• "Suzume" is a total success about the adventures of a teenager trying to save Japan threatened by natural disasters.
  • She is helped by an animated chair to accomplish her perilous mission.
  • "Suzume" is a total success carried away by a director at the peak of his talent.

But how does Makoto Shinkai, director of Your Name and Children of Time renew himself with each film? The magnificent Suzume gives the impression that it reinvents itself by telling the story of a teenager who tries to close magical doors to prevent natural disasters (tsunami, earthquake...) from entering the human world and destroying Japan. She is supported by a crisp animated chair.

"I wanted to make entertainment based on a sad subject," the filmmaker told 20 Minutes. That's why I chose that the heroine's partner is a cute object that makes the spectators crack. The handsome kid who was originally tasked with Suzume's mission is suddenly transformed into a chair by a mischievous cat. But not just any: a living seat with three legs, which is a find as the director manages to make it expressive.

A childhood memory

"It came from two things," he recalls. My own childhood, first, when my father made me a chair with his hands, giving me the impression that I had my own room. But also Luxo, the animated lamp that serves as Pixar's logo and has influenced animators around the world. Makoto Shikai transforms this trivial object into a true hero whose feelings are clear to the viewer. "I didn't do anything exceptional," he insists, modestly. I just used normal 3D animation, everything happens in the viewer's head. »

We believe the chair endowed with life when she hops to pursue the cat that gave her this impractical shape or when she falls asleep in a position reminiscent of a kid falling asleep. "The chair has only three legs because it makes it more touching when it moves," says Shinkai. This brings him an unbalanced movement very interesting to animate. It also shows that we can survive even when we lack something, which is also the case of Suzume who lost her mother. »

Guillermo del Toro conquered

Suzume and his adventure companion won the hearts of Asian audiences who made them triumph at the box office in Japan, China and South Korea. This animated gem evokes the resilience of its characters in an epic and poetic way. "I added a touch of feminism maybe because I'm the father of a girl," admits the filmmaker. This completes to make Suzume a great film appreciated, among others, by Guillermo del Toro.

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