Poster - Wan Wan Chushingura
Wan Wan Chushingura is Toei Doga's 1963 animation feature, and is based roughly on the famous Japanese story of The 47 Ronin, only with dogs. This was the first movie Hayao Miyazaki worked on after being hired by the studio, and he began as an in-betweener.
This is another in the long line of excellent classic Toei posters, and I especially like the cartoon dogs. They just flow on the page, as though you can feel them moving in your mind. You just know the animation will be something special. We've seen the trailer here on the blog, but a fansub or raw download has yet to appear. I might have to bite the bullet and spend the $50 on the Japanese import for this one.
In Hayao Miyazaki's newly released book, Starting Point, he discusses this movie in a chapter titled, "Miyazaki on His Own Works":
-Could you start by talking about your memories of Wan Wan Chushingura, the first animation film you worked on?
Miyazaki: In our group, [Yoichi] Kotabe-san drew the key animation for Wan Wan Chushingura. He always came to work later than the rest of us. I imagined that it was all right to come late when one was a key animator. To me, Kotabe-san was someone above the clouds. When I drew the in-between animation, there were two women who trained their eyes on my work before it got to Kotabe-san. By the time it passed through these women and made it to Kotabe-san, there was no trace of the pictures I had drawn. [laughs] When Kotabe-san looked at a sequence and said something like, "It looks good," it wasn't what I had drawn at all, so how could he know whether my work was good or bad? That's the memory I have.