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Anime: Drawing a Revolution (2007)

TV Movie  -   -  Documentary  -  17 December 2007 (USA)
6.6
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A documentary on the history of Anime and its influence in the US.

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Title: Anime: Drawing a Revolution (TV Movie 2007)

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A documentary on the history of Anime and its influence in the US.

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Revisionist nonsense
31 August 2009 | by (Tampa) – See all my reviews

Anime: Drawing a Revolution purports to be an exploration of anime's roots, Tesuko, manga, etc., with the normal array of talking head "experts" who gush on about anime's influence and supposed superiority to Western animation.

Most classical Western animators would disagree with the film's premise, that anime somehow introduced adult themes and complex human interactions to the world of animation--the idea that what started out as a cheap way to create a moving cartoon (co- opted by the penny pinchers at Hanna Barbera) that eliminated actual animation in favor of a static figure with a moving mouth that badly dubbed the dialogue became something revolutionary, is absurd.

Western animation is reduced to "talking dogs" aimed at children, when in reality early cartoon shorts were designed to work on two levels--funny characters aimed at the kids with content that was clearly aimed at adults. According to the film, American animation, in general (and it doesn't mention French, German, Canadian, etc.) was Disney alone--Snow White and Bambi. Great animators like Tex Avery, Chuck Jones, Friz Freling never existed in ADAR's universe. And of course, Speed Racer introduced us to cartoon violence, with its crashes and "serious" events.

The one thing that is glossed over as "part of Japanese culture" is the so-called "stylized" nature of the genre, the silly facial expressions (even in serious stories) the big eyes, the sweat drops that are held in holy reverence by all the animation studios, elements that to the Western eye seem repetitive and inane.

Finally, and with an obvious ignorance of such underground artists such as Robert Crumb, and mainstream artists like Stan Lee among others, Manga and anime are given full credit for the modern graphic novel. Sorry, never happened.


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