16 February 2012

Norio Hikone’s Animation Top 20 (2003)

The characters created by illustrator and animator Norio Hikone (ひこねのりお, b. 1936) are instantly recognizable to young and old alike in Japan.  A graduate of Tokyo University of the Arts, Hikone got his start working as an animator/inbetweener for Toei Animation (Alakazam the Great, The Little Prince and the Eight-Headed Dragon) and Mushi Pro (Kimba the White Lion, Jungle Emperor Leo). 

In 1966, he founded Hikone Studios and made a name for himself doing animated shorts for TV as well as a variety of commercial work.  He has done a great deal of animation for the NHK including the long-running popular programmes Minna no Uta (Everybody’s Song) and Manga Nippon Mukashi-banashi (Manga Nippon Folk Tales).  His client list runs quite long, but he is perhaps best known for his delightful Karl Ojisan (Uncle Karl) TV spots for the Meiji Seika snack food “Curls”.  These ran from 1986-90 and are a source of much nostalgia for folks who grew up in Japan in the 1980s.  Norio Hikone also contributed to Kihachirō Kawamoto’s renku animation Winter Days (2003).  Check out his official website to see more of his endearing characters in action (JP only).

Here is the list Hikone contributed to Laputa’s Top 150 Poll in 2003..  Hikone himself featured on many lists, including that of the late Masahiro Katayama.

Le roi et l’oiseau 
(王と鳥 やぶにらみの, Paul Grimault, France, 1948)

Mr. Bug Goes to Town (aka Hoppity Goes to Town)
( バッタ君町に行く, Dave Fleischer, USA, 1941)

Hakujaden (The Legend of the White Snake) / Animation

Legend of the White Serpent
(白蛇伝, Taiji Yabushita/Kazuhiko Okabe, Japan, 1958)

Toot, Whistle, Plunk, and Boom
(プカドン交響楽, Ward Kimball/Charles A. Nichols, USA, 1953)

Betty Boop in Snow White
(ベティの白雪姫, Dave Fleischer, USA, 1933)

Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor
(ポパイと船乗りシンドバッド, Dave Fleischer, USA, 1936)

Yuki no Joou (The Snow Queen / Snezhnaya koroleva) / Animation

The Snow Queen
(雪の女王, Lev Atamov et al., Russia, 1957)

Around the World with Willy Fog
(80日間世界一周, Luis Ballester, Spain/Japan, 1987)

The Old Mill (Silly Symphonies)
(丘の風車, Wilfred Jackson, USA, 1937)

The Spider and the Tulip
(くもとちゅうりっぷ, Kenzō Masaoka, Japan, 1943)

Blinkity Blank
(線と色の即興詩, Norman McLaren, Canada, 1955)

Hedgehog in the Fog
(霧につつまれたハリネズミ, Yuri Norstein, Russia, 1975)

Frederic Back Collection: L'homme Qui Planet Ait Des Arbres / Le Fleuve aux grandes eaux / Crack! / Animation

The Man Who Planted Trees/L'homme qui plantait des arbres
(木を植えた男, Frédéric Back, Canada, 1987)

Kitty’s Graffiti
(こねこのらくがき, Taiji Yabushita/Yasuji Mori, Japan, 1957)

The Little Prince and the Eight-Headed Dragon
(わんばく王子の大蛇退治, Yugo Serikawa, Japan, 1963)

Animal Treasure Island
(どうぶつ宝島, Hiroshi Ikeda, Japan, 1971)

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
(風の谷のナウシカ, Hayao Miyazaki, Japan, 1984)

Yellow Submarine
(イエロー・サプマリン, George Dunning, 1968)

The Demon
(, Kihachirō Kawamoto, Japan, 1972)