Photos - Horus, Prince of the Sun
A series of snapshots from the harrowing opening minutes from 1968's Horus, Prince of the Sun. I think this happens to be a spectacular action sequence. Isao Takahata wanted to start a revolution. He got his wish.
The opening battle in Horus never ceases to amaze me. I find it absolutely astonishing that it even got out the door. Remember that until this moment, Japan's animation was squarely aimed at children. Toei Doga was founded specifically to create animated features in the style of Walt Disney, and over the course of a decade, Toei did just that, with classics like Hakujaden (1958) and Little Prince & the Eight-Headed Dragon (1963). Then an aspiring film director and his band of young radicals took over the Dean's office and vowed to topple everything.
Horus is revolutionary for many reasons, but it's this opening scene where it's at its most shocking. And this moment is meant to shock. This is Jimi Hendrix setting his guitar on fire. The camera opens on some birds in a distand background, and then is nearly stampeded by a flurry of feet, claws, teeth, blades. If you were a parent expecting the latest, safe entertainment for little Timmy and Suzy, you just got hit in the head.
Notice in that first cut how the camera is caught in the middle of the action. It's damn near topped over and crushed twice. It's not Horus or the wolves who are the intended targets. It's us. Armageddon is in effect...STAT! Consider yourselves...WARNED!