“May you live in interesting times.” – Ancient Chinese curse.
Tag Archives: My Neighbor Totoro
SAVE THE TOTORO FOREST!!!
As regular readers know I am slavishly devoted to master animator Hayao Miyazaki and consider his movie My Neighbor Totoro which was released 20 years ago to be one of the greatest films ever made. Now Sayama Forest, also known as Totor Forest, which inspired Miyazaki to create the movie is the focus of an effort to save it from further destruction by developers.
In artistic terms this wood is the equivalent of Monet’s gardens at Giverny or Arles for van Gogh and Gaugin.
The Totoro Forest Project is the brainchild of Enrico Casarosa and Dice Tsutsumi and has not surprisingly received the enthusiastic support of Pixar.
I quote from Animation Magazine:
Artists from around the world were asked to come up with artwork inspired by the gentle creature depicted in the landmark movie. Over 200 original pieces from internationally acclaimed artists and animators—William Joyce, Andreas Deja, Timothy Lamb, Ronnie del Carmen, Ralph Eggleston, Pete Docter and Peter de Seve, to name a few—are featured in this one-of-a-kind event which tries to answer the question “What is your Totoro?” The auction will be held at Pixar Animation Studio on September 6th. A companion art book, edited by Karen Paik (The Story of Pixar), will also be available at the event. Selected artwork from the Totoro auction will be featured as two special exhibitions at The Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco (Exhibit A: Sept. 26-Dec. 7; Exhibit B: Nov. 6-Feb. 20).
The website is truly awesome: Totoro Forest Project.
Now to figure out how to get to San Francisco.
WALL*E is amazingly good
In no particular order the greatest animated movies I’ve ever seen are:
- The Triplets of Belleville
- Spirited Away
- Finding Nemo
- Millennium Actress
- Iron Giant
- My Neighbor Totoro
- A Close Shave, The Wrong Trousers & A Grand Day Out a.k.a. the collected shorter works of Wallace & Gromit. (Hey, it’s my list and I say they are a movie).
- Princess Mononoke
- Porco Rosso
All of these are among the greatest movies ever made PERIOD.
Add to that list, WALL*E. Even by Pixar’s admittedly high standards, WALL*E is exceptional. If it doesn’t have the characters as complex as some other movies it is because it is a fable. In that respect it has a lot in common with Edward Scissorhands.
WALL*E is tells a fine, simple (not obvious) story superbly. (I’m going to stay away from plot synopsis. Go see it. We’ll talk.) It is essentially a silent movie, a great and bold decision (and something it shares with Triplets). In addition to being a fine filet of consumer culture, W also includes an extended comment on the sterility of life in a controlled environment designed for nothing but amusement. That would be the bread and butter of Pixar’s life-partner Disney. Is this:
- a cynical comment by a company that makes its money from these parks; or
- a truly subversive effort to sway the people who make The Land of Mouse so profitable?
Not sure. But I do know it’s great.
I could go on but I’m tired and heading off for vacation. See you all in a week.