Paprika, the latest film by Satoshi Kon (Millenium Actress, Tokyo Godfathers), just opened in a few selected cities this weekend and hopefully more widely soon. I saw this movie a few weeks ago at the San Francisco Film Festival. I really enjoyed it. While I still absolutely recommend seeing it, parts of it maybe fell just a tad short of my really high expectations. I won’t get into the details of that as I hate spoilers … so let me just say that it’s really still amazingly refreshing and satisfying to see Satoshi Kon’s movies, in their best moments they are wonderfully challenging and thought provoking. Why most american animated films don’t even aspire to that?
This article brings up some of these kind of questions, mentioning also comparisons to unabashedly commercial movies such as Shrek 3. I have a feeling, sadly, that some of the answers to these questions are in the exorbitant box office of the above mentioned sequel. When these “by the numbers” movies make this much money you soon find even more studios and producers getting in line one after the other trying to make more of exactly this kind of uninspired film. It’s sad but it seems inevitable. I am curious to hear your thoughts on all this.
To close, I’d say this: you want to see more movies like Paprika? Go see it in a theater, it’s worth the money, and pass on the tired sequels.

4 Responses to “Paprika”

  1. Colleen Cox Says:

    Hey there – I found your blog through Kazu’s site, and I’ve stopped by your website to check out your work several times before. Love seeing what projects you are working on and what you are up to!
    I’m linking to your blog on my wordpress blog at:
    I’m excited to see more of your work – take care!

  2. cK Says:


    I have not seen Paprika but thanks for the tip. I will look out for it. I have a lot of thoughts about sequels not only for animation but movies in general. If the creative team originally thought about sequels, it makes sense. Godfather I and II, the original Star Wars triology. Sometimes, you have a creative team reflecting on the original and building on it ie. Scorsese’s brilliant take (Color of Money) on Rossen’s the Hustler. At other times, you have a creative force like Kurosawa that can take the samurai with no name and create completely original “Yogimbo” followed by equally original sequel “Sanjuro”. And lastly, the Indiana Jones triology were very refreshing al as it follows a comic book format of Carl Bark’s Uncle Scrooges where each story is fresh and unique adventure.

    What I find the most unappealing of today’s sequels is that they are caving into market research of what people want to see. It is wholly unoriginal. The background, character designs, lighting effects are based in most part on the original. Just a lot of jokes and gags. Shrek, Rush Hour, Bambi II, Cinderalla IV, blah blah blah.

    Sequels can be a wonderful thing but not by resting on your laurels.


    It was great seeing you at the Maverick’s auction. I am proud owner of original E-kun Sketchcrawl watercolor!!!!!

  3. Man Arenas Says:

    Satoshi Kon is a genius. just that.
    and talking about the “by the numbers” movies… those are a perversity, their commercial “philosophy” is killing the industry in Europe so far, where so called producers want only to copy that model of films.
    that’s why we have to support people works like Kon, because is a true Filmmaker, director like David Lynch, Kubrick, Takahata or Kurosawa…they’re extremely rare.

  4. Eric Says:

    This is exactly what I expected to find out after reading the title Paprika. Thanks for informative article