Japanese animation’s rise to world fame took off in the 1950s with Toei’s release of The White Snake Enchantress (1958). In 1963, Osamu Tezuka’s anime TV series Astro Boy leapt onto the world stage and the unique style of Japanese anime began to take shape. In the 1970s, anime production became the hothouse for talents, with Miyazaki Hayao and Isao Takahata refining their practices to soon become masters of their craft. These two animators established Studio Ghibli during the 1980s, and together they wielded tremendous influence in Japanese anime. Even before Otomo Katsuhiro and Oshii Mamoru came to the scene with their innovations, anime giants such as Kihachiro Kawamoto and Tadanari Okamoto had already made their mark. Finally, Osamu Tezuka remained true to his passion for experimental animation. The five short films featured in this programme showcase the pioneering spirit that epitomises the golden era of Japanese animation.
About the Directors
Image at top: Osamu Tezuka. Jumping, 1984. Photo: Courtesy of Tezuka Productions