30 March 2008

Tokyo Anime Fair

So on Friday I got a chance to go to the Tokyo Anime Fair. The funniest part of the whole thing is that just inside the entrance I ran into a friend of mine from Pixar literally ten feet inside the entrance, and he was there with his friend Yoko who used to work at Polygon. I ended up going out to dinner with them and yet another friend who also used to work at Polygon!

But on to the work. Next year will definitely be the year of robots-as-characters. Besides Pixar's Wall-E, there's Fireball from Disney Japan:



The white robot is a girl, there's a much larger multi-legged robot described as a "grouchy old man". This is one of the results of Disney's local content initiative, the other one was a new Stitch series, apparently being animated by Madhouse.

Another robot series (26x22min) was D.A.N.D.Y. from Red Rover studios:



Red Rover's been around, and the director is supposed to be from Disney's direct-to-video division. I don't know if it's his influence or not, but the animation in the trailer was great compared to most of what I saw at the show. You can see the trailer online at http://www.dandyrobot.com/. Besides the big maquette above, they had a whole bunch of the robots from the show in miniature:




My favorite thing at the show was actually a self-made CG film in the "Creator's Corner". It's a great storybook look in a film called "Jack in the Box" by Tomomi Masuda that she produces nights and weekends away from her studio job. There's a website at http://www.studio-tbox.jp/ but it doesn't doesn't give a good sense of how charming the CG look of the film is. As she says in her artists' statement, "I try to produce work which conveys the realms of fairy tales and nostalgia."

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brentorama said...
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