A Thousand & One Nights

6/14/1969 Movie 128 minutes Mushi Productions (distributed by Nihon Herald Eiga)
Key animation
See Sub Rosa entry for credits
The first Japanese animated film aimed at an adult audience. Late in 1986, a discussion session hosted by producer TOMIOKA Atsushi was held for each of the Animerama films, and included as a second audio track on the LD re-issues of these films by Pony Canyon. Watching 1001 Nights were director YAMAMOTO Eiichi, character designer/art director YANASE Takashi, and key animator MIYAMOTO Sadao. These discussion are an invaluable resource which have provided me with the following anecdotes regarding who was responsible for what in these films. As in Cleopatra, one of the things which makes these Animerama films unique is their "one animator - one character" approach, in which one animator is wholly reponsible for animating one particular character throughout the film. The result blends together better than might be expected. Miyamoto did the protagonist Aldin and the antagonist Badli. NAKAMURA Kazuko did Miriam, Jalis and Aslan. Hata animated at least Shaliman, Hazlam and the fat man on the ship. SUGII Gisaburô did the dancing thieves scene in Alibaba's cave. Yamamoto stated that Sugii was so good at doing erotic scenes that he was given the job of animating most of them in both 1001 Nights and Cleopatra. This was as much of a surprise to Sugii as it was to anybody else, coming from the director of the sublimely cartoony Gokû's Big Adventure. These are the unmistakable love-scenes consisting wholly of highly suggestive, flowing, intermeshing lines. DEZAKI Osamu did the scene in the desert where Aldin attacks Badli, a scene filled the cuts and camera angles which would later become distinctive of Dezaki's oeuvre. TEZUKA Osamu himself animated several sequences, including the sequence beginning from the point where the amazoness on the island transforms into a snake in the bedchamber to where Aldin jumps off the cliff, as well as the sequences where the female genie transforms and the lions in the lion pit. The genies themselves, whose parlay is immediately identifiable (to a Japanese native) as the traditional manzai comic style, were animated by TSUKIOKA Sadao, a veteran who started out during the Nichidô era and whose representative work is Ôkami Shônen Ken. Miyamoto commented that Nakamura and he put a tremendous amount of work and energy into the love scene of Jalis and Aslan. The very last shot of Aldin walking off was animated by SEYAMA Shinji, a promising animator who sadly passed away only a few years after 1001 Nights.

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