Japan's Miyazaki keeps computers out of cartoons

Sun Aug 31, 2008 10:33am EDT
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By Silvia Aloisi

VENICE (Reuters) - Revered Japanese animation director Hayao Miyazaki has no intention of swapping his pencil for computer graphics and will keep hand drawing his films for as long as he can, he said on Sunday.

Miyazaki's new animation "Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea," already a big box office success in his home country, is vying for top prize at the Venice film festival, where the Oscar-winning director received a career award in 2005.

Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's fairytale "The Little Mermaid," the film tells the story of a little goldfish who longs to become a human to be with her love, five-year-old boy Sosuke. It uses hand-drawn art throughout.

"I think animation is something that needs the pencil, needs man's drawing hand, and that is why I decided to do this work in this way," the silver haired, notoriously shy director told reporters after a press screening.

"Currently computer graphics are of course used a great deal and, as I've said before, this use can at times be excessive," he added, speaking through an interpreter. "I will continue to use my pencil as long as I can."

An economics and politics graduate who developed an interest in children's literature at university, Miyazaki toiled over hand drawings for Japan's Toei Animation before creating Studio Ghibli, which he still heads despite repeated announcements of his retirement, in 1985.

Now 67, Miyazaki said he planned to recruit young cartoonists for future projects.

"When I do my next work I'll be more than 70, so I think I'll probably have to get help from a younger generation."   Continued...

<p>Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki poses for photographers during a photocall at the Venice Film Festival August 31, 2008. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse</p>