Sunday’s LA TIMES had a short piece on the new Linkin Park music video “Breaking the Habit” which was supervised (and according to the TIMES, mostly animated by) Kazuto Nakazawa of the Japanese studio Production I.G. Nakazawa was also responsible for the graphic animated sequence in KILL BILL VOLUME 1. The Linkin Park video, which has already debuted in the UK, will start in full rotation on MTV and MTV2 in the US with a “Making of the Video” program premiering on May 24. The video depicts the troubled lives and emotional conflicts of various people living in a gritty, urban apartment high-rise.
The LA TIMES had this interesting quote from MTV’s exec VP of music Tom Calderone: “It’s anime, always going to be a little edgier. You can’t do anime that feels like bubble gum. It’s always going to have a dark side.” Calderone’s quote is telling in that it illustrates what anime has come to represent in the United States. Not merely a look or style of animation, anime is where people turn when they want to produce cartoons featuring mature, edgy and intelligent storytelling. Anime’s near monopoly on adult animation however doesn’t mean that it’s the only style available to filmmakers. Involving, emotionally satisfying stories are possible in myriad visual styles, including fluid Disney-style animation. Sadly though, decades of infantile and incompetent storytelling by the modern Disney studio, Katzenberg, Bluth and others have forced filmmakers to avoid like the plague the lush appealing style of animation pioneered by the Golden Age Disney studio. At least we can be thankful that intelligence has finally found a home in animation, even if it means for now these type of stories are being told exclusively through Japanese animation.
(“Breaking the Habit” image from Anime UK News)