Japanese Anime Star Doraemon Finally Makes U.S. Debut
To celebrate the 80th birthday of the late manga artist and "Doraemon" creator Fujiko F. Fujio, the robotic cat from the 22nd century will get his first 3-D CG feature film in summer 2014 titled "Stand By Me Doraemon."
Doraemon has been one of Japan's most favorite characters for more than 40 years after it was introduced in 1969.
A new "Doraemon" feature film adaptation has been released in the spring each year, with "Eiga Doraemon: Shin Nobita no Daimakyo" (Movie Doraemon: New Nobita's Haunts of Evil) being the latest offering. But "Stand By Me Doraemon" is being produced by different staff members.
The story will be reconstructed from particularly popular episodes from the first, sixth and 25th volumes of the original comic book series with new elements.
Known for producing futuristic gadgets and tools from his "four-dimensional pocket," Doraemon is widely popular across the world, especially in Asia.
The full-CG adaptation will be co-helmed by "Always--Sunset on Third Street" series director Takashi Yamazaki and Ryuichi Yagi, who co-directed the CG anime film "Friends: Naki on the Monster Island" with Yamazaki.
To seek realism for the new stereoscopic movie, miniature models and real objects are used for the backgrounds. The dialogue was recorded before production staffers created the CG sequences to match the voices and facial expressions of the voice-over artists. In Japan, the dialogue is usually recorded afterward.
The film is being produced by Shin-Ei Animation Co., a 2-D animation studio responsible for the "Doraemon" anime franchise, and Japan's leading CG production houses Shirogumi Inc. and Robot Communications Inc.