Mystical forest gods, talking busses, fantastic mythical creatures and flying castles – Hayao Miyazaki’s animated films tell of magical worlds populated in equal measure by animated things, animals and humans. Often, these worlds are threatened by adults devoid of imagination and other destructive forces and have to be saved from them. This is where the children come in. Eriko Ogihara-Schuck, a specialist in Japanese “Anime“ films, presents two of Miyazaki’s most beautiful films.
12 h My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
The two sisters Satsuki and Mei move into a ghost house with their father. In the neighboring wood, they encounter the huge animal Totoro, who can only be seen by the two girls. Totoro can fly and he invites them to join him on an adventure which includes a giant bus-shaped cat with ten legs which can fly like the wind. The story is no simple invention: it is based on the traditional Japanese belief in 8 million gods and spirits.
14 h Ponyo (2008)
Ponyo is a goldfish. One day, she is stranded in the human world and is rescued by the 5-year-old Sosuke, who lives on a cliff by the sea. She falls in love with him and decides that she wants to become a human being so that she can live with him. To achieve this, she steals her father's magic and grows arms and legs. Ponyo's mother, the goddess of the sea, agrees that she should become a human being. However, she warns that if things go wrong, Ponyo could also be turned into sea foam.
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