Free Short Films by Osamu Tezuka aka “The Japanese Walt Disney”

Over at Metafil­ter, Kári Tulin­ius has a post­ed a nice selec­tion of exper­i­men­tal short films by the great Japan­ese ani­ma­tor and man­ga artist Osamu Tezu­ka. Tezu­ka died in 1989, and although he’s most famous in the US for chil­dren’s car­toons like Astro-Boy and Kim­bo the White Lion (bet­ter known to every­one but the Walt Dis­ney Com­pa­ny’s lawyers as The Lion King), his achieve­ments extend­ed well beyond those two US hits. In his home coun­try, The God of Man­ga is right­ly con­sid­ered a nation­al trea­sure, and his mas­sive body of work includes a man­ga adap­ta­tion of Crime and Pun­ish­ment, a 12-vol­ume fan­ta­sy saga about immor­tal­i­ty, and the world’s first fea­ture-length ani­mat­ed porn movie.

These shorts pro­vide an excel­lent intro­duc­tion to Tezuka’s many moods and styles, from the inno­cent whim­sy of Mer­maid (1964), about a boy who falls in love with a mer­maid at sea.…

… to the caus­tic humor of Mem­o­ry (1964), a bit­ing med­i­ta­tion on our rose-tint­ed view of the past:

…to the light exu­ber­ance of Jump­ing (1984):

… and final­ly the full-blown apoc­a­lyp­tic dark­ness of Push (1987), as rel­e­vant now as it was 25 years go — if not more so:

See also: Male (1962), Bro­ken Down Film (1985), Drop (1965), Sto­ry of a Street Cor­ner (1962), Gen­e­sis (1968), Mura­masa (1987), and this inter­view, in which the Tezu­ka dis­cuss­es his short exper­i­men­tal films…

via @brainpicker

Sheer­ly Avni is a San Fran­cis­co-based arts and cul­ture writer. Her work has appeared in Salon, LA Week­ly, Moth­er Jones, and many oth­er pub­li­ca­tions. You can fol­low her on twit­ter at @sheerly

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