Osamu Tezuka's Original Astro Boy, Kimba, Legend of the Forest - This Weekend


GODFATHER OF ANIME - OSAMU TEZUKA - TWO PART RETROSPECTIVE - The hugely influential comic artist and animator Osamu Tezuka literally invented the genre of Japanese anime, and his archetypal characters and bold designs have reverberated with a massive pop culture impact that continues to this day. For details on screenings, scroll down.

To purchase tickets click here.

In English - Recommended all ages

Sat & Sun, Nov 28 & 29, 11:00am - Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway (at 95th Street)

Part one of this two-part retrospective includes Osamu Tezuka's best known and best loved early works (which parents of a certain age will remember from Saturday morning television).

Animation, Osamu Tezuka, 1963, Japan
One of the most iconic animated figures of all time, Astro Boy is the adventure of a robot boy who, although a product of technology himself, sets out to combat those who would exploit technology for evil.

Animation, Osamu Tezuka, 1967, Japan
A plucky lion cub with a cute lioness girlfriend... his father is killed and he must take over as king... but first he must vie for power with his evil usurping uncle who is supported by a band of hyena lackeys. Sound familiar? Well, it's not Simba, it's Kimba - the original 1966 lion king.

Recommended ages 8 to adult

Sat, Nov 28, 1pm - Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway (at 95th Street)

Part two of our retrospective includes three of Tezuka's most beautiful and imaginative films. Tales of a Street Corner and Legend of the Forest come from opposite ends of his career, yet both use classical music as the backdrop for epic battles of good and evil, while the third film, Jumping, offers a humorously wry commentary on the state of the world.

Animation, Osamu Tezuka, Japan, 1987, 29 min
In his career-capping masterpiece Legend of the Forest, Tezuka traces the stylistical evolution of animation from 19th-century etchings, through Disney and Fleischer, the UPA style of Mr. Magoo, all the way to contemporary anime, in a Fantasia-like tale of forest faeries, sprites, wizards, and animals defending themselves against greedy industrialists bent on destroying nature.

Animation, Osamu Tezuka, Japan, 1962, 39 min
A girl who has lost her teddy bear and a family of Leo Lionni-esque mice inhabit this otherwise empty streetscape with walls plastered in posters. But the posters come to life, and their characters tell the story of an era -- and of a descent from playful optimism to war as the images of art and advertising are covered over with the face of a fascist dictator.

Animation, Osamu Tezuka, Japan, 1984, 6 min
In this highly entertaining short, we take the point of view of a bouncing ball, whose ever higher bounds land us farther and farther afield, and give us a series of two-second snapshots of the human condition.

Comment: Films contain brief shots of animated breasts as well as a couple of racially insensitive poster images.

Japan, Isao Takahata, 1994, 119 min

In English - Recommended ages 7 to adult

Sat & Sun, Dec 12 & 13, 11:00am at IFC Center, 323 Sixth Avenue (at West Third)

NYICFF is very excited to present this rarely screened gem from Japan's famed Studio Ghibli (Ponyo, Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro) by Ghibli co-head and master animator Isao Takahata. The forests are filled with groups of magical tanuki, mischievous raccoon-like animals from Japanese folklore that are capable of shape-shifting from their standard raccoon form to practically any object. They spend their idle days playing in the hillsides and squabbling over food, until the construction of a huge new Tokyo suburb clears the nearby forest and threatens to destroy their way of life. In an effort to defend their home, the tanuki learn to transform into humans and start playing tricks to make the workers think the construction site is haunted - ending in a spectacular night-time spirit parade, with thousands of ghosts, dragons and spirit creatures descending on the city.

Audiences will revel in Ghibli's trademark brilliant animation, with its humorous and wondrously inventive characters and sumptuous hand-painted backgrounds given loving attention to detail. But what makes Pom Poko special is the depth of emotional expression - a joyous, playful comedy containing a heartfelt plea to stop human destruction lest the Earth's animals, spirits, and magic become things of the past.

In English - Recommended all ages

Sat & Sun, Dec 19 & 20, 11:00am at IFC Center, 323 Sixth Avenue (at West Third)

Sat, Jan 23, 11am and 1pm - Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway (at 95th Street)

The weather outside is frightful, but these shorts are so delightful! - Experience all of the splendor and magnificence of winter without the chattering teeth and frostbitten fingers. Grab your friends, your family, and your hot cocoa and come curl up in front of the big screen as the New York Int'l Children's Film Festival presents three beautiful animated short films celebrating snow, ice and all of winter's exciting wonders!

The program includes:

Animation, Canada, Pierre-Luc Granjon and Pascal Le Notre, 2007, 27 min
Winter has descended on the kingdom and a mountain ogre has kidnapped beautiful Molly Gingerbread, the king's daughter. Meanwhile, Leon, a young bear adopted by a family of beekeepers, runs away from home, falls in love with the princess, and lands himself in all kinds of unexpected and perilous adventures.

Animation, Sweden, Uzi Geffenblad and Lotta Geffenblad, 2008, 7.5 min
It snows outside and Spot and Splodge run about building a snowman, having a snowball fight, and making snow angels. All of a sudden the wind is strong, the snow sticks all over their bodies, there isn't a spot of Spot to be seen! And where is Splodge? Where's the house?

Animation, Russia, Garry Bardin, 1997, 25 min
A young boy is ignored by his parents and the other adults at a festive holiday gathering, and there are no other children to play with. So after concocting some minor mischief for the grownups, the boy retreats upstairs to the attic, where he rummages through odds and ends to create a special playmate for himself.

Japan, Hiroshi Ikeda, 1971, 78 min

In English - Recommended ages 3 to 8

Sat, Jan 30, 11am and 1pm - Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway (at 95th Street)

Key Animation by Hayao Miyazaki - A decade before he became renowned for animated masterworks like Castle in the Sky, Nausicaa, and My Neighbor Totoro, and eventually won the Oscar for Spirited Away, a young Hayao Miyazaki was lead animator for Toei Studios. His Animal Treasure Island is an anime adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic adventure about a young boy who discovers a treasure map and goes toe to toe with the double-crossing, pegged-leg pirate Long John Silver. In this version Long John Silver is a cat, the pirates are all animals, and the young boy is joined by a tough-girl companion on a high seas adventure through imaginative worlds made even more fantastic by Miyazaki's boldly simple but beautiful style. The English language dub is reminiscent of 70's Hong Kong kung fu flick, but that somehow enhances the retro feel of the picture.

For tickets and film descriptions click here.

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