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A Really Really Quick Gallery Tour: The Golden Age

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Andersen Monogatari (Mushi, 1971)
Source: TV
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Added 12/12/2012
Updated 1/11/2013

This crucially important series in the history of anime was produced by Mushi Production, the pioneering studio founded by Osamu Tezuka. Building on the success of the first series designed specifically for Japanese audiences, Andersen Monogatari [The Tales of Hans Christian Andersen] created a market for adaptations of Western childrens’ classics. Cannily planned to run an entire year of weekly installments, the series began on January 3, 1971, with the first installment of “The Ugly Duckling” and concluded on December 26 with “The Little Match Girl.” Along the way came early Japanese adaptations of many of Andersen’s famous stories, including “The Snow Queen,” “The Wild Swans,” “The Red Shoes,” “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Thumbelina,” and “The Nightingale.”

The Series Director was Masami Hata, a wide-ranging and influential animator who had worked on previous Tezuka productions such as Princess Knight and Unico and went on to much more important tasks, including directing Syrius no Densetsu/The Sea Prince and the Fire Child and the film version of Little Nemo – Adventures in Slumberland, the first anime movie to be given a theatrical release in North America.

Art from this series is scarce, as you might imagine after this time, but when it arrives it is surprisingly vibrant in color and trace lines. That is because Mushi chose to have the cels hand-traced in India ink, in the old-fashioned way of classic Disney cels. It is a long-deferred pleasure to open this gallery and begin exploring the art of this quirky and influential series.

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Curator: 60something-sensei
Gallery Created: 8/3/2002
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