Monday, July 16, 2007

Here's a list of some of books I've been reading and studying lately, and two animated films I was able to add to my personal library. Yes, I love animation its as much a passion of mine as children's books, myths and graphic novels. The more I read and learn, the more relationships I discover between film and all other forms of writing and visual storytelling.

Jin-Roh - The Wolf Brigade [DVD] (2002) Michael Dobson; Yoshikazu Fujiki; Sumi

Title: Jin-Roh - The Wolf Brigade
An excellent story with wonderful urban scenes and some surprising plot twists. My 17 year old son and I both loved this one.

Grave of the Fireflies (Collector's Edition) [DVD] (2002) Tsutomu Tatsumi

Grave Of The Fireflies (1986)
Ok, I know this got excellent reviews, but it was not one of our favorite films. It seemed as if the main character became more pitiful and helpless as the story unfolded. True, there is a lot of gut wrenching scenes and the animation was beautifully done. And, yes, there were struggles, determination, persistence, and some creative problem solving on the main characters part. Still, we found them a bit too weak minded and lazy for our taste

Perhaps we have been through too much in our journeys, and survival has become too integrated into our being. Then again, perhaps its a lone Mother bear and her cubs in the woods thing...You learn to survive utilizing every resource available with as much honor as you can muster, or you die. I know it seems cold, but the will to live alone won't save you. You have to do your part. I guess we just admire stronger heroes. It is still a bitter-sweet story worth viewing several times, just not our personal favorite.

The Art of My Neighbor Totoro, by Hayao Miyazaki

The Art of My Neighbor Totoro My Neighbour Totoro My Neighbor Totoro
This is one of my favorite animated films and the book is just as precious. Between its covers you will find a feast for eyes...concept sketches, cel art, film images, character sheets and even a few pages here and there of storyboards.

The Art of Spirited Away, by: Hayao Miyazaki (Illustrator)

Spirited Away: Art of Spirited Away ... Spirited Away
Another wonderful animated film and equally wonderful book. This is a beautiful book filled with page after page of incredible film art, concept sketches, character sketches and pose illustrations, the script and so much more.

The Art of Howl's Moving Castle, by Hayao Miyazaki (Author)

The Art of Howl's Moving Castle Cover Art
Another favorite. This book also contains the story script, concept art, character sketches, some storyboarding and a great deal more, simply beautiful.

The Art of Kiki's Delivery Service: A Film by Hayao Miyazaki

The Art of Kiki's Delivery Service U.gif Kiki's Delivery Service ...
Yeah, I've got as many of Hayao Miyazaki's books and animated films as I can find, and Kiki's Delivery Service is no exception. Its a wonderful heart warming, coming of age story with some of the most delightful illustrations and street scenes ever. This book includes color analysis and choice for the film, a color chart, complete script with frames, discussion and view of various animation techniques and terms,character sketches, storyboards....just amazing.

These are a few more wonderful books worth checking out if you love visual storytelling in all its forms.

Disney That Never Was: The Stories and Art of Five Decades of Unproduced Animation
Before the Animation Begins: The Art and Lives of Disney Inspirational Sketch Artists
Walt Disney's Nine Old Men and the Art of Animation, by Canemaker
Art of Walt Disney, by Christopher Finch
Chuck Reducks: Drawing from the Fun Side of Life by Chuck Jones
Chuck Amuck: The Life and Times of an Animated Cartoonist, by Chuck Jones
Animation from Script to Screen by Shamus Culhane
Creating Characters with Personality: For Film, TV, Animation, Video Games, and Graphic Novels, by Tom Bancroft and Glen Keane


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