Seth Says: Disney Who? How about "Paprika"
"Evidence that Japanese animators are reaching for the moon, while most of their American counterparts remain stuck in the kiddie sandbox."
-Manhola Dargid, The New York Times
I reiterate the above quote taken from the trailer for the new Japanese animated film, Paprika, only because it is invariably true. We are all sad to see the imminent demise of the Walt Disney (non-computer) animation department, but at least those of us who still cherish the beauty of hand-drawn movies can look to Japan for solace.
Paprika, the latest mind-blowing movie from Satoshi Kan, follows a psychologist with an alternate personality, one that is able to invade patiants' dreams in hopes of getting to a deeper understanding of their mental problems. With a premise like that it's easy to see how an animator would latch onto such a story in hopes of creating a world of unlimited and liberated animation. The preview—frantic, sporadic, almost kaleidoscopic—really sort of forces your eye to dilate and then focus intently on the vast array of light and color that characterizes the movie. You can't draw much of the plot from the trailer itself, but you are nonetheless intrigued by the sheer brilliance of the images on screen—and that's when you realize the genius of Japanese animation.
You are made to want to see a movie simply by what you visually see, a rarity in today's discerning cinematic circles. Basically, these animators have found a way to reduce mature movie goers to a theater full of children mesmerized by the visually aesthetic display on screen. Who cares what it's about, just give us more pretty pictures! But, honestly, you won't run into discrepancies between plot and conception. These movies are generally solid all the way around.
The movie has a limited opening on May 25, 2007, so unfortunately it might be hard to get to. I might write a review for the film once I see it, but plan on getting this one on DVD once it's out.