Social Impact11 February 2021
Today, Netflix is one of the largest producers of anime. We’re partnering with artists and creators from Japan and across the world. I’ve always believed the potential for animation is limitless; it’s a wondrous craft that breaks all boundaries of expression that is not always possible through the camera. Whether it is a red panda tiptoeing through a minefield of corporate battles, or a manga creator enmeshed in paranormal events..
It is artists with extraordinary craftsmanship behind the stories that breathe life into your favorite character, cut by cut. However in Japan, animators have become a scarce profession compared to its rapidly growing demand. We want to change that.
Supporting the future of anime
Netflix is supporting the launch of WIT Animator Academy, a six-month animator training program by Japanese animation studio WIT Studio and animation school Sasayuri. Starting this April, Netflix will support this initiative through meaningful consultation of their curriculum developed by Sasayuri.
Additionally, Netflix will financially support approximately 10 successful applicants by lifting their tuition and living expenses through the duration of the program. This way, students can focus on immersing themselves in a bespoke, robust training program. Graduates will continue working on WIT Studio projects, including Netflix original anime.
Connecting experienced talent
It’s one thing to have a flourishing career as a talented animator. But we also think there’s opportunity for experienced animators to pass on their talent to younger generations through a structured program.
I am thrilled that Hitomi Tateno from Sasayuri will join as one of the main instructors. She brings almost 30 years of experience reviewing animation at the renowned Studio Ghibli overseeing films like My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away. The program will also invite veteran animators at WIT Studio to mentor budding animators. We hope this will create a meaningful cycle of connecting, and bolstering best-in-class talent who make the future of anime.