Jan 24, 2006
a remarkable day
Through a looking glass. A Miyazaki study of the title character from "Kiki's Delivery Service"
Today's Pixar-Disney news had me thinking of a long-ago evening...
CalArts, 1988: Glen Keane brought a clip of some film by a Japanese filmmaker few of us had ever heard of(anime wasn't big at CalArts), Miyazaki. My Neighbor Totoro.
It wasn't subtitled but the scene didn't need it: two girls waited by a forest bus stop for their father. It begins to rain. Suddenly, an enormous, bizarre, furry creature wearing a plant on his head is standing next to the girls, also, presumably, waiting for a bus. The first bus arrives--a cat-bus. The creature gets in, and gives the girls a present.
It was absolutely magical(hackneyed word, but perfect description). The impact of that short scene was palpable. Everyone--as far as I remember--was awed. Glen explained that they'd screened the film at Disney the week before and that it had profoundly impressed him. He next showed us a drawing he'd made after seeing the film: two lumberjacks in a forest, building houses. One man stands proudly next to his log cabin, assembled from his just-cut trees. The other guy has also cut a clearing; with his logs he's built a fairy-tale palace. With the same materials, how much more could be gotten?
To my friends in both places--this will be an exciting time for you(understatement of the year). I wish you all lots and lots of palaces--and a heck of a lot of fun building them.
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