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Oldest Japanese Hybrid Animation Found

posted on 2004-06-25 12:04 EDT
Hybrid animation / live action movies dates back to 1924

The Japanese National Art Museum has announced that it has confirmed what it believes to be the oldest Japanese example of the mixture of animation and real photography on film. Kemuri Kusa Monogatari (The tale of the Smoke weed) was produced by Japanese animation pioneer Noburo Ofuji (1900-1961) in 1924.

The discovery has been likened to a precious excavation, "Where one can already feel the latent potential of currently world leading Japanese animation."

The museum will show the 3-minute silent movie during its upcoming 'Japanese Animation Film History' exposition, starting on July 6th.

Hybrid, or Mixed animation was also produced in America around that period, but this is the first time that a film of this type has been definitively confirmed to have been created in Japan during that period. For his animation, Ofuji colored on paper (not film or celluloid), a technique that was typical of his animation projects of the time.

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