Podcast - Adam Savage Project

Animation – 2/18/2014

This week, Adam, Norm, and Will discuss animation, ranging from Disney’s reimagining of Grimm’s Fairy Tales to seminal works of Japanese animation–including Akira and Spirited Away. Enjoy!

Comments (53)

53 thoughts on “Animation – 2/18/2014

  1. Grave of the Fireflies is sickeningly sad. It had a stronger emotional effect on me than any other film I’ve seen, by a wide margin I think.

  2. ~16:55 – In the 101 Dalmatians, Disney started not inking the cells but xeroxing the paper drawings onto the acetate, and that made the process of making the animation much cheaper (and faster).

  3. From an old lecture with Milt Kahl the main point of the Xeroxing process was to get the life and the fluidity of the animators drawings on screen. A lot of animators felt that the “Clean up” artist where flattening there drawings with this super slick line and the life of it was getting lost in the translation. Not to crap on anyone but the “Clean up” departments tend to be filled with artist that couldn’t make the jump to animators or are trying to. So by the time they do get the hang of it they are either promoted or moved out of the department. I’m a television animator and even today this is still the case…I hear people still complaining about how “Clean up” screws up there shots. Lol

  4. My roommate says that she has an AIBO ERS-210 (gold) named Toffey and she has the Life 2, Another Evolution, Explorer and Recognition software. She says she’s willing to have you robodogsit if you’re willing to pay to ship. Get it touch with me if you’re interested.

  5. Speaking of redubbing older Miyazaki movies. The original dubs were in my experience horrible. Bad voice acting and many background sounds were missing. I definitely prefer the Japanese audio with subtitles.

    Totoro is okay for kids but there is a moment in the movie that is a little intense.

    Grave of the fireflies is… messed up. I never cry at sad movies. I may shed a tear of pride when someone makes an honorable sacrifice or something like that but never when things are sad. That being said I was a blubbering mess at the end of Grave of the fireflies.

    I haven’t watched Akira in about 20 years and I think I need to re-watch it because I don’t remember liking it.

  6. Also in spanish “La Puta” means “The Whore”, there was a japanese 4×4 named like that which had its name changed to “Montero” quickly after entering the latin american market, for obvious reasons. Hahah, the more you know.

  7. I loved Coraline and just watched Paranorman. The ending made me cry which made me feel akward afterwards… also Miyazaki’s movies are great. I used them to Japanese back in the day.

    I also watched a bit of Heidi with my children recently. It was drawn in Japan and you can tell right away by the way she eats her bread with 2 hands. No non-Japanese I know does it that way.

  8. That was a fantastic! I am watching this at work all sneaky with my head phones on with my monitor turned just right, when the glitter comment made me burst out a stifling laugh…the classic everyone popping there heads up over the cubical wall like gophers looking to see what I am doing…funny..

  9. Akira is the first animated feature I remember seeing. I must have been seven, and god was that a mistake. It’s twenty years later and I still remember the nightmares I had.

  10.   I agree completely, my first anime was Warriors of The Wind, the 80’s import of Nausicaa. It was horrible, but I loved it, and I’m very, very glad for the redub.

  11. Just to let you know ..

    Katsuhiro Otomo (of Akira fame) later went on to do “Steamboy” which was another epic but slightly less well received. He also did a “Memories” which is a film of short stories all of which are really excellent, and its widely available. If you’re an Akira fan I recommend it.

    He released another run of short stories under the umbrella title of “Robot Carnival” I believe before Akira, harder to find but also really good, all on a robot theme including “Construction Suspension Order” which is really good.

    And Adam mentions “Metropolis” which was also Otomo’s. I know he has done more work but these are the ones you’re likely to find in the west.

    In fact. after talking about it I might go watch Memories again 🙂

    p.s. i’m an animator for a living.. might be why i’m into this 🙂

  12. “Oh, I happen to have six Jack Skellington heads.’

    “Have you read the Graveyard Book?”

    “Oh, Neil just sent me a signed copy.”

    God damn it!

  13. Some Anime Recommendations

    If you like Shinichirô Watanabe try Samurai Champloo the series, Cowboy Bebop the movie and Macross Plus.

    If you like World Record from The Animatrix and are less than sober try Redline for free and legal on Youtube.

    Also: Paprika, Ninja Scroll, Appleseed(the hand animated version), R.O.D. the movie, FLCL, Patlabor and Tekkonkikreet.

    Planetes the series might help sate Adam’s spacesuit lust.

    I agree with 3oin on everything Otomo related.

  14. if you are a fan of anime and you haven’t seen it yet, check out Attack On Titan. wouldn’t call it kid friendly, but entirely amazing.

  15. Can’t recall the email to ask Adam…

    Anywho, Adam, next time you’re up in Washington State, schedule a trip to the Olympic Game Farm in Sequim, WA. Be sure to take a tour of their Disney Barn, even if it isn’t summer. The guy who owns it was the guy who pretty much tame/trained every live animal Disney used back then.

  16. Loved the show, but toward the end my OCD went a little crazy- where have I heard that before about the Skully heads and glitter? I seem to recall someone saying that warehouse would be a scary place to be at night.

    (*sigh* Random weird stuff like this is the glitter on my brain. Can’t get rid of it no matter what, it throws me off at the most random times, and it’s kind of useless.)

  17. a lot of this sounded familiar. did you guys do a show covering the same topics before? i swear i remember the glitter story!

  18. If you want hard Sci-Fi in a longer format, anime is the best place to go. There is a Ghost in the Shell tv series that combines transhuminasim ethics and procedural cop drama! And it’s only two season long. Psycopass (dumb name, I know) is about a future Tokyo where sensors can read your percent chance of committing a crime. But because cops have to think like criminals to catch them, beat cops and detectives are prisoners of the state, only let out with supervision.

  19. I know, i feel the exact same way about Grave of the Fireflies.

    And I will swear to this day that the only reason I wasn’t depressed for a week after seeing it is 1/2h after watching it I got home to my roommate marathoning “Blues brothers” and “Blues brothers 2000”.

  20. To Adam and the tested guys, and anyone who loves quality animation.

    Serious recommendations from an animator and fan through and through. I was surprised that no one really mention either of these iconic anime directors, both of which do not fail in the overall quality department.

    Satoshi Kon. In my opinion he is by far and away the greatest animation director to have lived in Japan. He directed four movies Millennium Actress, Perfect Blue, Tokyo Godfathers, and Paprika. He also directed one thirteen episode show called Paranoia Agent. All of these are exceptional, and I highly recommend them. Kon was in the middle of working on his fifth film, but tragically passed before completion. It is said by the studio execs that although postponed, it will be completed. Almost all of his directorial work is adult oriented psychological thrillers. I cannot stress how highly I recommend his work.

    Makoto Shinkai. He quit his desk job and self produced his first film, and since has created some beautiful films. As mentioned his first film Voices of A Distant Star was self produced, and although his animation skills are limited, the emotions of the film is not. His body of work deals heavily in sadness and loss, of which his first three films (he loves long poetic titles) VoADS, studio works: The Place Promised In Our Early Days, Five Centimeters Per Second are all abundant in heavy emotion. If you check them out skip The Place Promised, it is a terrible film all around, but everything else is great. Now, and this is why I bothered to write this all out, his fourth film Children Who Care Lost Voices is intentionally very Miyazaki, and truly stands as a great nod to early fantasy anime. Again it deals with loss, but is amazing how well it is all executed throughout the film. This is my favorite of his work. His latest work The Garden of Words is a short film, but again the quality of the story and characters is great.

    Lastly, Cowboy Bebop is in my opinion and many others the quintessential anime. The characters, their relationships, and how things unfold over the course of this episodic show is perfect. Bebop also happens to be a great place to start for those not familiar with TV anime. Just be careful, this show will spoil you in comparison to the majority of anime in substance.

  21. Hopeful (CG) animator here, really great to hear all these stories. Was that animation book the Animator’s Survival Kit?

  22. Within the venn diagram of Tested’s (namely Adam’s) interests of Makers, Films, Animation, and Sci-Fi I feel there is no better example of the central intersect than ‘Royal Space Force: Wings of Honneamise’ (Ōritsu Uchūgun: Oneamisu no Tsubasa) by Studio GAINAX. The film is set in a sister world, similar yet completely different from earth. It chronicles a nation’s pursuit of sending a man into space and the men of the Royal Space Force that seek to accomplish that goal.

    The animation is always stunning. When it was made it had the highest budget for any animated film (GAINAX partnered with Bandai to make the film), and that is clear in the attention to detail in each frame. The story is just as grand. World building at its finest and driven by a strong central character. At its heart, Honneamise is about a group of makers trying to build the ultimate thing: a spaceship capable of getting one of them into space.

    In addition to being a film about makers, it was also made by a group of makers. Studio GAINAX was founded by university students who all shared a passion for sci-fi, film, special effects, and making things. Before breaking into the animation scene they started General Products, an early pioneer of custom garage kits based on popular culture (such as Godzilla or Kamen Rider). Their passion bleeds into Royal Space Force.

    Can’t recommend this film enough.

  23. Someone else mentioned it and I wanted to second it, the Ghost in the shell tv series. Stand Alone Complex, and Second Gig are in my opinion MUCH better then the original movie. Different format of course, but they are of course with more time able to go much deeper into transhuminasim as it is covered in the original movie. Another excellent series that seldom gets mentioned is Batman the animated series. Great show with stories and characters that even influenced the comic.

  24. I wish more people would read Akira because as much as I love the movie the manga is absolutely incredible. Hands down one of the best things I have ever read. It’s like LOTR, 2001 A space Odyssey, and The Road Warrior had a weird baby.

  25.   Katsuhiro otomo also has another short film collection coming out called “short peace” . I believe it has already been released/screened in Japan but will no doubt get subbed/dubbed and released in western markets in the next year or two.

  26. My first anime was Starzinger which I believe was renamed with a horrible dub to Spaceketeers in the US. I watched the Swedish dub that was actually quite good back when I was a kid. I’ve been trying to find the original Japanese version with English subs because the Swedish release was only a few of the early episodes and the final episode.

  27. Great podcast, and a fantastic, easy to understand explanation of how hand drawn animation is done! Kudos, guys.

    The reason you’re seeing more Studio Ghibli in theaters isn’t Disney or Buena Vista; a company called GKIDS does the distribution. They’ve spoiled us New Yorkers silly by running the NY International Childrens Film Festival, which has spotlighted not only Miyazaki’s work (along with the back catalog, they managed to get some of shorts from the Ghibli Museum screened here), but other foreign animation like The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Secret of the Kells, and Ernest & Celestine. Assuming the Englsh language voice cast is as good as the ones Ghibli has been using, Ernest & Celestine should be a delight; it’s worth tracking down even without the subtitles if you can find it.

  28. Great episode guys! Have totaly forgotten about Animatrix. Gonna revisit these stories!

    I must say that amongst all those great anime movies you talked about, Cowboy Bebop is my absolute favorite! A truly unique series that has all the goodness you’d expect from a good show!

    I’m a bit curious what you feel about dubbed anime? I just can’t bring myself to watch a dubbed movie. Probably have to do with that I started to watch anime in it’s original language and now it just feels wrong when japanese caracters talk english.The downside is that the subtitles steal my attention and learning japanese seem to big of a task =)

  29. The George Pal Puppetoons from the 30s and 40s were animated using individually carved wooden figures. That boggles the mind.

  30. Little of topic…

    Nice Flight Data Recorder! (Orange box to Adams left beside his chair) Is that a salvaged unit or a custom build? That would be an awesome conversation starter!

  31. so no still untitled this week, you guys must be to busy testing high speed cameras to record anything else right now. Not that im complaining this sounds like fun

  32.   and This is not a response to this particular video but I hope you guys will still read it. First of all I love the show, its pretty sweet and I listen all the time. And now I have some questions, and I hope that you all will respond on a future show.

    1st-Your review of Man of Steel, you all seemed against the city destruction scene. I wanted to present that, as both a military member and a huge fan of the Superman character I understand this scene. Sometimes, regardless of your best efforts bad things happen, and especially true for a super powered guy who just found out he was an alien and hasnt had terribly long to push his powers to the limit, city destruction was inevitable, and this also leads in to batman vs superman with Wayne Enterprises(or Tech or Inc) helping the city rebuild, and is a good way to introduce the batman character on the scene in the sequel.

    2nd-Batman VS Superman or “Worlds Finest” what are yalls thoughts on the casting decisions? and how close do you think it will be to Frank Millers TDK Returns? I personally think Afleck will make a good Bruce Wayne simply because Daredevil was also a darker brooding hero type, and while that movie wasnt fantastic his acting wasnt terrible in it.

    3rd-What are yalls thoughts on the Godzilla movie? I hear a lot of people thinking it is too dated to revive, but I personally grew up watching the TOHO Godzilla’s and am very excited.

    and Lastly-If you could cast Justice League who would it be? Heres mine to get you all thinking. Henry Caville-Superman, Ben Afleck-Batman, Armie Hammer-Green Lantern, Doug Jones(Abe sapien and Silver Surfer) as the Martian Manhunter, Evangeline Lilly-Wonderwoman, Ryan Reynolds-Flash and Jamie Fox as the Cyborg.

    Thanks

  33. Saw Miyazaki’s “The Wind Rises” last weekend. Definitely a must see. A truly well crafted movie from a true master. Miyazaki san is leaving at the top of his game.

  34. up on podcasts, so I’m four months late to the party…

    The Ghibli museum was amazing. Went there in April and it was amazing and it felt like I had walked into a real life version of a Miyazaki film. The attention to details, from the ashtray full of cigarette butts in the animation exhibit to how the museum was designed to age with use, was nothing short of wonderful.

  35. Im very glad that Norm pointed it out. A lot of people think that japanese animations have bad stories, or at least poorly written stories,but what the actual problem is the restraint of the budgets causing most productions to wrap up the story in the last 20-10 minutes. I think it is a cultural difference, where japan believes show as much as you can, even if you cant finish it vs evenly distribute it for something that may be mediocre, but is at least complete.

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