|Born||March 3, 1919|
Nishikichō, Tokyo, Japan
|Died||April 1, 1999 80) (aged|
Tadahito "Tad" Mochinaga(持永 只仁Mochinaga Tadahito, March 3, 1919 – April 1, 1999) was a pioneer Japanese stop-motion animator. Having done many stop motion films/shorts in Japan, he is best known as the animator for Rankin/Bass' "Animagic" productions at his MOM Studio in Tokyo throughout the 1960s. He did this work in association with American director Arthur Rankin, Jr. who wrote and designed the productions before sending them to Japan for animation.
Japanese people are a nation and an ethnic group that is native to Japan and makes up 98.5% of the total population of the country. Worldwide, approximately 129 million people are of Japanese descent; of these, approximately 125 million are residents of Japan. People of Japanese ancestry who live outside Japan are referred to as nikkeijin(日系人), the Japanese diaspora. The term ethnic Japanese is often used to refer to Japanese people, as well as to more specific ethnic groups in some contexts, such as Yamato people and Ryukyuan people. Japanese are one of the largest ethnic groups in the world.
Rankin/Bass Productions, Inc. was an American production company, known for its seasonal television specials, particularly its work in stop motion animation. Rankin/Bass stop-motion features are recognizable by their visual style of doll-like characters with spheroid body parts, and ubiquitous powdery snow using an animation technique called "Animagic". Often, traditional cel animation scenes of falling snow would be projected over the action to create the effect of a snowfall.
Tokyo, officially Tokyo Metropolis, one of the 47 prefectures of Japan, has served as the Japanese capital since 1869. As of 2014, the Greater Tokyo Area ranked as the most populous metropolitan area in the world. The urban area houses the seat of the Emperor of Japan, of the Japanese government and of the National Diet. Tokyo forms part of the Kantō region on the southeastern side of Japan's main island, Honshu, and includes the Izu Islands and Ogasawara Islands. Tokyo was formerly named Edo when Shōgun Tokugawa Ieyasu made the city his headquarters in 1603. It became the capital after Emperor Meiji moved his seat to the city from Kyoto in 1868; at that time Edo was renamed Tokyo. Tokyo Metropolis formed in 1943 from the merger of the former Tokyo Prefecture and the city of Tokyo. Tokyo is often referred to as a city but is officially known and governed as a "metropolitan prefecture", which differs from and combines elements of a city and a prefecture, a characteristic unique to Tokyo.
In 1945, Mochinaga traveled to Xinjing in the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo set up in occupied China, to work at the Manchukuo Film Association. He stayed in China after the war and from 1950, he spent three years in Shanghai working on such films as Thank You, Kitty . He is perhaps the only major artist of the era to have worked in both Chinese and Japanese animation industries.
Changchun is the capital and largest city of Jilin Province. Lying in the center of the Songliao Plain, Changchun is administered as a sub-provincial city, comprising 7 districts, 1 county and 2 county-level cities. According to the 2010 census of China, Changchun had a total population of 7,674,439 under its jurisdiction. The city's urbanized area, comprising 5 districts and 4 development areas, had a population of 3,815,270 in 2010 as the Shuangyang and Jiutai districts are not urbanized yet. It is the biggest city in Northeast China, as well as the 9th biggest city in China.
Manchukuo was a puppet state of the Empire of Japan in Northeast China and Inner Mongolia from 1932 until 1945. It was founded as a republic, but in 1934 it became a constitutional monarchy. It had limited international recognition and was under the de facto control of Japan.
Manchukuo Film Association Ltd., also known as the "Manchuria Film Production", was a Japanese film production company in Manchukuo in the 1930s and 1940s.
Mochinaga began his animation career in the middle of WWII Japan. During this time, he was the assistant of Seo Mitsuyo on Momotarō's Sea Eagles , an animated propaganda film depicting the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Mochinaga was officially in charge of backgrounds and visual effects. Most Japanese children at this time were taken on official school trips to watch the film. Mochinaga was not particularly happy about this. He wrote in his memoirs:
Mitsuyo Seo was a Japanese animator, screenwriter and director of animated films who played a central role in the development of Japanese anime. He was born in Himeji, Hyōgo Prefecture.
Momotarō no Umiwashi is an animated Japanese propaganda film produced in 1942 by Geijutsu Eigasha and released March 25, 1943. Running at 37 minutes, it was close to being feature-length, but it was not the first animated feature film in Asia; that honor goes to China's 1941 Princess Iron Fan, which was 73 minutes long. A DVD version without English subtitles was released in Japan by Kinokuniya Shoten in 2004; one with subtitles was released in the United States by Zakka Films in 2009.
The Attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Territory, on the morning of December 7, 1941. The attack, also known as the Battle of Pearl Harbor, led to the United States' formal entry into World War II. The Japanese military leadership referred to the attack as the Hawaii Operation and Operation AI, and as Operation Z during its planning.
"I heard that many youths volunteered for the flying corps and that while they were on duty they died on air raids. I wonder whether the film we made influenced their decision to volunteer... I thought, in the future I only wished to make a film that would benefit the young, difficult though that might be."
Shortly after the release of Momotarō's Sea Eagles , Mochinaga was put in charge of Fuku-Chan's Submarine despite his own protests that he was too inexperienced. Due to the fact that much of his staff was drafted to the military and lack of supplies and funds, Fuku-Chan's Submarine was barely finished and released in 1944.
Exhausted, Mochinaga returned home to find it destroyed in a bombing raid. Foreseeing the end of the war and fearing the inevitable American occupation of Japan that might involve purging propagandists as well as food shortages, Mochinaga fled with his pregnant wife to Japan-occupied Manchuria where they both had family. There, he got a job at Man-Ei as a graphic artist. Less than a month after moving to Manchuria, Japan surrendered.
The Allied occupation of Japan at the end of World War II was led by General Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers, with support from the British Commonwealth. Unlike in the occupation of Germany, the Soviet Union was allowed little to no influence over Japan. This foreign presence marks the only time in Japan's history that it has been occupied by a foreign power. The country became a parliamentary democracy that recalled "New Deal" priorities of the 1930s by Roosevelt. The occupation, codenamed Operation Blacklist, was ended by the San Francisco Peace Treaty, signed on September 8, 1951, and effective from April 28, 1952, after which Japan's sovereignty – with the exception, until 1972, of the Ryukyu Islands – was fully restored.
The Japanese invasion of Manchuria began on 19 September 1931, when the Kwantung Army of the Empire of Japan invaded Manchuria immediately following the Mukden Incident. After the war, the Japanese established the puppet state of Manchukuo. Their occupation lasted until the Soviet Union and Mongolia launched the Manchurian Strategic Offensive Operation in 1945.
Manchuria is a name first used in the 17th century by Japanese people to refer to a large geographic region in Northeast Asia. Depending on the context, Manchuria can either refer to a region that falls entirely within the People's Republic of China or a larger region divided between China and Russia. "Manchuria" is widely used outside China to denote the geographical and historical region. This region is the traditional homeland of the Xianbei, Khitan, and Jurchen peoples, who built several states within the area historically.
Fearing what would happen now that the Japanese army had fled, the Japanese workers attempted to flee but were captured by the Soviet army. Fortunately for Mochinaga, he was rehired at the now rebranded Northeast Film Studio. While there, he was given papers identifying him as a Chinese film worker and the Soviets did not seem to consider that a Japanese National could be a film worker in China. He was then given the job of subtitling Soviet films for Chinese, Korean, and Japanese markets. While there, he was able to pull other Japanese refugees into the company and get them work, including Oshiro Noboru.
Mochinaga soon found himself in another war zone as the Chinese National and Communist armies battled for dominance over Manchuria. After he and his staff were captured trying to flee to Hao Gang, he had to confess to being Japanese. However, lucky for him, he happened to be captured by the Eighth Route Army, a Prisoner of War-friendly organization.
In 1946, the frontline of China's Civil War moved further south, allowing Japanese nationals to finally return home. However, Mochinaga chose to stay. There, he avoided censorship by concentration on map graphics and subtitles. During this time, there was only an estimated 20,000 feet of unexposed film left in China. Mochinaga (and all chinese filmmakers at the time) had to be very careful with the amount of film they used. Mochinaga was forced to mix his own homemade paints from what he could scavenge.
Mochinaga was assigned the task of animating a propaganda comic drawn by Hua Junwu. In order to save the paints, he built puppets and to save film, he shot it frame-by-frame instead of live. This was a resounding success as many in the region fondly remembered going to puppet shows. Thus, Mochinaga accidentally popularized stop motion in China.
Mochinaga continued to work as a successful animator and filmmaker in China for the next decade, finally returning to his home country in 1954, four years before the massive famines in 1958.
The history of anime can be traced back to the start of the 20th century, with the earliest verifiable films dating from 1917.
Rotoscoping is an animation technique that animators use to trace over motion picture footage, frame by frame, to produce realistic action. Originally, animators projected photographed live-action movie images onto a glass panel and traced over the image. This projection equipment is referred to as a rotoscope, developed by Polish-American animator Max Fleischer. This device was eventually replaced by computers, but the process is still called rotoscoping.
Rintaro is the pseudonym of Shigeyuki Hayashi, a well-known director of anime. He works frequently with the animation studio Madhouse, though he is a freelance director not employed directly by any one studio. He began working in the animation industry—at age 17—as an in-between animator on the 1958 film Hakujaden. His works have won and been nominated for multiple awards, including a nomination for Best Film (Metropolis) at the 2001 Festival de Cine de Sitges.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a 1964 Christmas stop motion animated television special produced by Videocraft International, Ltd. and currently distributed by Universal Television. It first aired Sunday, December 6, 1964, on the NBC television network in the United States, and was sponsored by General Electric under the umbrella title of The General Electric Fantasy Hour. The special was based on the Johnny Marks song "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" which was itself based on the poem of the same name written in 1939 by Marks' brother-in-law, Robert L. May. Since 1972, the special has aired on CBS; the network unveiled a high-definition, digitally remastered version of the program in 2005. As with A Charlie Brown Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Rudolph no longer airs just once annually, but several times during the Christmas and holiday season on CBS. Unlike other holiday specials that also air on several cable channels, Rudolph airs only on CBS. It has been telecast every year since 1964, making it the longest continuously running Christmas TV special in history. 2014 marked the 50th anniversary of the television special and a series of postage stamps featuring Rudolph were issued by the United States Postal Service on November 6, 2014.
Yōichi Kotabe, is a Japanese animator and character designer and has worked on several anime films from the 1960s and 1970s. as well as working on the Super Mario video game series and the Pokémon television series and films. Kotabe worked as an employee on Nintendo for two decades doing illustrations, character designs and supervising those from 1985 to 2007, when he began to work as a freelancer for the anime and video game industry, including for Nintendo again, this time as a freelancer.
Yoshiaki Kawajiri is a writer and director of Japanese animation. He is the creator of titles such as Wicked City, Ninja Scroll, and Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust.
Momotaro: Sacred Sailors is the first Japanese feature-length animated film. It was directed by Mitsuyo Seo, who was ordered to make a propaganda film for World War II by the Japanese Naval Ministry. Shochiku Moving Picture Laboratory shot the 74-minute film in 1944 and screened it on April 12, 1945. It is a sequel to Momotarō no Umiwashi, a 37-minute film released in 1943 by the same director. It is in black and white.
Arthur Gardner Rankin Jr. was an American director, producer and writer, who mostly worked in animation. A part of Rankin/Bass Productions with his friend Jules Bass, he created stop-motion animation features such as Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,Frosty the Snowman,Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town, and the 1977 cartoon animation of The Hobbit. He is credited on over 1,000 television programs.
Mad Monster Party? is a 1967 American stop-motion animated musical comedy film produced by Rankin/Bass Productions for Embassy Pictures. The film stars Boris Karloff, Allen Swift, Gale Garnett, and Phyllis Diller. Although less well-known than Rankin/Bass' holiday specials, it has become a cult film.
Willy McBean and His Magic Machine is a 1965 full-length stop-motion puppet animation film produced by Rankin/Bass Productions in the United States and Dentsu Motion Pictures in Japan. It was released by Magna Pictures Distribution Corporation, and released in movie theaters on June 23, 1965. Its main theme is time travel.
The Daydreamer is a 1966 stop motion animated-live action musical fantasy film produced by Rankin/Bass Productions. Directed by Jules Bass, it was written by Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Romeo Muller, based on the stories of Hans Christian Andersen. It features songs by Jules Bass and Maury Laws. The film's opening features the cast in puppet and live form plus caricatures of the cast by Al Hirschfeld.
Instant History, also known as Otogi Manga Calendar (おとぎマンガカレンダー) was a black and white Japanese anime series aired from 1961 to 1964.
The history of Chinese animation began in the 20th century in the Republic of China when the people became fascinated with the idea of animation. A lengthy history interlocks between the art, politics and the ever-changing economy. Chinese animation has long been under the shadow of Disney and Japanese animations, but it once played a very important role in world animation.
Kihachirō Kawamoto was a Japanese puppet designer and maker, independent film director, screenwriter and animator and president of the Japan Animation Association from 1989, succeeding founder Osamu Tezuka, until his own death. He is best-remembered in Japan as designer of the puppets for the long-running NHK live action television series of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms in the early 1980s and The Tale of the Heike in the 1990s but better-known internationally for his own animated short films, the majority of which are model animation but which also include the cutout animation Tabi and Shijin no Shōgai and mixed media, French-language Farce anthropo-cynique.
The New Adventures of Pinocchio is a syndicated stop motion animated television series produced by Rankin/Bass Productions in the United States and made by Dentsu Studios in Japan. Created by Arthur Rankin, Jr. and his partner Jules Bass, it was based on the book The Adventures of Pinocchio written by Italian author, Carlo Collodi. The series was Rankin/Bass' first production to be made in "Animagic", a stop motion puppet technique which, in association with the company, was done by Tadahito Mochinaga's MOM Productions. A total of 130 five-minute "chapters" were produced in 1960–61. These segments made up a series of five-chapter, 25-minute episodes. During 1963–64, the series was also aired in Japan on Fuji TV as part of another stop motion TV series, Prince Ciscorn, based on the manga by Fujiko Fujio and also produced by Tadahito Mochinaga for Studio KAI and Dentsu.
Tadanari Okamoto was a Japanese independent animator. From 1965 until his death he completed at least 37 short subject films in a wide variety of mediums, eight of which have been awarded the Ōfuji Noburō Award at the Mainichi Film Awards and his films have altogether earned at least 24 other awards internationally. His work is also the subject a two-hour-long documentary The Magic Ballet, released in 1990, and in 2003 four of his films placed in a list of the best 150 animated films and series as voted for by practitioners and critics of animation from around the world in a survey commissioned by Tokyo's Laputa Animation Festival: most notably with The Magic Fox, which came twenty-eighth.
Yōji Kuri is a Japanese cartoonist and independent filmmaker. One of if not the most important figures in the history of Japanese independent animation, he was the unofficial leader and most prolific of the "Animation Association of Three" collective who kick-started the renaissance of modern-styled, independently made, adult-aimed animation in early 1960s Japan. He is known internationally for the very black comedy of his films, with the typically naïve style of his cartooning often belying the surreal, obscene and disturbing situations they depict ; this made them a favourite among the fervently counter-cultural audiences, which included such filmmakers as René Laloux, of the first few years of the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, and in a 1967 publication he was considered to be "the most significant" and "the only Japanese animator whose work is known in the West". He is also known in Japan for his comics, a collection of which earned him the 1958 Bungeishunjū Manga Award. Though now retired from filmmaking he continues to illustrate and to teach animation at Laputa Art Animation School. In 2012 he received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the World Festival of Animated Film - Animafest Zagreb.