One thought of late has been about my relatively recent obsession with animation. Ghibli obviously being the crown jewel of the cinematic version, has my complete undivided attention, a feat of impossibility these attention starved days. My most anticipated movie this year for me, the one that really gets me excited is THE TALE OF THE PRINCESS KAGUYA, and the previous year was Miyazaki's THE WING RISES.
That happened to be my favorite movie going experience as well. I was all alone in the theater.
My reasoning can be in due part to Ghibli's scarcity. Miyazaki is retired, and Takahata I'm assuming will too. Takahata is in his late seventies. They are the last of the 2D master's and with them retired, the cinematic art form of traditional animation will suffer a great, incalculable loss.
I also feel that my obsession is driven by the fact that this process is so foreign to me, but such a specialized gift that is not aided much by other things in it's raw sense. It is an expression from hand to screen. And, I also know with almost absolute certainty that I can never personally draw a 2D movie. (However, I would be more than happy to direct. In fact, I have a concept ready to go, so go ahead and hit that contact button if you're a a visionary first, and a super cool investor second. Thanks.)
We often do storyboards in live action, then film it. The process itself is always a reenactment of something. A reenactment of life when we work in the pseudo realism tradition of today. One that is in love with it's scripts. Of course, cinema is full of examples of people who strove for something else. The Tarkovsky's, Chris Marker's and a grand host of other's rejected this traditional Western reenactment for for something else. I only use these two examples to expedite this thought to page.
Animation to me is a pure process. Of course, massive amounts of man power and time (often much more time than live action) are needed to make it happen, but in it's purest sense, it lives on a piece of paper. Less tools, less middle men, less technology and much more a translation of a dream.