11 April 2008

The Future of Japanese Puppet Animation

Keita Funamoto of the Tokyo animation studio The Village of Marchen has posted some short puppet animations done by students taught by himself and Hifumi Shibakura. The animation class was held at Ikebukuro Community College over the course of six months. According Funamoto, the students were given armature (kinetic chains used in computer animation) kits called ArmaBenders designed by Tetsu Kawamura. They could also use cernit for the claymation. For amateurs, the quality of the image is really quite high in all five shorts. It gives one hope for the future of stop motion in Japan. Here is the clip:

The Village of Marchen
specializes in stop motion and flash animation. Some of their films are available for viewing online.