Paprika on DVD: Satoshi Kon’s Anime
Fantasy Contains Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes
Through a kaleidoscope of colorful images, the animated science fiction/fantasy Paprika merges reality with the dream world.
The Story of Paprika
Based on the novel by Yasutaka Tsutsui, this animated film (dubbed in Japanese, English, French,
and Spanish, and with subtitle options) tells the story of Dr. Atsuko Chiba (voice of Megumi Hayashibara), a Japanese research psychotherapist helping her patients with their troubling dreams. She enters their dreams using an experimental invention by one of her co-workers called a “DC Mini,” which allows her alter-ego Paprika, to aid patients during
their dreams while the whole thing is recorded on a computer for later analysis.
When one of the prototype headpieces disappears, her boss and eventually her co-workers begin losing their sanity as a collective dream takes over. Though filled with colorful childlike images, the dream (taken from a delusional patient at the research clinic) becomes an imminent threat as it invades people’s waking minds to the exclusion of all else. Although they disagree on just about everything, Dr. Chiba and Paprika must join forces in the real world and the dream world to save humanity from an unknown force that hopes to use the collective dream to fulfill his desire for unlimited power.
DVD Bonus Features
As interesting and unusual as Paprika is to watch, these bonus features highlight even more of the fascinating aspects about the sounds, sights, and themes of the film. For anyone interested in learning the secrets of anime, these bonus features are a great place to start.
The Making-of Documentary “Tsutsui and Kon’s Paprika” provides a detailed and informative look behind the scenes. The author and director discuss their unique visions for Paprika, including the revelations that Tsutsui used his own dreams to create the complicated dream sequences in his novel and that Satoshi Kon’s main goal in directing and writing the film was to successfully blend a functional plot with the atmosphere of a dream. The documentary follows the creation of the art, development of the story, recording of the voices (Tsutsui and Kon have small parts as bartenders in an Internet café), and screenings at film festivals around the world.
Other DVD extras include the shorter featurettes “A Conversation About the ‘Dream’” in which actors, director, and author discuss aspects of the dream world in the film, “The Dream CG World” where the painstaking (and highly creative) details of computer animation in the film are revealed, and “The Art of Fantasy” in which the art direction for background scenes reveals how the real world and dream world differ in their representations.
Viewers needs to be aware, this movie does contain explicit scenes and mild nudity with a rating of R.