ANIMATION BREAKDOWN 2014: The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness

Animation powerhouse Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Howl’s Moving Castle) needs no introduction. This was certainly not lost on director Mami Sunada, who took full advantage of the unprecedented access granted her by Ghibli’s brain trust to produce this rare documentary glimpse into the studio’s inner workings. Eschewing any sort of broad overview, Sunada takes a more intimate, fly-on-the-wall approach to the production of Hayao Miyazaki’s final masterpiece The Wind Rises. Following the process from initial storyboards to the final edits, the characters of Miyazaki and Ghibli are revealed through small, casual moments and conversations. Those who are curious about the feature animation process will find many questions answered here, in what is possibly the most detailed documentation of traditional, hand-drawn animation in film form. This comes at an especially essential time, as that medium — much like the master behind this studio — will soon be retired.
Dir. Mami Sunada, 2013, digital presentation, 118 min.

Watch the trailer for “The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness”!
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