Toon-In Talk Episode 24: Interview with Jinko Gotoh

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Hello and welcome to twenty-fourth episode of Fanboy Nation’s Toon-In-Talk, your rendezvous for animation interviews.  It’s also time for the fourth round of interviews for the Ladies of Animation Month, Whitney Grace’s yearly tribute to women who work in the animation industry and mission to inspire girls to pursue their animated ambitions.  Jinko Gotoh is the executive producer on the new animated feature film The Little Prince directed by Mark Osborne.  Jinko has held various role in the animation industry, but she has made a well-respected name for herself as a producer. She’s produced Finding Nemo, 9, The Illusionist, and Escape From Planet Earth.  She has been an animation fan since she was little girl and made Whitney’s head flip after sharing a story about meeting Osamu Tezuka.

Episode 24

  • Jinko Gotoh is the executive producer on the upcoming animated film The Little Prince directed by Mark Osborne.
  • Jinko shares some tidbits about The Little Prince. The book it’s based on is one of the best selling books of all time.
  • For The Little Prince, the film will use two forms of animation. CGI will be used for the “real world” sequences and the book portions of the movie will be in stop motion.
  • Jinko started working on the film when director Mark Osborne sought out producers who knew how to make a quality film and work with the limited budget of an independent film.
  • There were other adaptations of The Little Prince, including a live action movie and a Japanese anime. Jinko didn’t watch any of them.
  • Producers are an integral part of the animation team. They work closely with the director and story to protect the integrity of the story, keep the project within the budget, and also keep production moving forward.
  • The first movie Jinko ever saw in theaters was Lady and the Tramp and she later had the honor of meeting the father of all Japanese animation Osamu Tezuka. These were key moments that inspired her to work in the animation industry.
  • She worked with computer animation way at the beginning as a computer programming, then she went to film school, and then Roger Rabbit changed things for her.
  • Jinko shares her experience while she worked on Space Jam and Disney’s
  • She has worked all over the board when it comes to animation and she is very grateful for the variety of experiences.
  • While working on Nine, Jinko says it was a challenge to animate characters that weren’t human and didn’t speak much. The film was difficult to animate, but was purposely made to look like it was simple.
  • It wasn’t difficult for Jinko to switch between traditional and computer animation when she worked on the French film The Illusionist, because there was artistic leadership.
  • Jinko wishes that there were more 2D animation films done in the United States. She and Whitney are both excited about the rerelease of The Iron Giant.
  • Jinko’s career has come full circle with the The Little Prince and she hopes it’s successful, so more independent animated films will be made.
  • She is a board member of the Women In Animation and she heads the chapter committee that establishes chapters around the globe.
  • There are Women In Animation chapters across the USA, but they are also located in Canada, France, Ireland, and India.
  • Jinko and Whitney discuss how animation is viewed in different countries. The French embrace animation as art. Two men from India actually came to Women In Animation to help them promote it among high school girls as the industry is rapidly growing in that country.
  • Women In Animation is about sharing knowledge, being available as a resource, and spurring change in the animation industry.
  • Jinko shares that there’s a huge discrepancy in the amount of female animation students versus how many actually work in the industry. The goal is to get 50/50 representation by 2025.
  • She ends the interviewing by declaring that people should follow their dreams.


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