Cover Art Comparison: Summer Wars

Knowing that Hosoda has a new film coming soon(ish), I thought I’d do a quick comparison of some posters from one of his previous hits: Summer Wars.

It’s obviously clear that you’re being told this movie will feature an ensemble cast from both images, but Natsuki seems a bit less capable in the poster for the left, compared to the right. Technology is clearly important in both images, but the real world setting on the left is clear too.

To me it feels like the ‘original’ poster on the left places emphasis on romance, comedy and maybe drama, whereas the ‘international’ one seems to be more about action and science fiction, due to the avatars. (Of course, I don’t know whether each region got two variants etc so ‘original’ and ‘international’ here is probably not accurate).

There’s also this one – which was maybe a ‘coming soon’ poster, based on my (admittedly poor) memory, which I also like:


Sort of covering similar ground as before – showing an ensemble cast, hinting at drama and action maybe, but no hints of the technological elements (at least visually).

Similar ‘determination’ pose from Natsuki and here, Kenji is a bit ‘lost’ in the crowd.

So, how about you – do you prefer one over the others?

Cover Art Comparison: Escaflowne (Movie)

To wrap up the month, here’s another short post – a second entry in what I might make a regular thing, a bit of ‘Cover Art Comparison’.

Last time I went with Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit and its new box art, but today I’ve got something a bit older, with the Escaflowne movie.

There two aren’t split between ‘reissue’ and ‘old’ cover art, but what I thought was the International poster/dvd/blu-ray is on the left with the Japanese one on the right… but now I’m not sure if that’s actually the way the promotional material worked at all 😀

In any event, I think the left speaks to the tone of the movie a lot better – more shadow, more sense of menace with the sword signalling violence but the moons and Hitomi floating speaking to the fantastical. It also has some of the ensemble feel, and probably puts Van as ‘lead’.

Obviously, in contrast on the right there’s so much soothing blue, feathers and a sense of calm and repose to Hitomi. When I see this, I could almost think romantic fantasy/school drama with her as the obvious lead. Yet that winged skeleton has a touch of darkness to it.

Each version has a different purposes too, I think, in terms of speaking to differing audiences and with the art on the right, I wonder if it was always used as the ‘ultimate’ edition, for re-issues etc.


Over to you – got a fav between the two?

(There’s also this one I found on IMDB but don’t think I’ve ever seen on disc, must have just been a poster – really working the live action conventions of an action/fantasy movie poster I reckon).

Sleeping Beauty (1959)

Sleeping Beauty (1959)

Upon re-watching Sleeping Beauty recently I was fascinated to realise that the three fairies are pretty much the main characters 🙂

Obviously they’re not the only characters, but they probably have the most screentime for one and they also take many of the important risks. Flora, Fauna and Merryweather also devise all the plans, in addition to providing the only good comic relief while at the same time being responsible for saving everyone around them!

Of course Auroa and Phillpip have nice singing voices but I think for a lot of people Maleficent stands out most in terms of character – she’s a pretty superb villain, capable of true cruelty, and her colour scheme of green, purple and black is unnerving too.

Visually, I was enthralled.

It wasn’t just the tremendous dragon/forest of thorns scene, but elsewhere too, the art and backgrounds for Sleeping Beauty are amazing – the detail on the bark upon the trees alone is just so great!

The whole forest, really – especially with those distinctive shapes and textures, but many of the castle scenes stood out too. I really liked the illusion of depth there, via that amazing multi-plane camera set up Disney was known for.

However, I was interested to hear something quite dull from director Geronimi – who I believe was unhappy with the art direction and backgrounds by Eyvind Earle, feeling that no-one would even look backgrounds. What a fool, huh? 😀

Sure, I doubt kids of the day would have cared that much but I would like to think that surely, one part of why Sleeping Beauty has endured over other Disney films has to be the art, because I don’t think the film stands above several other Disney titles around due to its storytelling, which I thought was pretty uneven.

On that claim, there’s a bit too much time spent on what I’d call filler, I guess – my favourite example being the two kings in that endless scene where they discuss and agree to things which have already been agreed to.

Even so, I’m really glad I watched this again because if I hadn’t, I would have missed out on some amazing stuff, especially the work of Eyvind Earle.

4 Stars (one of which is probably for the art alone)

By the power of Grayskull!

Cover Art Comparison: Moribito Guardian of the Spirit

Today I wanted to quickly change pace and post something short (same with my next post, actually) and so I thought it’d be fun to quickly look at some cover art.

This little idea was sparked by the pending re-release of one of my favourites – Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit and its new box art.

I love the new cover for its brighter colours, but perhaps what’s more important is that this one is also more indicative of what’s inside, in terms of storyline.

For instance, if I glance at the original (which is pretty close to what my DVD looks like) then I can remember exactly what I first thought upon seeing that cover – that this anime will be an action series with a ‘band of heroes’ feel.

Of course, the folks pictured with Balsa aren’t her companions and the story’s not really about a fellowship with a common goal, either.

The old art certainly does signal ‘action’ for genre, which is no lie, but the new artwork evokes the idea that Balsa must protect someone, and places great importance upon that pairing, since they’re the only two portrayed. And, of course you’ve still got her spear and so the ‘action’ is still signaled, but this time, so is the drama.

Okay! I controlled my rambling – how about you, got a fav between the two? Or a fav update to some classic art?