That's not just failure to preserve, that's outright neglect and disrespect. Could they not have just sent it back to Disney, or would they have "lost face" in doing that?sensei wrote:Concerning the way in which animation art has been "treasured" in Japan, consider the fate of an exhibition of original set-ups that Disney put together from its archives for a Japanese tour tp promote the release of the dubbed "Sleeping Beauty" feature film. This was discussed in this March 2008 thread. (Link to the original NYT article is here in case there is a problem linking to this earlier thread.)
Briefly, Walt Disney loaned original set-ups from the early Technicolor "Silly Symphony" shorts, plus original bgs from Fantasia and both concept and production art from Sleeping Beauty, some 200 items in all. At the end of the tour, Disney donated the whole show to the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo. "But the material was not considered a good fit for its permanent collection," the Times article explained, "so the museum gave the pieces to Chiba University to enhance the study of the visual arts." Chiba University, a national institution formed from a coalition of medical and polytechnical colleges, did not have any immediate interest in or use for the collection either. So the collection was stored in a janitor's closet from 1960 to 2004, when it was found by chance. After extensive rehabilitation work by Disney archivists, the collection was given another tour, then returned to Disney, as Chiba did not feel that it had the proper facilities to maintain the art. So now these "national treasures" are back in Anaheim.
One wonders what effort any archive, museum, or gallery in Japan will be willing to devote to maintaining the "national treasures" of Japanese anime art? Certainly nothing like what each of us does to rehabilitate and maintain the art we obtain. Not to mention the effort many of us give to using it in an educational way to promote knowledge and appreciation of animation as an important artform.
I sometimes worry about my ability to preserve the pieces I collect. I don't really have the best setup for it. Even if I fail at that in some respects, at least I do appreciate them. This did not even show a basic from of appreciation.
My understanding was that supposedly much of anime's characteristic style is based on vintage Disney. If that's true, this way of handling what I suspect are some of their most prized extant pieces is particularly ironic.