"A futuristic FANTASIA" is how ROBOT CARNIVAL was described when it was recently released in Japan. The producer, A.P.P.P. Co. Ltd., invited nine of Japan's leading animation artists to create a segment for it. The rules were that each segment was to show robots in some manner, and each should tell it's story primarily through visual action. The result is a 91 minute feature which combines the best aspects of a theatrical movie and an animation festival compilation. There is drama, comedy, lyricism, fast-paced action and dreamy mood pieces presented with beautiful art and haunting music. Showcasing the work of nine world-class animators, ROBOT CARNIVAL is an "art-lovers dream come true." Noted Animation Producer KAZUFUMI NOMURA has gathered an impressive group of artists, each with their own unique style and filmic vision, to create a collection of mini-masterpieces. The result is a broad based retrospective of state-of-the-art animation. This is traditional, full animation complimented by a sophisticated stereo score by JOE HISAISHI, ISAKU FUJITA and MASAHISA TAKEICHI.
1. OPENING (ATSUKO FUKUSHIMA & KATSUHIRO OTOMO) - Spectacular animation, ala Disney, sets the stage for the entire film. A giant machine thunders across a barren landscape. As it nears pockets of civilization, the mechanical behemoth t ransforms into a dazzling high-tech light show complete with thousands of miniature ballerinas and musicians.
2. STARLIGHT ANGEL (HIROYUKI KITAZUME) - Set amid the backdrop of a futuristic "Disneyland", a touching, bittersweet romance is played out between a young, impressionable co-ed and an android entertainer. The film drives to a powerful c onclusion as the young lovers must join forces to battle a monsterous mechanical demon.
3. CLOUD (MAO LAMDO) - Inspired by his book, "Snow and the young boy", Mao Lamdo combines New Age sensibilities and delicately detailed drawings in this subtle fable. Transforming the Young Boy of his story into a quiet reflective robot , Lamdo's film has a strange, almost hypnotic cosmetic appeal.
4. DEPRIVE (HIDETOSHI OHMORI) - A classic tale of good versus evil, the epitome of Japanese adventure animation. Bold, colorful and exotic, Ohmori has distelled the essence of nearly two generations of Japanese animation history in one powerful science fiction collage.
5. FRANKEN'S GEARS (KOUJI MORIMOTO) - An atmospheric variation on the classic "mad scientist creates life in laboratory" story. Only this time Dr. Franken has opted for gears and servo motors over flesh and blood. Wickedly witty and ma gnificently realized, this gem stands as a perfect parable to those who dream of directing destiny.
6. PRESENCE (YASUOMI UMETSU) - A beautifully produced and thought provoking tale of missed opportunities and unrequited love. Umetsu's story deals with a sensitive inventor's dilemma after creating a beautiful android with a mind of her own. Haunting and sophisticated, it clearly shows animation as a serious adult storytelling medium.
7. A TALE OF TWO ROBOTS (HIROYUKI KITAKUBO) - A satirical tale set in a fictional 19th century Japan. The story revolves around the efforts of "the world's greatest genius" to conquer what he believes to be a mysterious, treasure-laden nation with his diabolical mechanical inventions. It is up to a gang of local kids to foil his evil plans and save the day.
8. NIGHTMARE (TAKASHI NAKAMURA) - Blend the "Night on Bald Mountain" sequence from FANTASIA with the "Legend of Sleepy Hollow" section of ICHABOD & MR. TOAD and the result would wnd up being quite close to Nakamura's high energy delirium as offered in this outrageous animated film. It proves to be wild, unpredictable and captivating.
9. CLOSING (ATSUKO FUKUSHIMA & KATSUHIRO OTOMO) - Conclusion of storyline developed from opening sequence.
10. ENGLISH CREDITS
11. ROBOT CARNIVAL TRAILER
12. JAPANESE CREDITS - Alternative version of Japanese closing sequence with credits interspersed.
Note: Each segment was produced as a separate short film and the sequence as it appears on this laserdisc differs from the original Japanese and American VHS home video releases. It has been approved by Kazufumi Nomura as the correct viewing sequence optimized for laserdisc.
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