When we’re down in the dumps, there’s nothing like a cute animal to get us back in a good mood. While cats are the undisputed overlords of internet animal therapy, there’s one little bunny that’s bringing a smile to thousands of Twitter users in Japan with nothing but some adorable dancing skills and a pole.
It’s been 30 years since Studio Ghibli began producing the adorable characters, inspiring storylines and amazing animated scenes that we all know and love. The warmth of the animation house’s distinctive style has created worlds so captivating it’s almost as if our favourite characters might continue on their journey after the credits finish rolling to live in an alternate animated Ghibli universe alongside our own.
So what if there were a way to catch up with all our Ghibli friends to see how they’ve been getting along? Which stories would fans like to explore further, decades after they were originally created? If semi-retired director Hayao Miyazaki ever needed a reason to come back to making movies full-time, he might like to consider the following list of five Ghibli sequels Japanese moviegoers would most like to see.
DBZ Tribute is an upcoming animation that aims to pay tribute (the hint’s in the name) to the work of Akira Toriyama. A team of professional artists have come together to create a computer-generated animated sequence as a homage to the creator of Dragon Ball.
It’s not an official project, but if the production values in these teasers are anything to go on, it’s going to be a really high-quality “tribute”.
Despite what some people might think, animation is not, and never has been, “just kids’ stuff.” Many adults around the world enjoy watching animated works, and Japanese anime in particular has raised the genre to an art form, with many masterpieces crafted to elicit raw human emotion in viewers while dealing with a multitude of adult themes. In other words, there are plenty of animated works of art out there that aren’t just for quieting crying children.
Some animators spend their lives crafting these sophisticated animations, but every now and then a work comes along that far surpasses even the highest expectations of quality. In their latest video, CineFix decided to pay tribute to ten such animated films whose visuals are so far ahead of the game that they deserve special recognition. The list features movies released between 1926 and 2014, but can you guess what they are?
Singapore is an island country so small you can barely see it on the world map. But despite its modest size, Singapore is among the most globalised countries you’ll ever visit, one of the world’s major commercial hubs, and sees over 15 million tourists each year. And no, in case you were wondering, Singapore is not a part of China.
Some of you may have visited the city-state on a vacation or business trip, but do you know Singapore beyond its modern, bustling cityscape? In celebration of the nation’s 50th National Day, animation director Ervin Han and team created a 16-minute animation that looks back at the 80 years of ups and downs Singapore went through to get to where it is today. Get your history crash course after the break!
Regular readers will remember that we recently reported about an exhibit featuring life-size recreations of sets from the most recent Studio Ghibli film, When Marnie Was There. Well, the exhibit has proved to be so popular that they’ve decided to do it all over again, this time in Aichi Prefecture.
But being Ghibli, they can’t just do the exact same exhibit twice. This time, in addition to featuring life-size sets, they’ll also have artwork and props from every single Ghibli film, going back 30 years all the way to Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.
Each era of pop culture at some point has to go through the uncomfortable transitional period where it’s too old to be trendy and too new to be retro. Right now it’s the ‘80s turn in the hot seat, with the decade’s movies, music, and fashion facing harsh judgement by modern standards.
But for all its glitzy cheese (gleese?), the 1980s gave us two landmark animation events, with anime classic Akira debuting in theaters in 1988 and The Simpsons premiering on American television in 1989. Akira’s animated version began and ended with its single movie, while The Simpsons is still chugging along nearly 600 episodes later, but that doesn’t mean they can’t blend together awesomely, as shown in this trailer for the Bartkira project that combines that tosses the cast of Matt Groening’s most famous work into the world of Katsuhiro Otomo’s.
When the lights change at Shibuya’s scramble intersection, 10 lanes of traffic draw to a halt and thousands of people surge into the street to cross in multiple directions. It’s one of Japan’s iconic urban sites, and often features on the big screen as a symbol of Tokyo. Of course, Shibuya’s scramble is crowded – it may be the busiest crossing in the world – but underneath the chaos there is a kind of fluid order, as people weave in and out of the oncoming crowd.
Architect and artist Naoki Terada has constructed Shibuya at 1/100th its real size, with the crossing’s cars, people, motorbikes (and even dogs!) made out of hand-cut paper. This beautiful stop-motion animation is the result.
Proving once again that Studio Ghibli is one of the most treasured and influential movie makers in the world, a group of Thai animators has released a fun and endearing tribute to every Ghibli movie. Captured in their video are all 20 movies that span the storied studio’s filmography. Can you catch all the references within?
If you were just looking at the clock and smiling because you’ve reached the end of your workweek, but have since switched to frowning and looking at the Tokyo weather report (clouds or rain all week long), cheer up, because it just so happens there’s a great indoor event going on.
Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia 2015 kicked off earlier this week, and until June 14 will be showcasing the works of talented short film makers from around the globe at venues in Tokyo and Yokohama. Best of all, admission is free, and today we’re taking a peek at some of the festival’s amazing computer animated shorts that are screening this weekend.
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!