gone a step further in another animated short that promotes their soft-drink line, “Sekai no Kitchen Kara” (“From the World’s Kitchens”). Though the multi-brand company is best known for their beers, this yummy non-alcoholic collection emerged after test-kitchen staff visited numerous countries’ bustling kitchens, which are undoubtedly a treasure trove of family traditions and culinary wisdom.
So before you write this off as mere marketing, check out the company’s imaginative stop-motion creation, which amazingly combines 1:48-scale miniature figures with video footage playing on a smartphone screen! Along the way, learn a bit more about this line of libations and the Moroccan tradition that inspired Kirin’s latest drink, “Sparkling Water.”
We recently brought to you a collection of GIFs inspired by the thrilling city of Tokyo, designed by artists from around the globe. Now it’s Kyōto’s turn! A company called COG has created a highly stylized, four-minute animated film by dynamically fusing the original imperial city with kanji characters, and some scenes are now available as GIFs.
So get ready to hop aboard the city’s famous electric trolley and zoom though quintessential Kyōto sights like the Sagano Bamboo Forest and Daimonji bonfire. Along with two other GIFs making waves online, you’ll find yourself immersed in Japanese motifs that are anything but quotidian, and if you’re learning the language, see if you can name all 18 of the kanji characters used!