Momose Capsule Video #2 - Space Station No. 9



I really, really love Momose's Capsule videos. He has such a vibrant energy to his work. It's youthful, exciting, colorful, new. His style reminds me, to an extent, to Masaki Yuuasa, especially his spectacular animation film Mind Game. To my mind, this is the future of animation, and perhaps the future of Studio Ghibli, as well.

I think Ghibli's great challenge, creatively, is to retain their creative spirit in the post-Miyazaki age. Hopefully, that day won't come for many years, but it's a future Ghibli must prepare for today. And their great risk is to fall into the trap of pleasing the public by generating endless watered-down versions of Miyazaki's work, instead of original, cutting edge animation, movies that speak to the next generation. I think that spirit is best for Ghibli.

So the continued success of Yoshiyuki Momose is absolutely crucial. He offers a different path, a third way, from that of Miyazaki and Takahata. His skills are firmly rooted in the old masters, especially Takahata - as you can see with his Capsule videos from 2004-5, and his newly-released video short, Piece. Beyond the grounding in humane characters and solid storytelling, lies an exciting futurism. Nobody else at Ghibli is pushing the cgi envelope like he is. Nobody else in America is, either. Everyone is stuck on re-creating Toy Story, to the detriment of any other style or approach for the medium.

I say Momose (and Yuasa, too, but he's an artist's artist; he lacks the storytelling proess to equal his art skills) is the future of animation. He shows us how 2D and 3D can perfectly coexist. Can you really imagine Space Station No. 9 with as a purely hand-drawn affair? Or solely as 3D cgi? It wouldn't work either way. You need the freedom of movement the computers offer. You also need the style and motion, the illusion of life, that 2D can offer. Momose fuses both elements perfectly, 50/50.

These Capsule videos appear on Ghibli's Short Short DVD from Japan. I'm still hoping that it could appear in the US. It deserves to be seen. Heck, add in Ghiblies and Ghiblies Episode 2, and you'd have a spectacular package.

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