557. Jumping – Osamu Tezuka

sundaenewyork

SUMMARY: An unseen child protagonist moves across the world in a series of progressively longer and higher jumps.

WHY IT’S HERE: Japanese manga artist Osamu Tezuka secured his place in cartoon history early in his career when he created ‘Astro Boy’. While he may be better known as a comics artist, Tezuka also made some brilliant animated shorts, of which ‘Jumping’ is perhaps the most remarkable. Shown entirely from the point of view of a child whose playful jumping up and down in a small suburban neighbourhood suddenly and inexplicably takes on superhuman qualities, ‘Jumping’ takes us round the world in progressively massive leaps and bounds. The artwork and animation is fantastic and the amount of detail makes ‘Jumping’ endlessly rewatchable. Each time the protagonist lands we are shown the briefest snatch of a scene before taking off again. Some are funny, some troubling, some surreal. Even while in the air, there is plenty of detail to take in. While bounding through a metropolis, for instance, the keen eyed or habitual freeze-framers among us will glimpse C3PO and R2D2 in the window of a large office block. Much praised for its use of POV animation before CGI, Tezuka’s ‘Jumping’ is a mini-masterpiece of 80s animation.

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