Vive De­liv­ers Prime VR

Animation Magazine - - Tv -

If the FMX con­fer­ence gave us any­thing this year, it was a true un­der­stand­ing that VR is here to stay and that we are only just en­ter­ing the vir­tual Wild West. By Rob Red­man.

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Although he is still cel­e­brated in Ja­pan as the “God of Manga,” Osamu Tezuka (1928-1989) is less well-known in Amer­ica than his work mer­its. This mam­moth bi­o­graph­i­cal manga, skill­fully trans­lated by Fred­er­ick Schodt (who has writ­ten ex­ten­sively about Tezuka), of­fers a de­tailed if some­what pon­der­ous look at a key fig­ure in the his­tory of print comics and world an­i­ma­tion.

Toshio Ban, Tezuka’s “sub-chief as­sis­tant,” cre­ated A Life in Manga and Anime for se­ri­al­iza­tion in the pop­u­lar mag­a­zine Asahi Graph shortly af­ter the artist’s death. A com­bi­na­tion of orig­i­nal draw­ings, pho­tographs, el­e­men­tary-school draw­ings and new art­work — nar­rated by Tezuka’s pop­u­lar char­ac­ter, Shun­saku Ban (also known as Hi­geoy­aji or “Mus­ta­chio”) — it ran for nearly three years. As Schodt notes, the book “is prob­a­bly as close to a post­hu­mous au­to­bi­og­ra­phy as is pos­si­ble.”

Tezuka’s life and work have been chron­i­cled in sev­eral English lan­guage books, no­tably Schodt’s The Astro Boy Es­says and He­len Mc­Carthy’s large-for­mat The Art of Osamu Tezuka. As a child, he was fas­ci­nated by in­sects and col­lected them en­thu­si­as­ti­cally. His bushy, un­ruly hair earned him the nick­name of “Gaja-boy” (“Tousle-haired boy”) and in­flu­enced the look of Astro Boy’s sig­na­ture hairdo decades later. Although he stud­ied medicine and even­tu­ally be­came a doc­tor, from an early age, his true pas­sions were manga and an­i­ma­tion.

Tezuka’s out­put is stag­ger­ing: He drew an es­ti­mated 150,000 manga pages and worked on more than 60 an­i­mated projects, in­clud­ing TV se­ries, fea­tures and shorts. His sub­ject mat­ter ranged from pe­riod ad­ven­tures and science-fic­tion sto­ries to na­ture tales, a life of the Bud­dha and adap­ta­tions of Western lit­er­a­ture. Although they’re all listed in the en­cy­clo­pe­dic ap­pen­dix, so few have been pub­lished in the U.S. that it’s hard to get a sense of his greater

al-pow­ered di­ri­gi­bles and cy­borg rat spies.

GKIDS’ English-lan­guage voice cast also fea­tures Paul Gia­matti, Tony Hale, Su­san Saran­don and J.K. Sim­mons. Also avail­able in a Blu-ray combo pack ($34.98), the re­lease in­cludes trail­ers from GKIDS and “The Ori­gin of The Ex­tra­or­di­nary World” fea­turette. This 2D ad­ven­ture will def­i­nitely put some starch in your pet­ti­coats!

[Re­lease date: Aug. 2] with voice star Paige O’Hara, “Walt, Fairy Tales & Beauty and the Beast,” record­ing ses­sions footage, 25 Fun Facts, a sneak peek at next year’s live-ac­tion reimag­in­ing, and hours of pre­vi­ously re­leased bonus ma­te­rial.

An ex­clu­sive set avail­able at Tar­get comes with a 32-page sto­ry­book.

Put your nap­kin round your neck, and Disney will pro­vide the rest.

[Re­lease date: Sept. 20] quest to save the king­dom and re­turn home.

The voice cast is lead by Jane Curtin, Ron Perl­man, Christo­pher Plum­mer, Doug Bradley, Kiefer O’Reilly and Ali­son Wandzura. The film is also avail­able as a Blu-ray combo set ($24.97) — and if you pre­order through Shout!’s web­site, you can get an ex­clu­sive poster while sup­plies last.

[Re­lease date: Sept. 27] ant’s Dream. The very tempt­ing Ul­ti­mate Col­lec­tor’s Edi­tion ($74.99) piles on a hard­cover art book of the film, col­lectible Mondo art cards, a four-inch ar­tic­u­lated Iron Gi­ant statue and a let­ter from Bird. Both sets come with orig­i­nal ver­sion com­men­tary from Bird, ad­di­tional scenes and al­ter­nate open­ing, mini doc­u­men­tary seg­ments, “Teddy New­ton – The X Fac­tor,” “Duck and Cover” se­quence, The Voice of the Gi­ant, mo­tion gallery and more.

[Re­lease date: Sept. 6]

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