Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Animation Theatre 4

Jimmy Murakami (1933 - Present Day)

Jimmy Murakami is a Japanese American animator, director and producer best known for his animations for 'The Snowman' (1982) and 'When The Wind Blows' (1986). Jimmy Murakami has been nominated for both Acadamy and Emmy awards and has co-founded his own studio in hollywood 'Murakami Wolf Swenson'.

Fig 1.

When The Wind Blows, was a sad tale about an old couple (James and Hilda Bloggs) coping with nuclear holocaust. They planned everything with blind optimistic faith in the government handbook on what to do in the event of a nuclear war. So when the threat of nuclear war is apon the nation the couple build a shelter made from the doors in the house that are lend against the wall inside the house and prepare themselves. Both follow everything in the hand book with high hopes of being saved even though there apears to be no water, electricity, raido or T.V. and what seems as though no one to save them. Eventually the couple die of radiation poisoning still in the belief that they will be saved. The film was executed in a way that was different from most animation at the time, in that the drawn characters were composited on real footage of the inside of a house. Both animation and live footage were both blended together so well, it could have easily looked like a mismatch of two completely different mediums.

Fig 2

Bill Plymton (1946 - Present Day)

Bill Plymton is a animator and cartoonist who has been nominated for an Acadamy award for his short animation 'Your Face' and also for 'Guard Dog' and is well known for 'The Tune' which he financed entriely himself and released parts of the film as shorts to generate some income. His cartoons have been featured in The New York Times. He is according to Brooklyn Film Festival "the only person to hand draw an entire animated feature film." This in itself is a massive task even at his normal animation frame rate of 8 frames per second.

Fig 3.

The Tune (1992) is a tale of a songwriter (Del) who has 47 minutes to write a hit song and deliver it to Mr Mega the boss of his girlfriend. But Del is having trouble getting the last few lines from his blocked mind. His surreal journey takes him to a place called Flooby Nooby where he just may find what he needs to write his hit tune. This just over an hour journey transports the viewer to some surreal places that only the depths of your unconciousness could condure up, all in a beautifully hand drawn epic. Due to the movies manner in which parts where released as shorts and others are in a different medium The New York Times say it "has its choppy moments.......  two sections of it -- "The Wiseman" and "Push Comes to Shove" -- were released as short films to generate money. Both are bravura exercises, but they impede the flow of a story that too often seems like a strung-together series of shorts with no relation except their visual style." This does cause the film to lose some fluidity as it chops from scenes that have no relavence. Even so the biggest downfall is that watching something at 8 frames per second on a short might work well but after an hour of it it's almost seizure inducing.

Fig 4.


Santa: The Fascist Years, Brooklyn Film Festival, 2009, [Online] avaliable at [Accessed 23 March 2011]

Biography, Plymtoons, Date Unknown [Online] avaliable at  [Accessed 23 March 2011]

The Tune, The New York Times, 1992 [Online] avaliable at Tomatoes  [Accessed 23 March 2011]

Image Bibliography

Fig 1. Jimmy Murakami, Unknown Date [photography], Fig 1.

Fig 2. When The Wind Blows, DVD cover, 1986, [photography]

Fig 3. Bill Plymton, Unknown Date, [photography]

Fig 4. The Tune, DVD Cover, 1992 [photography],

1 comment:

  1. Interim Online Review 23/03/2011

    Hey Justin,

    When I saw you earlier you were exhibiting classic 'stress' symptoms; a certain paralysis setting in. The quick way out of that headspace is simply to take control of one thing - finish a review, finish a drawing exercise, make a start on some key frames. It will relax you immediately.

    Anyway, your story works and is a lot of fun - but your walk-cycle doesn't; because it's basically a drawing of a bathtub with limbs walking - as opposed to an exploration of the physical logic of a walking bathtub - i.e. weight distribution, squash and stretch etc. There is a fine tradition of dancing bathtub-esque sized animals; for example:

    Reducing the size and length of the bath's limbs would instantly create that more nimble 'on point' behaviour and lend greater comedic effect to the idea of a dancing bathtub. Yes it's got to dance well, but it's also got to be inarguably a bathtub!

    And your essay, Justin? Please don't leave it to the last minute, because, in general terms your formal writing etc. has shown real improvement, and I want you to continue to invest in this skillbase. Get your introduction on here asap and ensure that it functions in the way an introduction is designed to: see the link - the advice was for the Unit 3 assignment, but the principles are the same: refresh yourself and get this component right!