Anime-influenced animation refers to non-Japanese works of animation that emulate certain aspects of the visual style of anime. Due to the Western anime community, the term anime has been coined to explicitly refer to Japanese animation. With the rise of anime's popularity it has become an integral part of animation produced in the Western world.
Generally, the term anime has been accepted to encapsulate animation produced explicitly in Japan. As anime became increasingly popular, Western animation studios began implementing some visual stylizations typical in anime—such as exaggerated facial expressions and "super deformed" versions of characters. In particular, works like The Batman, Teen Titans, Batman Beyond and Spiderman Unlimited displayed some characteristics of anime. Particularly for Batman Beyond, some of its production processes were outsourced to Japan.
The influence of anime on Western animation can be seen as far back as the 1980s, when animations such as Transformers were inspired by mecha anime (although the original Transformers animated series was Japanese-animated, and its accompanying toy-line were re-issues of Japanese toys, so this may not count as an example). The influence of mecha anime on the Transformers franchise continues today, with the creators of Transformers Animated citing relatively recent Gainax productions, specifically Diebuster and Gurren Lagann, as major influences.
The advent of anime stylizations appearing in Western animation questioned the established meaning of "anime." There are several Western animators who collaborated with anime creators while producing Western animations. For example, production on The Animatrix began when the Wachowskis visited some of the creators of the anime films that had been a strong influence on their work, and decided to collaborate with them. The collaboration between Western and Japanese animators dates back to the early 1980s, such as the Dungeons & Dragons animated series being a co-production between Marvel Animation and Toei Animation. A number of other American animations of the 1980s and 1990s were outsourced to Japanese anime studios, most notably TMS Entertainment, which animated popular television productions such as DuckTales, Batman: The Animated Series, Animaniacs, and Spider-Man.
Avatar: The Last Airbender is another example of a Western animation influenced by anime. Though not an anime because of its American origin, some fans consider it an anime because both its plot and style are very similar to ones normally seen in anime. One review has commented that "Avatar blurs the line between anime and (US) domestic cartoons until it becomes irrelevant." In addition, Avatar has many features of anime such as having a different color palette from other animated shows. Avatar creators Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino confirmed a particular anime influence in a magazine interview; that of "Hayao Miyazaki, especially Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke" as well as My Neighbor Totoro. Avatar also draws inspiration from the anime works of Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo, as well as FLCL of Gainax. Other various studios from which inspiration was drawn include Studio 4°C, Production I.G, and Studio Ghibli.
The Boondocks is a successful and controversial anime-influenced American animation based on the comic strip of the same name. Unlike the shows mentioned earlier, The Boondocks is aimed at adults and airs on Adult Swim, a mature-oriented TV network that shares channel space with Cartoon Network. Aaron McGruder, the creator of both the comic and the animation says in an interview that the series was influenced by his love of anime and manga. He cites Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo as sources of inspiration for the series' fight scenes. The opening sequence of season 1 is also remarkably similar to that of Samurai Champloo. Some of the humor is based on the characters' anime-style movements. The second season features segments animated by Japanese animation studio Madhouse. As a result, the second season of the series has more detailed animation as well as minor updates for most of the character designs.
Anime has also had an influence on Disney, Pixar and DreamWorks productions. Glen Keane, the animator for successful Disney films such as The Little Mermaid, The Rescuers Down Under, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and Tangled, has credited anime, specifically Hayao Miyazaki, as a "huge influence" on his work. Pete Docter, director of the popular films Up and Monsters, Inc. as well as a co-creator of other Pixar works, has also described anime, specifically Miyazaki, as an influence on his work. Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois described Miyazaki's flight and pacifist themes as an influence for creating How to Train Your Dragon.
Europe and Canada
Many French and Canadian animations have also been influenced by anime, such as the Totally Spies! series. The producers of the French anime Code Lyoko, one of most successful European animated series, explicitly stated in their introductory document that they were: "Influenced by the poetry and the visual impact of Japanese animation, the series proposes a graphic universe that's particularly original and strong." In 2007, the Canadian anime-style animated short Flutter became the first work from a non-Asian nation to win the Open Entries Grand Prize at the Tokyo Anime Awards.
New Zealand and Australia
The animations of this genus are almost scarce in this region. However a number of Brazilian comic Holy Avenger with strong features inspired by the manga was being produced, but ended up being canceled due to lack of experienced animators. Also various other Brazilian animated series to be arrived as planned Dogmons! and XDragoon (the latter became webcomic), but then canceled after the first episode. In 2014 will debut on Cartoon Network the animated version of Monica Teen based on a manga style comic book series based on Monica's Gang.
- "What is anime?". ANN. 2002-07-26. Archived from the original on 20 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-18.
- "What is anime?". AnimeNation. 2006-05-15. Archived from the original on 9 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-18.
- "Ask John: How Should the Word Anime Be Defined?". Animenation. 2006-05-15. Archived from the original on 9 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-18.
- "Ms. Answerman: The Internet Question Massacre". Rebecca Bundy, ANN. 2003-10-17. Retrieved 2007-08-09.
- "Preview of upcoming Transformers Animated characters". Transformers Animated. April 30, 2008. Retrieved 2010-02-09.
- "What is Animatrix?" feature on The Matrix Revisited DVD.
- Dungeons & Dragons at the Internet Movie Database
- "SciFi Channel Anime Review". SciFi. Archived from the original on 2006-05-09. Retrieved 2006-10-16.
- "Avatar: The Last Airbender Article". Animation World Magazine. 2005-02-18. Archived from the original on 17 December 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-16.
- ""In Their Elements." (September 2006) Nick Mag Presents, p. 6".
- Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino (2006-09-19). Book 1: Water, Box Set (DVD).
- "Anime Insider: December 2006". Retrieved 2007-03-20.
- Michael J. Lee (October 24, 2010), AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH GLEN KEANE, RadioFree.com
- Interview with Up Director Peter Docter. By Beth Accomando. KPBS. Published May 29, 2009.
- "Answerman: Saturday Surprise". Answerman. Anime News Network. 2002-07-13. Retrieved 2008-08-09.
- PDF (798 KB) Page 2, paragraph 2
- "Shia wins top prize". Regina Leader-Post. 24 March 2007. Retrieved 15 January 2011.