08 January 2012

Tsutomu Shibayama’s Animation Top 20 (2003)

Tsutomu Shibayama (芝山努, b. 1941) admits that he is patting himself on the back by listing his own films in the Animation Top 20 questionnaire that he filled out at the Laputa Animaton Festival in 2003.  He uses the expression “temae miso” (手前味噌) – which literally means “home-made miso” but is colloquially used to express that one is singing one’s own’s praises.  Shibayama’s entire list but two are all movies from the popular Doraemon franchise which Shibayama has been involved with since the 1970s.  

Despite his long history as an animator and director in the anime industry, Shibayama writes that he does not feel that he is particularly discerning when it comes to the quality of animation and doesn’t really feel that he is suited to the task of ranking animation.

Paul Grimault’s The Shepherdess and the Chimneysweep (1953) – which later became the basis of his Grimault’s feature film masterpiece The King and the Mockingbird (1980)  – was the film that inspired Shibayama to become an animator himself.  Before this film, Shibayama had only seen Disney animation for children and the contrast between Grimault’s work and that of Disney made a great impression on him.

Frédéric Back’s The Man Who Planted Trees was so highly recommended to Shibayama by a friends that he finally “lifted his heavy bottom” and went to see it and it did impress him very much.

The rest of Shibayama’s list ranks what he feels are the best Doraemon feature films.  I did not have the impression that Shibayama was listing his own series out of mere egotism, but more out of a place of being proud of the work that he has done.  Some animators who work for big franchises grow weary of the limitations they set upon creativity.  It is nice to see someone who seems to truly enjoy what he does, even after all these years.

Catherine Munroe Hotes 2012
The Shepherdess and the Chimneysweep / La Bergère et le ramoneur
(やぶにらみの暴君, Paul Grimault, 1953)

The Man Who Planted Trees / L'Homme qui plantait des arbres
(木を植えた男, Frédéric Back, 1987)
Doraemon: Nobita and the Birth of Japan
(ドラえもん のび太の日本誕生, Tsutomu Shibayama, 1989)

Doraemon: Nobita and the Wind Wizard
(ドラえもん のび太とふしぎ風使い, Tsutomu Shibayama, 2003)

Doraemon: Nobita and the Robot Kingdom
(ドラえもん のび太とロボット王国, Tsutomu Shibayama, 2002)

Doraemon: Nobita and the Winged Braves
(ドラえもん のび太と翼の勇者たち, Tsutomu Shibayama,2001)

Doraemon: Nobita and the Legend of the Sun King
(ドラえもん のび太の太陽王伝説, Tsutomu Shibayama, 2000)

Doraemon: Nobita Gets Lost in Space
(ドラえもん のび太の宇宙漂流記, Tsutomu Shibayama, 1999)

Doraemon: Nobita's South Sea Adventure
(ドラえもん のび太の南海大冒険, Tsutomu Shibayama, 1998)

Doraemon: Nobita's Adventure in Clockwork City                             
(ドラえもん のび太のねじ巻き都市冒険記, Tsutomu Shibayama, 1997)

Doraemon: Nobita and the Galaxy Super-Express
(ドラえもん のび太と銀河超特急, Hiroshi Fukutomi, 1996)

Doraemon: Nobita's Genesis Diary
 (ドラえもん のび太の創世日記, Tsutomu Shibayama, 1995)

Doraemon: Nobita and the Fantastic Three Musketeers
(ドラえもん のび太と夢幻三剣士, Tsutomu Shibayama, 1994)

Doraemon: Nobita and Tin-Plate Labyrinth
(ドラえもん のび太とブリキの迷宮, Tsutomu Shibayama, 1993)

Doraemon: Nobita and the Kingdom of Clouds
 (ドラえもん のび太と雲の王国, Tsutomu Shibayama, 1992)

Doraemon: Nobita in Dorabian Nights
(ドラえもん のび太のドラビアンナイト, Tsutomu Shibayama, 1991)

Doraemon: Nobita and the Animal Planet
(ドラえもん のび太とアニマル惑星, Tsutomu Shibayama, 1990)

Doraemon: Nobita's Parallel "Journey to the West"
(ドラえもん のび太のパラレル西遊記, Tsutomu Shibayama, 1988)

Doraemon: Nobita and the Knights of Dinosaurs
(ドラえもん のび太と竜の騎士, Tsutomu Shibayama, 1987)

Doraemon: Nobita and the Steel Troops
(ドラえもん のび太と鉄人兵団, Tsutomu Shibayama,1986)

Source: Laputa Top 150 World and Japanese Animation

The Doraemon films are available via cdjapan: