Friday, January 28, 2005

Miyazaki and Howl's Moving Castle

Talking about animation. Anyone who isn't familiar with Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki should become familiar. He is often called the "Japanese Walt Disney", which pretty much sums up the kind of influence and stature he is given in Japan and among animation circles. I don't like that term because I think Miyazaki is on par with the best Disney.

Most people know him from Mononoke Himé (Princess Mononoke), however as amazing as that film is (and it is one of my favourites of all time) it's by far the most "adult" of Miyazaki's films. I highly encourage everyone to go watch Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (Spirited Away), Majo no Takkyubin (Kiki's Delivery Service), and Tonari no Totoro (My Neighbor Totoro) because the man has a gift for creating amazingly whimsical, child-like films that at the same time are beautiful works of art.

The reason I mention Miyazaki is that his new film Huaru no ugoku shiro (Howl's Moving Castle) is set to come to N. American this year. I'm excited as Spirited Away was one of my favourite films of 2002. You can watch a preview (in Japanese) at this site here.

5 Comments:

At 7:36 AM, Blogger Luke said...

If i have anything to say about Hayao Miyazaki, it would be more directed to the whole asian animation industry. In two words "LOOSEN UP!" Now animation is an art form with many styles, each with it's own set of rules. However I don't get the stiff feel of ainme. Their are some great asian animators, and I have seen some spectacular scenes, but on a whole these guys must think the work is made of cardboard people. It's a technique sed to save money, but it bugs me to know end. All they have to due is use "overlapping action" a little more. When the body moves, not all parts arrive at the same point in space, and the same time. The arm moves, the fingers may arrive a point first, followed by the palm, wrist, forrarm...you get the idea. Now i'm hardly one to critizie, this is a technique i struggled with. it requires many olyptical paths and very percise spacing. I had to work very hard to nail this in a "tail wag" and a "ocean wave", so it has become a pet peeve of mine not to see it used to it's full potential. anyway i love Miyazaki's work. it's filled with creativity, and interestign character designs. I looking forward to his new film

 
At 10:39 AM, Blogger Anders said...

Maybe I'm reading you wrong, but I was going to say that the great thing about Miyazaki is that you DON'T get that stiff feeling you get in other anime.

 
At 3:38 PM, Blogger Luke said...

No you read me right. i find his films infinatly better than a lot of the anime i have been subjected to, yet it's their. It's also a little biased of me to suggest that western animation isn't filled with it's own money saving limited animation techniques, but when comparing Miyazaki to some of the great disney films, it's stiffness really stand out. It runs rampant in Princess Mononoke, but as i said i have a hyper critical eye for it.

One of my instructors who worked for disney told me a story about Pocahontas 2. Half of it was done in asian and half in canada. The Asian guys were so stiff, and the north american guys were a little loose. They both really had to work hard to come to a middle ground and you can see it in the film if you look closly. side note their is one hilarious scene of one of the natives running across a breaking bridge. The way he runs is so physically impossible that it must be some kind of joke, but it's a riot to see.

 
At 10:11 AM, Blogger Anders said...

Yeah, and some Asian animators might point out that Western animators have a tendency to make everything look like rubber (especially early Disney stuff). Neither is entirely "realistic", but I don't neccessarily think that's the point of animation, at least from a viewers perspective. There is some merit in both.

 
At 10:34 AM, Blogger Luke said...

agreed

 

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