Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata‘s latest anime masterpiece took eight years and 5 billion yen (approx. US$50 million) to make, but fans are hoping that it will be worth the wait. This is his first film in 14 years and he assures the public that Kaguyahime no Monogatari (“The Tale of Princess Kaguya”) pushes the boundaries of animation and will be something they’ve never seen before.
Anime fans need something to look forward to after the announcement that Studio Ghibli‘s other co-founder, legend Hayao Miyazaki, is retiring from full-length filmmaking. Takahata’s film, set to be released in Japan on November 23, is different from his previous works stylistically. Some of his pencil sketch lines were incorporated in the final animation cels, giving it a thoroughly different look, not unlike his previous film My Neighbors the Yamadas. He believes this “new form of expression” will be able to add more dimension to their brand of animation. In creating this look, he wanted to give the viewers the feel of looking at quick sketches rather than detailed drawings, with the lines and colors occasionally blurring. I think viewers will be able to feel the ‘authenticity’ that lies beyond the lines by stimulating their imaginations and stirring their memories,” the 78-year-old auteur explained.
While this film will excite anime fans all over the world, it may also cause them to be sad once again as this may be Takahata’s last film, given his age and also the time and effort he puts into every film. He had the idea to make a movie based on the classic Japanese folk tale Taketori Monogatari (“The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter”) when he was still in his 20s. This film version, while following the general plot of the tale, also explores deeper aspects of the story, like why the princess, who was born from a bamboo tree, came to the Earth from the moon. It’s not just the style of animation that’s unprecedented; the budget of 5 billion yen is unheard of in both animated and live action films in Japan.
[ via Asahi Shimbun ]