Unico Producer Tsunemasa Hatano

Tezuka Fan Magazine with Unico on the cover.

Tezuka Fan Magazine
April 1983 Issue #38

Translated by Crystal “Xellis” Rider (3/21/2023)

“Unico” was completed one year later than expected.

Tsunemasa Hatano (Sanrio), producer of the movie “Unico”

— How does Unico look?

Hatano: It’s good. The previous film was aimed at young children, and I found it a little too much for me, but this one is quite enjoyable even for adults, so I think it’s quite good.

— This time, you had a synopsis by Tezuka-sensei and directed by Moribi Murano. As a producer, how do you feel about this combination?

Hatano: Tezuka-sensei’s synopsis was completed around September of 1981 with a slight delay, and if we followed his synopsis, it would have taken about two hours to complete, so we asked Mr. Murano to shorten it at the script stage. I asked Mr. Murano to revise the script because I had initially planned to make a roadshow with a double feature of “The Tale of the Fox” and Unico.

During the script writing stage, Tezuka-sensei and Mr. Murano had some differences in their ideas about Unico, so we started storyboarding when both sides were satisfied, and the initial storyboarding ran over time, so in the end we could not make it in time for the 1982 release. I wanted to make a solid film if I was going to make one, so I decided to postpone the release of the film until this summer vacation.

However, I can say now that there was a lot of messing around, the storyboard was not up to par, and in my heart, I thought Unico would never be finished.

— You must be very happy. This is a different topic, but since Mr. Murano was at the old Mushi Productions, he must have been very attentive to Tezuka-sensei.

Hatano: That’s right. That is why Mr. Murano started the storyboarding process with the thought, “this is what Tezuka-sensei would have done.”

— In this movie, the presence of Kukurukku was very interesting, and the animation technique was also eye-opening.

Hatano: The idea of Kukurukku changing shape and color while speaking came from Mr. Murano. Mr. Murano also found the theme song “Do Re Mi Fa Lullaby”. Also, Mr. Murano’s storyboard was amazing this time. It’s too bad I can’t show it to you.

— I just wondered, after seeing the film, if there was a need for Unico, because of the lack of Unico’s presence in the film.

Hatano: Yes, I once asked Tezuka-sensei about that. When I asked him, he said, “that’s fine with Unico. There is always another main character, and Unico is a supporting character.”

— Thank you very much.

(Interview at Sanrio Film Department, Feb. 2)

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1983 4月号


映画「ユニコ」プロデューサー 波多野恒正(サンリオ)


波多野  いいですね。前作は幼児向けのところがあって、僕としてはちよっと…というところがあったのですが、今回は大人が見てもけっこう楽しめるので、かなりのできだと思いますよ。

ー 今回は、手塚先生のシノプシス、村野守美さんの監督ということでしたが、プロデューサーとしては、この組み合わせはいかがですか。

波多野 手塚先生のシノプシスは、少しの遅れで56年9月ころにできまして、手塚先生のシノプシスどおりにやると、2時間くらいかかるというので、村野さんに脚本の段階で縮めてもらいました。というのは、当初「キタキツネ物語」とユニコの2 本立てでロードショーにしようと思っていたからなんです。



ー ホットしていらっしゃるところですね。話は違いますが、村野さんは旧虫プロにいらしたこともあり、手塚先生に関しては大変気を遣われたんじゃないですか。

波多野 そうですね。だから村野さんはコンテ制作に入るに当たっては「手塚先生だったらこうするだろうな……」といったことを思いうかべながら作ったそうです。

ー この映画で、ククルックの存在がすごく興味深かったですし、アニメーションの手法としても目を見はるものがありました。

波多野 ええあれはすごいでしよククルックが話しながら形や色を変えるというアイディアは村野さんから出たものです。それから主題歌の 『ドレミファララバイ』というのも村野さんがみつけてきたんです。それから、今回は村野さんのストーリーボードがすごかったです。お見せできないのが残念なくらいです。

ー ただ、この映画をみて、ユニコの存在感が薄くて、ユニコの必要性があるのかと思ったんですが。

波多野 うん、それはね僕も手塚先生に伺ったことがあるんです。そしたら手塚先生は「ユニコはそれでいいんです。必ず別の主役がいてユニコは脇役なんです」と言われました

ー ありがとうございました。


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