Goro Miyazaki doesn’t have it easy. As the son of Hayao Miyazaki, and heir apparent to Studio Ghibli, which is responsible for some of the best animated features of the last 25 years, from “My Neighbor Totoro” to “Ponyo,” Mr. Miyazaki has some pretty big shoes to fill. So it’s not surprising that his second film,”From Up on Poppy Hill,” keeps things modest.
Goro directs a script written by his father and adapted from a girls’ manga series from 1980, and the result is sort of plain. Flashes of potential can be seen here and there, but there’s very little magic.
Animator and artist J.Walt takes his stage name from Walt Disney, who he counts as a huge influence. But Uncle Walt never could have dreamed of the technology and the hallucinogenic imagination that goes into J. Walt’s work.
Set to show tonight through Sunday at Center Stage Theater, “Spontaneous Fantasia” takes the viewer on a spin through huge virtual worlds that J.Walt creates live using a drawing tablet and a joystick. Its name is just another tribute to his entertainment hero. Years ago, this sort of mind-bending journey would have taken months and months to assemble and process. But with modern processor speed and graphics cards able to crunch numbers at an incredible rate, J.Walt’s movies are now created in the same way that a jazz musician would improvise a melody.