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Jury Critiques

Head of the Jury TAKAHATA Isao

In the screening process this year, entries were first divided into two categories of full-length works and short works. They were then narrowed down to some candidates on whom we conducted thorough reviews and comparisons and finally decided on the final prizewinning works. While stable rendering techniques are required of more entertaining full-length works, originality and artistry are essential for individually created short works. As it is impossible to evaluate these two categories with the same criteria, the screening process was particularly difficult.
While most of the full-length works more than fulfilled the technical requirements, they fell short of our highest recognition in terms of content and expression. Similarly, many short works were hardly satisfactory with respect to originality and artistry. It was truly regrettable. Winter Days is a very ambitious attempt, where a number of authors tried to relive via animation the Japanese cultural tradition of "collaborative" literature, which is a joint work based on free association and a linked series of poems by more than one author. This work was a remarkable feat this year in that it had successfully brought 35 authors with different styles and techniques together and had them collaborate in making such a wild scheme possible. It was, therefore, only natural that this work won the Grand Prize. We also took notice of its interesting feature as a department store of various techniques and of some artistic gems included, such as Norshtein who was allotted the first verse.
TOKYO GODFATHERS is a voluminous and entertaining work created by a talented director who gave an unrealistic story a realistic touch through his ingenious presentation. With some juries recommending this for the Grand Prize, it was selected unanimously for the Prize for Excellence. We also evaluated highly the attempt to create character animation, where each of three exaggerated figures displayed their own unique characteristics through well-defined lines.
While GA-RA-KU-TA Mr. Stain showed the possibility of telling an allegory using an imaginary small world and figures, FRANK displayed the pseudo-classical touch of the original manga. KOMANEKO was adorable and Child of Planet, which won the Encouragement Prize was carefully made. They were all pleasing, but unfortunately, none were able to win the sheer admiration of all the jury members.
The reason why more short works than full-length works eventually won the prizes, which were all encouragement prizes, was because we wanted to encourage Japanese animation to further develop its potential into diversified fields, as well as to spur the area of full-length animation.

Profile

TAKAHATA Isao

Born in Ise City, Mie Prefecture on 1935, the youngest child of seven. Graduated from the Department of French Language and Literature of The University of Tokyo in 1959 and entered Toei Doga(Presently attending Toei Animation). First worked on Okami Shonen Ken (Wolf Boy Ken) #14 - The Jungle's Greatest Battle- in 1964. First directed Taiyo no Oji Holus no Daiboken (Prince of the Sun, Holus' Big Adventure) in 1968. Directed Alps no Shoujo Heidi (Heidi, Girl of the Alps)(1974), Haha wo Tazunete 3000 ri (3000 Mile Search for Mama) (1976), Akage no Ann (Red-Haired Ann) (1979), Jyarinko Chie (1981), Cello Hiki no Gosch (Gosch and His Cello) (1982), Hotaru no Haka (Burning Grave) (1988), Omohide Poro Poro (1991) and Heisei Tanuki Gassen Pon Poko (Heisei Raccoon Dog Battle Ponpoko) (1994). Produced Kaze no Tani no Naushika (Naushika, Valley of the Wind) (1984) and Tenku no Shiro Raputa (Sky Castle, Raputa) (1986). He also wrote the following books (published by Tokuma Shoten Co.,LTD.) Holus no Eizo Hyogen (Holus' Visual Expression), Hanashi no Hanashi (Talking About Talk), Ki wo Ueta Otoko wo Yomu (Read the Man Who Planted the Tree), Eiga wo Tsukurinagara Kangaeta Koto (What I Thought About When I Was Making Movies) and 12 Seiki no Animation (12th Century Animation).

( 1999 )

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