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Japanese Animator Hayao Miyazaki Keeps It Surreal

Ponyo_on_a_cliff

Perhaps the most renowned Japanese anime director, Hayao Miyazaki is responsible for films such as Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away. His current project, Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea is a modern take on the story of The Little Mermaid, with a goldfish who wishes to become a human girl. The exceptional thing about the film, however, is that Miyazaki says the film was done without computer animation, each frame drawn in crayon, by hand.

While digital techniques are useful, Miyazaki says the animation industry has relied too much on computers in recent years and that CG animation has become excessive.

"I think animation at times needs the pencil and needs man's drawing hand," he stated in an interview with CNN.

I couldn't agree more. While Pixar, for example, has made and continues to make CG animated features that are artfully produced and well written, most studios who have attempted to follow in their very moneyed footsteps have fallen short — ahem...Chicken Little, anyone?

The look of animation over the last 10 years has become more and more homogenous, lifeless and dull. Miyazaki's vision, on the other hand, of a hand-drawn sea, where waves become schools of fish, sounds like a refreshing break from the streamlined, bulbous, shiny computer animation that has become de riguer lately.

[source]







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