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Home > Media Reviews > News Review Last Updated: 14:26 09/01/2008
News Review #461: September 1, 2008

Japan's Miyazaki Keeps Computers Out of Cartoons

Reviewed by Takahiro MIYAO

Japan's Miyazaki Keeps Computers Out of Cartoons
Reuters (8/31/2008)


Hayao Miyazaki's new animation "Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea" is now being widely talked about not only in Japan but also in Venice, because it could be awarded top prize at the Venice Film Festival, according to the Reuters' article linked above. It is well known that he won an Academy Award for best animation film in 2003 with "Spirited Away."

One of the secrets for the success of Miyazaki's animation is the fact that it uses hand-drawn art throughout without much computer graphics. That should help lead to delicate and sensitive expressions in animation of the Miyazaki style, unlike typical American animated films. In the Reuters' article, he is quoted as saying "I think animation is something that needs the pencil, needs man's drawing hand, and that is why I decided to do this work in this way." It should be pointed out, however, that this is easy for him to say, as it is not Miyazaki himself but many young animation writers and technicians at Studio Ghibli, who do drawing work almost 24 hours a day and 365 days a year to meet the deadline for Miyazaki's film. As a result, the animation industry in Japan has become known as one of underpay and overwork.

What a person like Miyazaki should do is not just produce good animation films, but also create good working conditions for future generations of animation writers and technicians in Japan. Otherwise, fewer and fewer young people would be willing to work for the animation industry, which might have to move out of Japan to seek workforce in other Asian countries in the future.

This review is adopted from the following blog (with its Japanese translation):

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