22nd Animation Division New Face Award


Animated short film

YAMASHITA Akihiko [Japan]


Invisible is a short hand-drawn animated film created as part of the anthology Modest Heroes made by Studio Ponoc for theatrical release. The creation of the film began as a challenge to solve the following difficult problem: “Animation is the art of animating pictures and breathing life into characters, but if we are to create an animated film in which the character to be animated is invisible and even expressions cannot be conveyed through drawings, what kind of a story can we create?” Invisible is the story of a man who wakes up one morning to find that he has become invisible. He leaves the house as usual, but no one notices his existence: not the colleagues at his workplace, the automatic doors of the convenience store, the ATM, or even gravity. The film uses delicate and acrobatic expressions to depict his anxiety, sadness, anger and hope. Invisible is the first original film of an animator who for many years has been a key person in the creation of director Hayao Miyazaki’s animation works.
13 min. 13 sec.
© 2018 Studio Ponoc

Reason for Award

The happenings that the protagonist faces in his daily life on account of being invisible are depicted in a dynamic, fascinating manner with precise and detailed drawings by applying an approach that combines the reality and deformation typical of hand-drawn animation. The raindrops spattering on the protagonist’s transparent face, the expression of the way he feels the flow of air, his movements free from the constraints of gravitation, the artistic approach of perfectly embodying the yin-yang of his heart in such a subdued yet beautiful way by using dark colors, and the creator’s attention to detail—all these elements transcend the story and move the audience. The harmony between reality and unreality as the creator sees them highlights the interesting plot of this animation film. Seeing it is an extremely valuable experience. (MORINO Kazuma)