Disney pens love letter to Japan with robot film

John Lasetter, right, chief creative officer at Pixar, Walt Disney Animation Studios and Disney Toon Studios, poses with Japanese actors during the Tokyo Film Festival.

John Lasetter, right, chief creative officer at Pixar, Walt Disney Animation Studios and Disney Toon Studios, poses with Japanese actors during the Tokyo Film Festival.

TOKYO: Disney executives call their next film “a love letter to Japanese culture.” No wonder: This nation can’t get enough of animation, especially Disney’s.

Walt Disney Animation Studios is practically bending backward to woo Japanese moviegoers after the stupendous success of “Frozen.” The fifth-highest-grossing movie of all time made more than $250 million of its total in Japan alone, nearly a third of its overseas numbers and more than five times what it made in France, according to Box Office Mojo.

“Frozen” is third of all time in Japan, behind “Titanic” and Japanese animation classic “Spirited Away,” delivering success that even Disney executives acknowledge was surprising.

Following “Frozen” into theaters in the country that is the birthplace of manga and Hello Kitty is “Big Hero 6,” which stars a Japanese whiz kid as its hero, aptly named Hiro.

Disney shows its love for Japan by setting the story in a picturesque town that’s a cross between Tokyo and San Francisco, San Fransokyo, complete with cable cars and futuristic trains.

 
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