Dozens of Japan's Earliest Animated Films Put Online to Mark 100 Years of Anime

Courtesy of National Film Center, the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
'The Dull Sword'

'Japanese Animated Film Classics' features 64 of the oldest animations, available with English subtitles.

To mark a century of Japanese animation, the Film Center at Tokyo's National Museum of Modern Art has posted 64 short films from 1917 to 1941 on a Japanese Animated Film Classics website.

The films include The Dull Sword from 1917, credited as the oldest surviving Japanese animated production. Other works include Japanese and Western fairy tales, public information films and pre-war propaganda films.

"While digitizing the film archives we created a research team in 2014 to look at ways to preserve and use them. So we selected a wide range of films, mostly that were in the public domain because the copyright had expired, to create Japanese Animated Film Classics," Kazuki Miura, from the research team at the Film Center, told The Hollywood Reporter.

"We decided to put English subtitles on the films so they would be accessible to people from around the world."

The website is in Japanese, but all film titles are listed in English and have English subtitles. A full English version of the website is scheduled to come online in the coming months.

The films will be available until the end of this year.


 

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