Anime Vice News

CCI09: Disney Animation and Hayao Miyazaki

Disney at Comic-Con International


 
 

We just got into the Disney panel, which started very late. Fortunately, we haven't missed anything Miyazaki related-- they're talking about Toy Story 3 at the moment. In fact, they just announced that Ken, as in Barbie and Ken, is making his movie debut in Toy Story 3, and Michael Keaton will be voicing him. Which is cool.

Are you guys interested in this stuff? They're redoing Beauty and the Beast in 3D. *puts on 3D glasses that were handed out when we got in* I didn't know Beauty and the Beast was the only animated film to be nominated for a best picture award. Huh! We saw the opening "Bonjour" sequence in 3D and it looked absolutely beautiful. Will have to go for that one.
 
Can I just say, I know it's unrelated, but I actually am excited about The Princess and the Frog.  It's a return to hand-drawn animation in the classical Disney style of Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, etc, and it's also a return to an actual MUSICAL, which I'm a huge fan of. I just wish they had Alan Menken in, but they have a New Orleans native, Randy Newman, instead, so that's cool too.
 
Oh, oh, is it? Could it be? Yes? Please? Yes, Hayao Miyazaki! The girl next to me is even more excited than I am. Wow. I think she's going to hyperventilate before he even makes it out....she even tells me she bought the DVD from Japan. Wow. I just hope she doesn't whistle again because wow, it hurt my ear.
 
Without further ado...?
 
 
 
Standing ovation in the hall!
 
His storyboarding process involves thinking, thinking, and thinking about his stories for a long time. If you have a better way, please let him know.
 
He says he wanted to make Ponyo a simple story and show the simplicity in the colors. Since the main character is red, he didn't want her to overwhelm other colors, so they were brightened as well.

Music is also a key component in Miyazaki films; he was just asked when he brings Joe Hisaishi in on projects. It's fairly early on to discuss just what kind of film it is and where he's going with it. He gives Hisaishi-san some notes, like Ponyo is a goldfish, this is what her world is like, here are some motifs throughout the film. Hisaishi then composes the music as he sees fit, and he makes an image album-- all of the music for the film, not necessarily all of which gets used. In fact, in My Neighbor Totoro, some music didn't get used, and Hisaishi still tells Miyazaki that he should have used it (and Miyazaki still disagrees). Now we're getting treated to a clip...

Comic-Con just presented John Lasseter and Hayao Miyazaki with the Inkpot Award, for those with great contributions to popular culture. It's for achievement in animation. Tite Kubo was given one last year.
 
 
We're moving into a Q&A session, and there are a bunch of panelists, not just Miyazaki-sensei, but I'll be here until I have to leave for VIZ part two to see if there's anything good coming from that.
 
Tonight, Miyazaki-sensei is inviting everyone to screen the entirety of Ponyo at 8pm at the Pacific Gaslamp theater at 5th and G street, first come first serve, and somehow I doubt I'll make it...excuse me, I have to go line up at a theater....
 
Someone asked Miyazaki about his inspirations. Miyazaki-sensei says he wishes he could remember the way he thinks of the stories but he always forgets how they come up. Aw....
 
Some of the people with questions for Miyazaki are really, really overwhelmed. This girl just asked about Miyazaki's female protagonists, and someone on the panel said "because we're awesome." Miyazaki answers that it's because women are strong and beautiful. Cue the sudden female applause throughout the room.
 
Last question is for Miyazaki, about Nausicaa. What was his inspiration, and does the movie carry the same message now, or does it carry more, given the environmental status of the planet?  He responds that Nausicaa was actually something that he originally drew as a mana, and he thought it couldn't be animated. When the idea came to make it into a movie, he had a lot of trouble trying to make that work. 
 
The end! Gotta run to VIZ!
giaon July 24, 2009 at 1:55 p.m.
It is so hard to take pictures in this room @_@;;
 
But I actually really want to see Princess and the Frog-- a return to Disney style a la Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Lion King, etc. Not to mention it's set in New Orleans in the early 20th century, which is a time frame I have a particular fondness for. <3
John_Martoneon July 24, 2009 at 1:55 p.m.
Okay, so they just showed us a short called "Grooving with Ken." In which, Ken talks about how exciting it is to be a fun loving BOYS toy called Ken.
 
That his ego is destroyed by the interviewers questions. Go internet go. Its now the reason I'm looking forward to Toy Story 3
Also: Plot for TS3. Woody made his peace that his owner would one day grow up, but the movie explores the reality of that happening.
sunfloweron July 24, 2009 at 1:59 p.m.
I love classic Disney, so I'm excited to hear about Beauty and the Beasy, and new hand-drawn films in their older style.  Yay! 
GodLen staff on July 24, 2009 at 2:03 p.m.
CAN I PLAY KEN IN KINGDOM HEARTS 7?
John_Martoneon July 24, 2009 at 2:13 p.m.
@sunflower: Beauty and the Beast gave me nostalgic goosebumps and The Frog Princess looked really, really good. We got to watch two different scenes.
John_Martoneon July 24, 2009 at 2:18 p.m.
AHHAHHHH Miyazaki! Everyone lost their snot when he came out
Q: How do you come up with your brilliant ideas
A: I think, I think, I think, and then I think some more. If you've got any ideas on how to improve this process, please tell me.
 
Q: Inspiration for Ponyo?
A: We just saw a story about a frog (the frog princess) but mine would have been the story of a boy who picks up a frog. However, I couldn't come up with a good character for a frog... so I made it a goldfish. Seems to have worked out fairly well *laugh laugh laugh*
Dream moderator on July 24, 2009 at 2:21 p.m.
Biggest question regarding Ghibli and Disney I have at the moment is if Tales of Earthsea is coming to the states anytime soon since Sci-Fi's Channel's rights to the Earthsea name are set to expire this year.
Zeouterlimitson July 24, 2009 at 2:22 p.m.
Gia, your mission, should you choose to accept it is to kidnap Miyazaki!
  Once you've got him report to me for extraction. We'll frame John and leave him behind :P.
John_Martoneon July 24, 2009 at 2:33 p.m.
Post Ponyo scene: So delicious. The abstract use of imagery... the epic music, the flowing and bright colors, all contrasting our understanding of a normal, accepted experience of heavy storms.
John_Martoneon July 24, 2009 at 2:41 p.m.
"Disney has had the rights to release Miyazaki's films on video for ears, but we've been slowing the process of their release until the English language version will be as powerful and exactly like his film was in Japan"
 
Oh, and there's a free for all of the entire film, with Miyazaki tonight. Good luck with that. 
 
Miyazaki burst out laughing as his translator when asked about his repetition of female protagonists. Take that as you will.
giaon July 24, 2009 at 3:29 p.m.
@John_Martone: That mom was a crazy driver.
 
Also, I think that was Lasseter laughing at someone else making a joke about how women were better, not Miyazaki...but I was typing, not looking @_@
Lanon July 24, 2009 at 7:45 p.m.
Squee for Miyazaki and 3-D Beauty and the Beast! I'm curious about Frog Princess having read about a while ago while it was still rumored to be in production. I knew it would be hand drawn but didn't know about the musical part. I'm excited to see Ponyo though. Miyazaki is just too cute an old man. :) I just want to take him home, love him, and have him create fantastic stories for me.
mediarighton July 25, 2009 at 12:33 a.m.
I'm pretty sure Pixar's Nemo was nominated for a best picture oscar too in 2003 or 04, but didn't win.

Dig Deeper into Ponyo

A Little Mermaid story, with the exception that in this version the mermaid is actually a goldfish named Ponyo

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