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Today, I'd like to celebrate¬†Paul Grimault¬†and¬†St Exupery.
Concerning Grimault, I definitely agree with Wikipedia's definition: He "was one of the most important French animators. He made many traditionnaly animated films that were delicate in style, satirical, and lyrical in nature".
Delicate¬†in style,¬†satirical¬†and¬†lyrical, exactly what I'd like to do in our games, but the road is long...
And I believe that we, french game designers, programmers and animators, should follow his path.
And concerning¬†St Exupery, he was great at telling stories, a hard worker, and he gave us what we should always have in mind: "Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."
We, again french game designers, programmers and animators, tend to look overseas to japan and praise the work of¬†Ueda¬†and¬†Miyazaki, when they tend to look overseas in the other direction and praise the work of Grimault and St Exupery... Both Ueda and Miyazaki admitted that their work is inspired by them.
Just read again "Wind, sands and stars" ("Terres des hommes" St Exupery, 1938) or "The little prince" (St Exupery, 1943) and watch again the wonderful "Le roi et l'oiseau" (Grimault Masterpiece) and "La table tournante" (wonderful short animated movies) and then view again the movies from¬†Ghibli, or play again with"Ico" and "Shadow of the Colossus" and you'll understand.
So what is wrong with us? I believe it's just that we forgot our inheritance... Freud would say that we killed our father in order to be the father ourselves, but a dead father... No... seriously, I just think that we believed that the grass was greener in US and Japan... when Ueda, Miyazaki and others thought the same but in the opposite direction...
So now that we are supposed to be (a french movie and game industry) grown up, we have to celebrate our fathers and claim back our heritance! "French touch" is a lie, read this excellent document (in french) :¬†http://www.jeuxvideo.com/dossiers/00013256/jeux-video-la-french-touch-2-la-methode-french-touch-imagination-entraide-et-rivalite-eric-chahi-et-delphine-software-002.htm
Actually the "French touch" everyone talks about is just to come... It's our job to make it real!