Legend of the Forest

Mori No Densetsu - Part 1

Director Osamu Tezuka / 1987 / Japan

The second major work Tezuka produced as a reflection on the art, craft and history of animation (the first being Pictures at an Exhibition). Legend of the Forest is formally dedicated to walt Disney, and conveys Tezuka's ongoing theme of the importance and value of life in all its forms. Told exclusively with music and no dialogue, the progression of the plot develops in tandem with a sequence of stylistic changes which reflect a micro-history of animation: from early negative line-drawings to Windsor McCay's comic-style simplicity, to early Disny Silly Symphony figuration, to Disney's later fleshy renderings of the postwar modernist styles of Tex Avery and so on. The closing of Legend...also contains a self-reflective 'battle' of sorts between the innocent animal - drawn in full animation style- to the evil humans depicting through the limited animation technique ( the use of fewer cells) which has governed TV animation around the world since the mid-50s.

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