By Stuart A. Kallen

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Cherry blossoms falling on a character might represent the freshness of spring. But because cherry trees only bloom for a short time, the beauty is touched by sadness and can also represent the fleeting quality of life. This is in keeping with the widely held Japanese belief—and another recurring aspect of anime—that romantic love is more meaningful if it is tinged by tragedy. The supernatural thriller X/1999 is among many anime stories that use the Words in Context symbolism of cherry blossoms to signal anime changes in mood.

34 Wallace and Gromit In England Nick Park was another stop-motion clay animator whose work appealed to both adults and children. Park began work on the renowned clay animation Wallace and Gromit: A Grand Day Out when he was a twenty-four-year-old student in 1982. A Grand Day Out follows an absent-minded inventor, Wallace, and his dog, Gromit, as they build a rocket ship and travel to the moon in search of cheese. When Park began shooting A Grand Day Out, he expected the project to take one or two years.

The gorilla breaks free, kidnaps Darrow, and climbs the Empire State Building. Finally, King Kong is shot down by fighter planes. The producers of King Kong hired O’Brien and Delgado to create the gorilla. While in the movie it was estimated to be 50 feet (15 m) tall, the gorilla model crafted by O’Brien and Delgado was actually 18 inches (46 cm) high. The animators built King Kong from rubber and rabbit fur molded over a metal skeleton. For close-ups, O’Brien and Delgado created a full-scale hand large enough to hold Wray.

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