18 February 2008

Hokusai: An Animated Sketchbook (1978)

The influence of ukiyo-e master Hokusai (1766-1849) is pervasive in Japanese culture. Not only are his iconic images found on everything from stationary to beer mats, but I have noticed nods to Hokusai in a wide range of contemporary Japanese art. The most amusing of these is in Tabaimo's short film Public Convenience when she alludes to Hokusai's The Great Wave Off Kanagawa inher animation of waves of water flushing through a Japanese squat toilet in a public WC.
In looking for more references to Hokusai in animation, I happened upon this animation by Tony White. It won the BAFTA Film Award for Best Factual Film in 1978 and uses 60 Hokusai prints to animate this wonderful tribute to the artist who called himself the "old man mad about drawing."

There's an extensive interview with Tony White about 2D animation at Toon Zone. Tony White currently teaches full-time at DigiPen on whose website you can find a biography and list of awards he has received. White has also published books on the art of animation and he is the founder of the Animaticus Foundation which is dedicated to preserving and teaching 2D animation art.

© Catherine Munroe Hotes 2008