Random thought for the day

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Re: Random thought for the day

Postby ShannC on Mon Nov 24, 2008 2:03 am

Hungrywolf wrote:
ShannC wrote:The "Walt Disney of Japan" thing only holds up as far as high-budget animated + family/children films + huge distribution.


Right. There's really nothing more than that to the comparison.


Is there? I mean, their films are so different. Themes, style etc. Not that there's anything particularly wrong with Disney if you like musical comedies etc. I'm trying to match the titles and there's a few maybe. Spirited Away has a bit of Alice in wonderland awesome in it I guess. There's some flight scene on a dragon that reminds a little bit about the carpet ride in Aladdin...

Well, I think there's some paralells but they are not so easy to find. I couldn't really think of any Disney films that reminded me of either Totoro, Mononoke or Grave of the fireflies. I'd say that Pom poko feels the most Disneyish for some reason, but it's also really weird and ironically, I think that particular movie had been done better and more coherent by Disney. It's a real mess and Disney is better on that particular thing.

I think that Disney is alot more restricted due to their image. Even if they'd want to make braver cinema, like tragedies or contemplative meandering stories, or even a story that doesn't ends well, I don't think they are allowed. They probably have the skill but could never convince either the executives or stockholders. They should make movies such as Iron giant. Keep the style but make bolder choices.

Pixar on the other hand is great as they are IMO. 3D animated comedies work really well most of the time.

EDIT: Upon closer thought, I believe early Disney works have been a huge influence on what Ghibli does today. Alice in Wonderland, Fox and the hound etc. It's easier to similarities there. From the 90's and ahead, I don't see much ressemblance.
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Re: Random thought for the day

Postby Hungrywolf on Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:45 pm

Very right. Japanese animation, at least at the very beginning, was influenced somewhat by American animation studios, such as Disney and the like. Probably because of the United States occupancy of their country post War World 2. Though I think it's well proven that that time period alone, WW2/post-WW2, has had a greater effect on all animation and storytelling in Japan.

But yes, Disney and Ghibli are both two very different animation studios with their own style of animation and story telling.
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Re: Random thought for the day

Postby PortableNuke on Mon Nov 24, 2008 8:12 pm

Redcrow wrote:
PortableNuke wrote:I do agree with your basic point: animation has gotten softer. I would like to see much more hardcore, darker fare. Batman the Animated Series and the movie from that are good examples. The X-Man animated series was good too, but it didn't push as many boundaries.


I don't think American Animation will ever be edgy, generally speaking. Batman the Animated Series certainly pushed the envelope a bit, but it was produced for broadcast television.

For your Darkness Hit, I recommend Tekkonkinekreet. It's about two streetkids living in what seems to my Western eyes to be a parallel-universe Tokyo of the 1960's.

The director is an American expatriate, if you can believe that.



You have to look at Batman the Animated Series Movie, Mask of the Phantasm or something like that, to see what they really wanted to do. It was really restrained because it was on midday network TV. The was a HBO animated series along time ago that was really adult. It was a Blade Runner rip, but I don't remember the name of it. (I found it. It was Spicy City.) Tripping the Rift and Spawn are good examples, but those aren't on broadcast television.

I think it could be. Adult Swim on Cartoon Network has been a big hit, South Park has been a long running series, and GenX is still GenX. Anime is rather popular, and it's only a matter of time before artists start citing that as inspiration.

I think the thing holding animation back is the lack of an underground. The way that indie music and cinema, as trite as they can be now, moves the needle for mainstream media, and the way that webcomics move the needle for comics. Anime is currently filling the void. It's so labor intensive it's difficult, and most people don't think of it as an art form.

I'll have to look into that movie.
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Re: Random thought for the day

Postby Redcrow on Mon Nov 24, 2008 8:58 pm

PortableNuke wrote:
Redcrow wrote:
PortableNuke wrote:I do agree with your basic point: animation has gotten softer. I would like to see much more hardcore, darker fare. Batman the Animated Series and the movie from that are good examples. The X-Man animated series was good too, but it didn't push as many boundaries.


I don't think American Animation will ever be edgy, generally speaking. Batman the Animated Series certainly pushed the envelope a bit, but it was produced for broadcast television.

For your Darkness Hit, I recommend Tekkonkinekreet. It's about two streetkids living in what seems to my Western eyes to be a parallel-universe Tokyo of the 1960's.

The director is an American expatriate, if you can believe that.



You have to look at Batman the Animated Series Movie, Mask of the Phantasm or something like that, to see what they really wanted to do. It was really restrained because it was on midday network TV. The was a HBO animated series along time ago that was really adult. It was a Blade Runner rip, but I don't remember the name of it. (I found it. It was Spicy City.) Tripping the Rift and Spawn are good examples, but those aren't on broadcast television.

I think it could be. Adult Swim on Cartoon Network has been a big hit, South Park has been a long running series, and GenX is still GenX. Anime is rather popular, and it's only a matter of time before artists start citing that as inspiration.

I think the thing holding animation back is the lack of an underground. The way that indie music and cinema, as trite as they can be now, moves the needle for mainstream media, and the way that webcomics move the needle for comics. Anime is currently filling the void. It's so labor intensive it's difficult, and most people don't think of it as an art form.

I'll have to look into that movie.


As a matter of fact Mask of the Phantasm was one of the few videos I've ever owned.

I'd better confess here and now that I don't have Adult Swim, because I don't watch enough tv to justify buying more cable service than I have. I concede that shows like South Park, Bevis and Butthead and others which I've seen maybe one episode of are very edgy content-wise.

But Anime' has superior production values most of the time. My goal when renting an anime' is to find something both technically superior with a good story, one that doesn't lean too heavily on anime' cliche's. In fact, the less the better.

Another thing I like about anime' is that most of the series are planned from beginning to end. As a kid, I always hated when a cartoon or tv series was cancelled before there was any resolution of the basic plot.

Now I don't know for sure, but it seems that anime' and manga have slightly different purpose than American comics and animation traditionally does. That is changing. I think that the underground comics of the 1960's and 70's have lead to a broadening of that medium. Even the quality of the superhero stuff is better since that time (although I never did and still have no interest in that genre).

Heh--recently I started reading a newpaper again as we get it for free at my job. Now,I've been a webcomics fan for years and follow about 50 of them. Newspaper comics are now utterly unreadable to me. The label on an aerosol can is more interesting.

All think all of our contributions to this topic can be distilled to a central theme: Good Quality is hard to find.
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Re: Random thought for the day

Postby Redcrow on Mon Nov 24, 2008 9:16 pm

ShannC wrote:The "Walt Disney of Japan" thing only holds up as far as high-budget animated + family/children films + huge distribution.
Apart from that, I don't think Disney movies are comparable to Studio Ghibli movies.

The Ghibli films are extremely straight and they always deal with pure emotions. There are no song numbers, extended action scenes of uninterrupted screaming, and there are no ironic gags/flirt with the audience type of things either. They've been extremely serious with the subject matter of every film, with some exceptions like Pom Poko.

You can compare, but if you call Ghibli a Disney you sort of undermine everything that Ghibli has that Disney hasn't.

The most diplomatic thing to say is that they can't be compared, but personally, I feel there's no chance in hell that Disney could ever pull off a Totoro or Spirited away. They don't possess either the skill or the guts to do it. Maybe it had been possible in the 60's, but not now. No way.


Well said Shann.

It couldn't have happened in the 60's, however. Back then, any male with long hair was refused entry into Disneyland. What does that tell you?
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Re: Random thought for the day

Postby Paul Escobar on Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:37 am

Hungrywolf wrote:
ShannC wrote:The "Walt Disney of Japan" thing only holds up as far as high-budget animated + family/children films + huge distribution.

Right. There's really nothing more than that to the comparison.

Well, if anyone's seriously calling Miyazaki "the Walt Disney of Japan" I think they're missing who and what Walt Disney was. Disney basically created an entire industry; animation existed before Disney of course, but was in no way big business. Disney made it just that, and all other American animation studios built on the foundations he laid. Calling Osamu Tezuka "the Walt Disney of Japan" makes sense, as Tezuka singlehandedly laid the foundations for both modern manga and anime. Miyazaki, OTOH, is a good and succesful film director. Nothing more, nothing less. He's no more Walt Disney than Brad Bird or John Lasseter are.

PortableNuke wrote:I do agree with your basic point: animation has gotten softer. I would like to see much more hardcore, darker fare.

Animation comes in all styles and tones, and there's plenty of edgy stuff, you just have to look outside current American mainstream. For example:
Fear(s) of the dark
Aachi & Ssipak
Renaissance
Paprika
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Re: Random thought for the day

Postby Hungrywolf on Tue Nov 25, 2008 8:28 pm

So... can we all just agree that Disney, Miyazaki, and Tezuka are all really really awesome no matter what they're called. :D
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Re: Random thought for the day

Postby Hungrywolf on Tue Nov 25, 2008 8:34 pm

Hungrywolf wrote:So... can we all just agree that Disney, Miyazaki, and Tezuka are all really really awesome no matter what they're called. :D


PWEASE!!!

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Re: Random thought for the day

Postby PortableNuke on Tue Nov 25, 2008 9:38 pm

Redcrow wrote:I'd better confess here and now that I don't have Adult Swim, because I don't watch enough tv to justify buying more cable service than I have. I concede that shows like South Park, Bevis and Butthead and others which I've seen maybe one episode of are very edgy content-wise.


Most of the time I haven't had cable either, and only sporadically watched Adult Swim. The only reason I have cable now is my wife like watching TV.

But Anime' has superior production values most of the time. My goal when renting an anime' is to find something both technically superior with a good story, one that doesn't lean too heavily on anime' cliche's. In fact, the less the better.

All think all of our contributions to this topic can be distilled to a central theme: Good Quality is hard to find.


Good quality is hard to find.
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Re: Random thought for the day

Postby PortableNuke on Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:16 pm

Paul Escobar wrote:Animation comes in all styles and tones, and there's plenty of edgy stuff, you just have to look outside current American mainstream. For example:
Fear(s) of the dark
Aachi & Ssipak
Renaissance
Paprika


I've seen Renaissance, at least part of it, and Paprika.

Renaissance was pretty good. I don't remember if I watched the whole thing or just the middle part of it. Form what I remember, I liked the story, very classic cyberpunk, noir. I'm not sure it could be classified as animation as it is a motion capture film like A Scanner Darkly.

I didn't think Paprika was particularly dark, but the scope of the whole thing did push the boundaries. It's kind of infinite canvas like.

I found We Are the Strange while looking for examples for this thread. It looks pretty out there.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/We_Are_the_Strange

I'm going to throw out the Aqua Teen Hunger Force Movie as a really good animated movie. Not because it's a good movie, but because it's an amazing piece of dadaist garbage which proves the ATHF writers are extremely talented.
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Re: Random thought for the day

Postby Paul Escobar on Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:12 am

Hungrywolf wrote:PWEASE!!!

Squint-eyed kitty looks so sad. :(
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Re: Random thought for the day

Postby ShannC on Thu Nov 27, 2008 4:28 am

Hungrywolf wrote:PWEASE!!!

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Ok, ok. I'm not heartless.

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Now look what you made me do!
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Re: Random thought for the day

Postby Hungrywolf on Thu Nov 27, 2008 11:24 am

Whoopie, now that's over with...

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Re: Random thought for the day

Postby Pravus on Thu Nov 27, 2008 8:20 pm

*faints* Thank God.....Why didn't you guys just make a thread for this? :p
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Re: Random thought for the day

Postby Redcrow on Sat Nov 29, 2008 8:01 pm

I've been noticing lately that advertising has been using a particular profile with more frequency than in the past:

Namely, a slender middle-aged man of African descent with very short hair.

Coincidence? I think not! Madison Avenue is such a parasite.
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Re: Random thought for the day

Postby Bloodied Fox on Sun Nov 30, 2008 5:32 am

I think it's mainly because they're all in love with Dennis Haysbert. He offers such good car insurance.
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Re: Random thought for the day

Postby Pravus on Sun Nov 30, 2008 7:10 am

Wait, so is this supposed to be racial profiling, or just that everyone wants to be a black man?
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Re: Random thought for the day

Postby Redcrow on Sun Nov 30, 2008 9:44 am

Pravus wrote:Wait, so is this supposed to be racial profiling, or just that everyone wants to be a black man?


Er, uhm...

Profile was a poor choice of word on my part, but "stereotype" didn't seem right either. Maybe "character type" is the expression I'm looking for.

You know, if it's a breakfast cereal commercial you're going to see manic little kids bouncing all over the place, and if it's a denture-adhesive ad, you're going to see handsome and fit senior citizens: character types.

So now that Obama is elected, a lot of video and printed ads seem to be using a slender middle-aged man of African descent. I think what this all means is that the Advertising Industry is banking on there being a positive association in the average consurmer's mind with this character type.
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Re: Random thought for the day

Postby Hungrywolf on Sun Nov 30, 2008 1:29 pm

Well, at least it's better than the tired and true fierce angry black man, or the other not so refreshing African American "character types" portrayed in usual modern media(TV, Movies, Commercials, etc.).
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Re: Random thought for the day

Postby Pravus on Sun Nov 30, 2008 1:51 pm

Aw, and I thought they were trying to attract white rappers :p.
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