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Man and Whale by Koji Yamamura

Man and Whale

I was half-expecting to see something like when I clicked on the site, but it turns out that it’s a legit Japanese site by Greenpeace about saving whales. Even better, the site has a new 2-minute animated short by the hand-drawn animation master Koji Yamamura (Mt. Head, The Old Crocodile). The piece, entitled Man and Whale, is a simple elegantly told story about a school principal and his students who help rescue a beached whale. There’s also an interview with Yamamura in which he talks about why he agreed to make the film:

Yes, I am interested in environmental issues including global warming. But they are not simple problems. When human beings live and act, you use electricity, and that’s ruining the environment. I try to save electricity at home. Also, when you think “what else can you do to solve the problem?� I thought the best thing I can do is to convey the message by making animation films for that purpose.

(via Michael Sporn’s Splog)

  • Outstanding.

    Koji Yamamura is very smart with his animation. He knows what it can portray and express. And he is also very good at how he controls his emotions in the piece.

  • Benjamin De Schrijver

    Absolutely wonderful. It deserves more attention than just 2 comments. A beautiful piece that actually has something to tell, which is unfortunately rather rare in the animation world (in my eyes, at least). I didn’t know about Yamamura before this and will certainly look into him.

  • Paul Harper

    An interesting short. Koji Yamamura always impresses me, not only with his art, and the fact that he does it almost entirely on his own, but also because he dares to talk about subjects that most Japanese people, and especially the Japanese media, don`t want to hear about. Mt. Head seems like quaint social commentary to western eyes, but in Japan it was pretty brutal criticism (and very necessary in my opinon) of destructive social habits that are rarely questioned.

    I have lived in Japan for 2 years, and the fact that someone is actually saying “let`s save the whales” instead of “let`s eat that” is amazing. Yamamura san deserves a lot more recognition for what he is doing.