Tag Archives: Walt Disney

Hayao Miyazaki – a parallel universe

Hayao Miyazaki – a parallel universe

written by Souranath Banerjee

Generations of kids from around the world are fascinated and enchanted by the ever-popular Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck and my-neighbor-totoro-postertheir adorable friends, but I doubt how many youngsters have heard about ‘Porco Rosso‘ ‘Chihiro‘ or ‘Totoro‘!

Have you by any chance met the intelligent ‘Laputian Robots’, or the eerie spirit ‘No Face‘ whose face is literally missing? Have you ever taken a ride in a ‘CatBus‘ or seen the Goldfish Princess ‘Ponyo‘?

Well, there is a whole parallel universe of mesmerizing animation waiting to be explored (if not explored already); the imaginative world of a genius named Hayao Miyazaki.

John Lasseter, the director of Toy StoryA Bug’s Life and Cars, and probably the most successful animator/director/producer in Hollywood says about Miyazaki:

‘I love his films. I study his films. I watch his films when I’m looking for inspiration.’

Hayao Miyazaki won two Academy awards (nominated thrice), one for best animated feature Spirited Away and the other, the Honorary Academy Award for his impact on animation and cinema (the second Japanese filmmaker to get this award after Akira Kurosawa in 1990).

The co-founder of the famous Japanese production house Studio Ghibli (along with master director Isao Takahata), Mr. Miyazaki have the unique ability to tell his stories, though mostly from a children’s perspective but often loaded with hidden messages or allegories to feed the matured minds as well.

Trailer of his film My Neighbor Totoro (1988).

Thus, in a career that spanned for over five decades, his films though always having a fairytale quality are appreciated by all (regardless of their age), through out the world.

In 1997 a film called Princess Mononoke gave Hayao Miyazaki the fame he so rightly deserved. Not only did the film broke all Japanese box office records but since it was distributed by Disney across the world, Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli became instantly recognized in the global animation market.

And then came his most commercially and critically successful film Spirited Away that also won him an Oscar!

There was also Howl’s Moving Castle (2004) and Ponyo (2008) which only confirmed his supremacy as a legendary animation director.

But Mr. Miyazaki with his classic approach towards animation (he The-Wind-Rises-posterstill prefers hand-drawing each frame rather than digitizing) is still media shy and prefers to work peacefully from his own place.

According to him ‘We should possess the wisdom to live in our corner of the world in peace.’

With his last film The Wind Rises (2013) he has officially announced his retirement. He intends to work on the Studio Ghibli Museum, on which he jokingly comments ‘I might even become an exhibit myself’.

Compared with the creative brilliance of Walter Elias Disney (Walt Disney), Hayao Miyazaki is undoubtedly the best animator/director and the greatest Japanese filmmaker of today.

And on this day, Jan 5, his 75th Birthday – let’s wish him health, happiness and a request for a few more magical films (please).

Also do check out the documentary made on Mr. Miyazaki and his studio The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness (2013), directed by Mami Sunada.

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.compin.anime.comwww.japantimes.co.jp.

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My Favorite Animated Short Films (10+1List)

Best Animated Short Films.

written by Souranath Banerjee.

Animation films have always been a source of pure entertainment for the kids as well as the kid-makers. And the following Animated Short Films are some of the best in the business.

Most of these animated short films are Oscar nominated, some of them even won the award. Unique concepts and the way they are executed, if you are a true film lover i am sure you won’t be able to resist them.

So let the fun begin.

10. Get a Horse! (2013)

Directed by Lauren MacMullan and produced by Disney this short film is a perfect blend of black and white hand drawn animation and the latest 3D technology.

Mickey Mouse trying to save his beloved Minnie Mouse, this 3D animated short will remind you of all the incredible 1920s original Disney characters.

9. Oktapodi (2007)

You can go to any length to be with your loved ones and that’s exactly what this film is all about.

A French animated short directed by Julien Bocabeille,  François-Xavier ChaniouxOlivier DelabarreThierry MarchandQuentin Marmier and Emud Mokhberi that won numerous awards, was nominated for the Oscars and most importantly awesome fun to watch.

8. Balance (1989)

A German animated film directed by  Christoph Lauenstein and  Wolfgang Lauenstein that won the Oscars!

This short film is a reflection of our society, of course in a critical way. Simple yet a matured, many hidden message to ponder upon.

7. Duet (2014)

Latest animated short film by master animator Glen Keane.

A magical visualization and interpretation of Love through a dance of duet, all hand-drawn and classy and beautiful. Must watch!

6. Day & Night (2010)

Pixar animated short film that brilliantly combines both 2D and 3D forms of animation.
Directed by Teddy Newton, a concept so unique and fresh, it’s simply awesome!

5. Pluto’s Judgement Day (1935)

Directed by David Hand, a classic Disney short starring Mickey‘s pet Pluto in the main lead.

As all other kids I personally liked the MIckey Mouse series (still adore them) but this particular animated short changed it’s meaning as I grew up. The concept looks dangerously similar to our new age socio-political scenario, a film way ahead of it’s time!

4. Paperman (2012)

A Walt Disney Productions that won the Oscar and probably the most popular animated short film of recent times.

Directed by  John Kahrs, this one will make you fall in love!

3. The Old Man and the Sea (1999)

The first ever animated film to be released in IMAX, it is the animated version of the classic tale based on Ernest Hemingway’s novel by the same name.

A paint-on-glass-animated short film directed by Aleksandr Petrov over a period of two and half years. A masterpiece.

2. Geri’s Game (1997)

A simple yet amazing animated film made by Pixar that won the Oscar!

Written and directed by Jan Pinkava, storytelling at its best.

1. Father and Daughter (2000)

Oscar winner Dutch Animated short film holds the number one spot in my list.

Written and directed by Michael Dudok de Wit, probably the most emotional tale ever told and the magical background score completes the experience.

(The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most crazy one. A must watch).

+1. Alma (2009)

A Spanish animated short film by writer/director Rodrigo Blaas that has a very different kind of effect on it’s audience.

Alma in Spanish means ‘soul’ and this film believe it or not, has the ability to capture your sole. Spooky yet brilliant!

Similar Interest: Best Animated Films of 2015

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