Hollywood's Variety Magazine Honors Makoto Shinkai Among 2016's '10 Animators to Watch'
posted on by Egan Loo
The entertainment industry magazine Variety honored Makoto Shinkai at its 10 Animators to Watch ceremony on Tuesday. Shinkai, the auteur director behind Voices of a Distant Star, 5 Centimeters Per Second, and Garden of Words, is the first Japanese animator so honored in the list's two-year history. The other animators on this year's list include Frank Abney, Seth Boyden, Carl Faruolo, Nina Gantz, Ian Jones-Quartey, Adrian Molina, Fletcher Moules, Kevin Parry, and Alyce Tzue.
Tuesday's event, co-presented by the television channel Nickelodeon, also honored Kung Fu Panda 3's Jennifer Yuh Nelson, the first solo female director of a Hollywood animated feature, with the Creative Impact in Animation award. California Institute of the Arts' Maureen Furniss received the Creative Impact in Animation Education award.
Shinkai began his career by creating his own anime titles almost singlehandedly — being responsible for the writing, directing, and even voice-acting. He now works with CoMix Wave Films and other staff members on anime projects. His titles include She and Her Cat, Voices of a Distant Star, The Place Promised in Our Early Days, 5 Centimeters Per Second, Children Who Chase Lost Voices, and Garden of Words.
Variety's profiles on the 10 animators describe Shinkai's artistry:
Instead of separating foreground from background, he immerses characters within the world he creates, allowing the shadows of passing clouds, gusts of wind and blazes of sun to wash over the entire composition. While his stories climb to the heights of his imagination, they remain grounded in real-world observations — a continuum he will push further in his next feature, your name., a romance whose sense of scale “connects seemingly insignificant details of daily life to the very expanse of the universe,” he says.