21st Animation Division Critiques
The Appeal of Standard Craftsmanship
This year's feature animation seems to fit more eas- ily into the standard framework than last year's works. The works we judged this year reaffirmed the positive aspects of standard craftsmanship, such as the film In This Corner of the World and the TV animation The Great Passage.In particular, In This Corner of the World used or- thodox methods to quietly depict the life of its main character, giving the movie a universal flavor. The sim- ple film production and the voice performance for the main character by Non also fit the work perfectly.The other Grand Prize winner, Lu over the wall, was quite a contrast. The dramatic story line and vibrant characters, music that harnessed the story, and unique flashback scenes make for a film that packs in a full range of interesting elements that is only possible in animation.The two Excellent Award winners that I would most like to recommend this year are Harmonia feat. Makoto and COCOLORS.Harmonia feat. Makoto artfully integrates a free- wheeling concept with the music and demonstrates the remarkable feats possible with animation. The images that bounce out of the screen and the beautiful coloring make for a film full of life.COCOLORS is particularly impressive for its ex- pression, making full use of computer graphics and its contemporary themes. The film's use of characters whose faces we cannot see to depict a sense of gloom and the subsequent release from this despair, using pictures to show a world with no color, the realistic movements of the characters, and the consist outlines of the drawing really made me hopeful for future CG works.I was also very happy with From the Same Thread, which skillfully combines images of thread with sound, and O Matko!, which uses line drawings and shade to express the complex relationship between parent and child. I was also impressed with the boldness of the short film Ugly, which was memorable for its unique form depicted using stray cats and its fascinating world view.