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With: n/a
Written by: Tezuka Osamu, etc.
Directed by: Tezuka Osamu, etc.
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Language: Japanese, with English subtitles
Running Time: 150
Date: 03/18/2013

The Astonishing Work of Tezuka Osamu (2009)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Father of Anime

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The late Tezuka Osamu (1928-1989) is often referred to as the "father of anime." He was the creator of "Astro Boy" as well as innumerable other comics and cartoons. (One of them became the 2001 feature Metropolis.) This new DVD from Kimstim (Kino) collects 13 of his most celebrated shorts from the 1960s and 1980s. The first seven shorts are from the 1960s and I found them odd, and difficult to appreciate on a cultural level. The 1980s shorts are a bit more accessible and some are quite wonderful, such as the amazing Jumping or the 30-minute masterpiece Legend of the Forest, which sports an environmental message, told beautifully through the history of animation. (The style changes from early silent-era drawings, to Disney and the Fleischer Brothers, to more modern-looking cartoons.) The DVD also comes with a 20-minute interview with the filmmaker, conducted in 1986. Titles include: Tales of the Street Corner (1962), Male (1962), Memory (1964), Mermaid (1964), The Drop (1965), Pictures at an Exhibition (1966), The Genesis (1968), Jumping (1984), Broken Down Film (1985), Push (1987), Muramasa (1987), Legend of the Forest (1987) and Self Portrait (1988).

Kino and Kimstim have also released Extreme Animation: Films by Phil Mulloy, 153 minutes of dark, nasty, jagged little experimental animated shorts.

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