Your Name Analysis

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Last Updated 16/06/2020

 

“Good animators can make a good story a knockout. There is not much that the best animators can do with bad stories”- Walt Disney

Anime has the potential to give us unique experiences. Japan’s animation industry is filled with culture and perspectives that are missing from Western films. However, this culture is too often used as fancy dress on familiar archetypes. Many popular anime tropes simply show or sometimes celebrate ugly sides of human nature as opposed to exploring them. This is part of what makes anime directors like Hayao Miyazaki or Mamoru Hosoda good. Their films are full of rich meaning and they often subvert and scrutinise harmful anime tropes. This context makes Makoto Shinkai’s Your Name disappointing. Shinkai’s film is technically excellent but severely lacking in meaning and humanity. Pretty visuals are its key focus and are meant to distract from its hollowness. It’s not an awful film, but it’s not a very good one.

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Animators Then & Now: James Baxter

This is the first of a series of blog posts I plan to do where I’ll give an overview of an animator’s career, highlight what they’re most famous for and say what they’re doing today.

Today’s post is about James Baxter. Baxter is a British animator who did his most well known work at Disney in the 90s (1). The first credit he has as an animator is on Who Framed Roger Rabbit. He animated Roger, Jessica Rabbit and the Weasels in some shots (1). His animation style is soft and rounded with complex physics. He complemented and helped set Disney’s softer animation style in the 90s.

A compilation of animation by James Baxter.

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Animation Today

I thought I’d start a series of short daily blog posts to get myself writing regularly. I’m most likely to write about animation but I’m probably going to talk about film and other stuff as well here.

I’ll start this off with a topic that a YouTube comment got me thinking about- recent sources of non-anime sakuga. I’d like to write a proper blog post about this sometime but for now I’ll just report what I know.

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Sakuga Starter Kit

Great animation is amazing. Good animators can make two-dimensional drawings move and feel like they’re real. The clip above was animated entirely by hand by one person. If animation like that interests you, you might be a sakuga fan.

“Sakuga (作画) (lit., “drawing pictures”) is a term used in anime to describe moments in a show or movie when the quality of the animation improves drastically…”

– From http://anime.about.com/od/animeglossary/g/Sakuga.htm

The sakuga fandom searches out, appreciates and discusses great 2D animation. This article will help get you up to speed on what great animation is, how it’s made and where you can find it.

A compilation of animation that includes work from the people and media talked about below.

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