Review of 'Stop Motion Animation which Never Stops: A Talk by Tsuneo Goda and Hirokazu Minegishi'

Stop motion animation is unusual in Japan but there are some notable exceptions. Tsuneo Goda is such an exception most notable for his “Domo” character that serves as a mascot for NHK (the Japanese state television broadcaster) International. Hirokazu Minegishi is an animator that often works with Goda to bring his creations to life (with a great deal of patience).

This talk was a free event hosted by The Japan Foundation at the wonderful Soho Curzon. The two animation greats talked for a good hour or so about how their famous creation, “Domo”, came about (the large open mouth is meant to look like a television - obviously in a nod to his sponsors) as well as how they developed their art with examples of their work displayed on the video screen. They were surprised how many in the rather small audience actually were familiar with Domo and even brought an actual “Domo” animation model (please don't touch) which they used to demonstrate how the model can be manipulated for filming (they do not create the models, that is done by modellers on the team). One thing the two mentioned is how much the British Aardman group (makers of Wallace and Gromit) had inspired them over the years and how the Japanese market largely ignore the stop-motion method of animation.

They spoke a small amount of English with much of the conversation via a translator. At the end of their talk they answered several questions from first Abigail Addison, a director of animation agency Animate Projects, then opened the floor to questions from the audience including several from a group of animation students as well as a young child.

An interesting and entertaining talk about an unusual method of animation from masters of the form. They were not the best speakers but what they had to say was very interesting and kept the enthusiastic audience enthralled throughout. The animation examples provided on the big screen did really serve to illustrate what they were saying and were entertaining.

Tsuneo Goda and Hirokazu Minegishi

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2018-09-25

Curzon Soho

Location: London (England)

Address: 99 Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1D 5DY ENGLAND

Public Transport: TUBE Leicester Square TUBE Piccadilly Circus


Showing a mixture of both mainstream and independent films, Curzon Soho is a beloved institution. There is a small restaurant/bar on the ground floor but also a large bar in the basement (despite the exterior, the cinema extends quite some way underground). The cinema screens are a good size with comfortable, modern seating.