Database for Animation Studies


Isao Takahata: the Animation Director who Worries about the Mental Health of the Young Generation

Takahata has kept his interest in the issue of the mind of the young generation. In his directorial debut, Adventure of Sun Prince Horusu, Takahata presents the issue by depicting the way in which the hero Horusu gets lost in “Forest of Misleading”. In Heidi, a little girl is taken away from an Alpine mountain as her beloved home only to get homesick, depressed, and somnambulist. In A Cellist, Gauche, a young person is depicted as being bashful, having inferiority complex, lacking self-confidence, and tending to fear interpersonal situation. In Grave of Fireflies, Takahata envisages the protagonist as following a principle of pleasure and shows how he ends up. For him, one way of breaking through such a principle is the physical activity that in Distant Childhood Memory, Taeko performs under the sun of the countryside. In Pompoko, a close depiction is made of the returning to a community, which the preceding film could not afford. Envisaging the returning to a community in a variety of ways, Takahata attempted to experiment with thinking of how an individual gets used to a collective. Furthermore, he indicated that in My Neighbors the Yamadas, solace should be more necessary rather than healing the sudden popularity of which he was skeptical. Every member of the Yamadas lacks something, but the family itself works well while one makes up for what the other lacks. The notion of family is a way in which Takahata dealt with the issue of mind as a conclusion.

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