Saiei is of course a great source for the raw watcher who’s interested in ancient gems that nobody’s heard of. They recently added three new movies, among which is Andersen Monogatari. Having never heard of the movie, I expected to see some WMT-esque kaleidoscope through Hans Christian Andersen’s most well known stories.
What I got… was something completely different.
For those who thought that anime in its infancy has no creativity whatsoever when compared to today’s standards…. this movie is here to prove you wrong. The movie was produced in 1968, and seriously: it’s one heck of a crack job. The movie somehow features Hans Christan Andersen as a ten year old boy, and we see his childhood through all sorts of references to the stories and characters that he later was going to write, helped by… a bratty cat, a bunch of mice and a very weird old guy who flies with an umbrella. I wouldn’t be surprised if the creators were under influence of god knows what sort of drug when they wrote this.
Ultimately though, despite all of the weirdness it’s a pretty good fantasy movie, and especially the kids will love the singing and all of the random ideas and fantasies thrown at the screen. As for the more older viewers, it’s obviously going to be a matter of taste: it’s not for everyone, but if you’re into the childish stuff (and don’t care how childish you can get) and happen to locate this movie, then it’s a pretty good recommendation. The animation is also its time very far ahead for an anime that was produced in the sixties. As for myself, there were some particular scenes where I really burst out with laughing (that dog was awesome), and the few serious parts are also really nicely integrated with the randomness of the rest of the movie. Just don’t expect any common sense in this one.