ANIMATION WORLD MAGAZINE - ISSUE 4.9 - DECEMBER 1999
Not Just Another Interview
I just got finished reading the interview entitled, "Not Just Your Average Joe: Disney Legend Joe Grant" (Lyons, 4.8) from the web site, Animation World Network. Mike Lyons is an extremely talented writer/interviewer, and I'd like to see more by him in the future.
Editor's Note: Granted! In this issue Mike Lyons interviews John Canemaker in, "John Canemaker's Sweet `Dreams.'"
Animation Can Grow Up
I'm writing in regards to an article which appeared in your November issue, "Cartoon Movies: Acting Their Age?" by Andrew Osmond (Osmond, 4.8). I certainly applaud the discussion of developing animation for adult audiences and sympathize with the sentiments expressed by animators. There needs to be more challenging and focused adult-oriented animation in today's feature market.
However, I was curious at Mr. Osmond's lack of discussion concerning Japanese animation and the prevailing attitudes about animation in Japanese culture. It is very clear that there is a strong and real market for adult-oriented animation features in the world. There may be lessons that can be learned about adult animation filmmaking and marketing from the Japanese. In recent years, the broader acceptance of Asian live-action stars such as Jackie Chan and Chow Yun-Fat in the U.S., may be a sign that the American market is willing to accept other Asian films such as animation.
The fact that the new Japanese film Princess Mononoke is being theatrically released in the U.S. says that there is an attempt to test the adult animation market. In addition, certainly in my area of the world (the Washington, DC-Baltimore metro region), video stores carry and have a market for Japanese anime films. Japanese anime film festivals in area art house movie theaters draw large crowds and rave reviews. This suggests to me that there is a market that can be reached and sustained if only the powers that be in American animation filmmaking (Disney, DreamWorks, etc.) take the leap of faith and actually allow a completely adult-oriented film to be made.
I look forward to seeing further discussion on this subject. Take care and have a good day.
PS. I am currently coordinating an exhibit of the animated works of two-time animation Oscar winner Frédéric Back. His work is scheduled to appear at the Montpelier Cultural Arts Center in Laurel, Maryland in April, 2000.
Editor's Note: I am sure you will enjoy "Pokemononoke: Anime For The Millennium"by Andrew Osmond in this issue.
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