Thursday, 20 May 2010

Animated discussions: Fairy Tale Dreams

The Old Man say: "You can tell my story."
I say: "Oh Yeah?"
He say: "The first cartoon film I saw in the cinema was "Snow White". I was four. I was so frightened by the Wicked Witch, I had nightmares for months. The worst was when she baked me in a pie with the apples."
Long silence.
"Get your own blog" say I.

Nevertheless, that's what's so powerful about animation. It makes real the fantastic, the impossible, the surreal. "Look. It moves around, it walks, it talks, it must be real," Our Little Child's Brain says.

Yes OK, I too have a Walt Disney Witch image burnt into my Little Child's Brain. But mine was Sleeping Beauty's Wicked Fairy. Towering tall, all cheekbones and scarlet lips. Like Gloria Swanson in "Sunset Boulevard", she was "... ready for my close-up now, Mr De Mille".
Clothes rippling behind her in the wind of her fury.

Which reminds me. Why is the wind always blowing in Japanese Anime films? Hair blows, skirt hems flap, the grass ripples and clouds sail across the sky.

And so whilst on the subject of Fairy Tale, I'm thinking Hiyao Miyazaki now. And some of my favourite animated films have been his. "Spirited Away", "Howl's Moving Castle" and my current absolute - "My Neighbour Totoro". Which is gentle, with a hint of something else - the world of the spirits. There's a cicada-ringing countryside; a crazy surreal bus ride through a rainy night; and the wonderful, wonderful Totoro himself.

(My current Mozilla FireFox look is called Parasol Totoro.)

So am I a sentimentalist? Because I like cute cartoons? But they don't have to be cute.

Let me tell you sometime about "Waltz with Bashir". That's not cute.

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