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It’s the weekend, so we are watching the Doctor. We are almost done with Season Two. Soon we will have to say good-bye to Rose. It’s tough to get enough. I am sure that they can’t make them fast enough.
NAUSICA OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND (1992) was the first film of Studio Ghibli (even before they were Studio Ghibili!). It’s got everything in it, from the first seeds of steampunk, robots, a great female youthful heroine, and an environmental message (plus another one of how aggression is often a cry for love…). We’ve watched it numerous times, have the figures, and our very own pet fox-squirrel.Tweet
The new film from Hayao Miyazaki will open in Japan this month. So the countdown for it coming stateside has begun. It’s already being called a classic.
The title character, Ponyo, is a girl fish with a human face who decides one day to leave her underwater home — and her school of smaller sisters — to see what lies on the surface. Riding on the back of a jellyfish, she is nearly trapped by a drift net, but escapes — with her head stuck in a glass jar. Sosuke , a boy who lives on a house on a seaside cliff, spots Ponyo in the shallows and rescues her. He is delighted with his new pet — and Ponyo is delighted to be in the human world at last. She says her first words, to Sosuke’s astonishment — and begins a transformation from half-fish to human.Meanwhile, her human father, Fujimoto, who lives in an undersea manse with Ponyo’s sea-queen mother, starts to search for her. With his long hair, beaky nose and tormented, bags-under-the-eyes expression, Fujimoto looks like a decayed aristocrat from a shojo manga (girls’ comic), but he possesses magical powers over the waves, which become like living creatures under his command. What can a mere kid, if one with a feisty mom he calls Lisa, and a good-natured, if mostly absent, ship-captain dad, do to stop him?
Lee Seong-kang’s MY BEAUTIFUL GIRL MARI (2002) was one of our great film discoveries this year. The animation is beautiful and inventive. It’s the story of a young boy who seems to have everyone around him always leaving him. He seems to find a solution by entering a dream world, where he meets Mari. Seeing it’s set during his summer vacation there’s no better time to watch it than right now. We’d say appropriate for age 7+.Tweet
The 50 Greatest Cartoons: As Selected by 1,000 Animation Professionals is a 1994 book by animation historian Jerry Beck. Five of the top fifteen are up on the internet for you viewing pleasure, including one of our faves Duck Amuck. Porky In Wackyland is so great (and not available on line). If you don’t have the Looney Tunes Collection, we recommend a netflix order or purchase. Vol. 1 has Duck Amuck. Vol. 2 has Porky In Wackyland. No life is complete without having seen Wackyland. Seriously. You have our word. Check these out online.
I saw another installation/film of Blu’s awhile back at a gallery in NYC with my family and we were blown (bluwn?) away. In that one you could see him painting the animation but this one, sans human, with the sun and clouds working as the clock, adds onto the prior one’s promise.