Animal Treasure Island Storyboards

Yaargh! Avast with ye! There be plunderin' about!

Who drew the storyboards for Animal Treasure Island? I do wish these were compiled into a book, like Horus and the Studio Ghibli movies. This is such a laughably fun movie, I'd grab up any art books that were released. And these were painted in watercolor, too? Yaargh!

One of the great strengh of the best anime is the strong emphasis on composition and framing. This probably owes a great deal to the manga culture, and the long history of Japanese art. Some may scoff at this style as "comic book art," and that's fine. This is different from Disney or Warner Bros. But it is interesting, isn't it, that Japanese animation was once termed manga eiga - the comic book movie?

I'm of the belief that skilled animators must also have a keen understanding of layout and composition. They must be skilled painters, and must know how to use the whole canvas. Formal compostition has waned considerably in recent decades, no doubt fueled by the popularity of television - filmmakers with an eye on the television screen are less willing to paint to the corners of the widescreen format.

The second storyboard, where Jim is being carried away in a bag, is a perfect illustration of this. These are very cinematic-minded shots. We are seeing through the lens of an imaginary camera, and these layouts are crucial pieces of information for the viewers. The perfect shot can communicate as effectively as the perfect pose.


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