A Visual Tour of Toei Doga
The first decade of features.
Happy Thursday! This issue of the Animation Obsessive newsletter is about the studio that revolutionized Japanese animation: Toei Doga.
You’ve probably heard the name. Beginning with its feature film Panda and the Magic Serpent (1958), Toei Doga started a new age for animators in Japan. Many of the people who later defined the country’s animation — Hayao Miyazaki, Isao Takahata, Yasuo Otsuka, Rintaro, Osamu Tezuka and more — spent time there.
This is no secret. But what’s not as well known is what the studio actually made. A few of its films are famous today, but most aren’t, and most haven’t had good re-releases outside Japan. We’re exploring the pivotal first 10 years of them today.
Like our visual tour of Viktor Kubal from last year, this issue is an overview of Toei Doga in images — with some text to guide the way. Consider it an introduction to (or a refresher on) the team that changed Japanese animation forever.
Here we go!