This may be a commercial product (and in the interests of full
disclosure, it is sold by my wife's company), but I thought this may
be of interest to scholars studying animation or Japanese film.
This is the announcement:
We are very pleased to announce the launch of our company, Zakka
Films, and the release of our first DVD, The Roots of Japanese Anime,
which presents 8 classic films, many of which are appearing for the
first time on DVD with English subtitles.
Zakka Films is new venture dedicated to introducing rare and
important Japanese films, particularly anime and documentary, to
North American audiences. Many of the powerful and wonderful films
we love aren't available outside Japan, so our mission is to change
Starting with The Roots of Japanese Anime, we'll present some of the
great works of Japanese cinema on information-rich, high-quality DVDs
ideal for individual, scholarly, and classroom use. Every DVD will
come stocked with extra bonus features and commentaries by noted
scholars sure to enlighten students, researchers, and even the casual
observer of Japan.
The Roots of Japanese Anime is our first release and contains 8
ground-breaking films from the developmental years of Japanese anime.
The centerpiece is Momotaro's Sea Eagle (director: Mitsuyo Seo),
Japan's first feature animated film from 1942 notorious for showing
"Peach Boy" and his cute animal forces attacking Pearl Harbor. As an
example of both Japanese wartime propaganda and the great leaps made
in the evolution of Japanese anime, Momotaro's Sea Eagle has been the
subject of great interest amongst scholars and fans, but is coming
out in North America here for the first time.
The other 7 films introduce the delightful variety of Japanese pre-
WWII anime and the popular everyday culture it represented. There are
masterworks by anime pioneers such as Noburo Ofuji, Kenzo Masaoka,
and Yasuji Murata; cartoons presenting folk tales and legendary
samurai heroes; sing-a-long films; and even a wonderful work
introducing the day in the life of a young girl from the 1930s.
The DVD includes a 12-page booklet describing the history of early
anime and the background of each film written by prominent scholars.
For more information on the DVD and to view the trailer, please visit
us at http://www.zakkafilms.com/. The Roots of Japanese Anime will
also be showing on Saturday, March 28, 9:00 AM at the 2009
Association for Asian Studies Annual Meeting in Chicago.
Thank you very much!
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Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite