SMAP’s Shingo Katori (33) will voice the lead character in Japan’s first feature length 3D animation movie, “friends もののけ島のナキ (Mononoke-jima no Naki, Naki from Mononoke Island)”, reports Sports Hochi, Sankei Sports, and Mainichi Shinbum Digital.
The film is based on the Japanese fairytale “泣いた赤おに (Naita Aka-oni, The Red Ogre who Cried)”, where two ogres (or demons) – red ogre Naki and blue ogre Gunjo – find a human child, which starts off their adventure.
It has been reported Katori was feeling positive about the film.
“When I read the script, I couldn’t help but laugh at the characters on Mononoke, but at the end I was crying so much.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how my red ogre characters turns out. Because it’s 3D animation, I can’t wait to see Naki, the red ogre, jump out in front of everyone,” he said.
The director of the movie, Takashi Yamazaki, who has recently worked with SMAP’s Takuya Kimura on sci-fi movie “Yamato”, had said he had been working on the film since January last year.
“This story had a huge impact on me when I was a kid and I had always wanted to make it into a film.
“(Katori has) an amazing ability to make his character believable. You can see his kindness in the shades of his red ogre wildness,” he said.
The director also said he hopes the movie will be put in a new category of anime films, different from Studio Ghibli or PIXAR movies, and also hopes it will be released internationally.
The original “泣いた赤おに (Naita Aka-oni, The Red Ogre who Cried)” fairytale tells the story of a red ogre who has a dream of becoming friends with the humans in a nearby village. To make this dream come true, the red ogre’s best friend, the blue ogre, deliberately attacks the village to make himself the enemy and makes sure he gets beaten up by the red ogre so his friend can earn the villagers’ trust. Afterwards, to make sure the villagers don’t find out the truth, the blue ogre sneaks out and never returns. The story ends with the red ogre crying as he finds out the sacrifice his friend had made for him.
“friends Mononoke-jima no Naki” will be released in cinemas in December 2011.