January 11, 1932|
|Died||February 16, 1990(aged 58)|
|Occupation||Director of animated films|
Tadanari Okamoto (岡本 忠成 Okamoto Tadanari, January 11, 1932 – February 16, 1990) was a Japanese independent animator. From 1965 until his death he completed at least 37 short subject films in a wide variety of mediums, eight of which have been awarded the Ōfuji Noburō Award at the Mainichi Film Awards (more than any other director in the history of the prize) and his films have altogether earned at least 24 other awards internationally. His work is also the subject a two-hour-long documentary The Magic Ballet, released in 1990, and in 2003 four of his films placed in a list of the best 150 animated films and series as voted for by practitioners and critics of animation from around the world in a survey commissioned by Tokyo's Laputa Animation Festival: most notably with The Magic Fox (おこんじょうるり Okon Jōruri, literally "The Ballad Drama of Okon", 1982), which came twenty-eighth.
After working at MOM Productions, known for its stop motion work for Rankin/Bass, he founded his own production company, Echo Incorporated, in 1964, and soon after made a trip to visit Czech animator and director Břetislav Pojar. One of his last films, "Metropolitan Museum" (メトロポリタンミュージアム Metoroporitanmyūjiamu, 1984), was commissioned and broadcast across the nation by NHK, the national public broadcasting organization of Japan, as one of their Minna no Uta interstitial programs. He died during the production of The Restaurant of Many Orders (注文の多い料理店 Chūmon no Ōi Ryōriten, also known as "A Well-ordered Restaurant"), an adaptation of the Kenji Miyazawa story of the same name for which he enlisted the talents of Reiko Okuyama, a former Tōei Dōga animator and animation director who had for many years abandoned animation in favour of illustration, including copperplate engraving, to aid in realising the engraving-inspired visual style envisioned for the film. Posthumously completed under the supervision of Kihachirō Kawamoto, it débuted in 1991 and was awarded with, amongst others, that year's Ōfuji Noburō and Minister of Education prizes (the latter being an NHK Japan Prize for achievement in an audiovisual work relevant to primary education) and prompted a special lifetime achievement Mainichi Film Award for Okamoto.
A selection of Okamoto's films was released on Laserdisc on August 24, 1986 and re-released on September 25, 1994. A more complete collection is to be released across three DVD-Video discs on June 24, 2009: these will be available separately or as a box set, exclusive to which will be a fourth disc of additional materials such as university and advertising work.
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- Belianski, Eugene. "150 best animations of all time (from 2003 Laputa Festival)". Animatsiya in English. Retrieved 2009-06-17.
- "Anime Thater Selection: Tadanari Okamoto screening". Tokyo Art Beat. Retrieved 2009-06-17.
- MacInnes, Daniel Thomas (2007-09-17). "Reiko Okuyama has passed away". Conversations on Ghibli. Retrieved 2009-06-17.
- "What is Japan Prize?". NHK Japan Prize. Retrieved 2009-06-17.
- "Tadanari Okamoto DVD box on June 24". AniPages Daily. 2009-06-15. Retrieved 2009-06-18.
- "Tadanari Okamoto Zensakuhin Shu DVD box". CDJapan. Retrieved 2009-06-18.