On the Takahata-Miyazaki-Kotabe version of 'Pippi.'
Thank you for that! As you say (and I have quite a limited visual imagination) it is remarkably easy to picture this all playing out in one's head, which is probably testimony to how the spirit of Pippi has clearly lived on in Miyazaki's work in particular. Kiki is a rather more melancholic soul than Pippi though!
I haven't finished reading the piece, but I appreciate your highlighting the way the animators took care to treat the everyday mundane as something worthy and worthwhile. Most children's television in America -- and I would argue, as s symptom of the larger cultural narcissism of America and hedonism, personal laxness vs responsibility -- treats chores or everyday tasks with contempt and dismissiveness, and leads to a larger pattern later in life that the mundane has no good in it, and that if it isn't exciting at every moment, life is boring and meaningless. It normalizes that these activities are goods not only unto themselves, but demonstrates a healthy example of why it shows care for yourself, the home you create or have been given, and creates the positive reinforcement of virtue and personal responsibility to oneself and to others in later life. It's difficult to find that today, especially when everything is oversaturated in sugar-coated neon and extols behaviors that I wouldn't want to see in kids if I had them (resistance, whinging, complaining, evasion) etc. That's my two cents.
Looking at those image boards for Pippi, I think they're the best Miyazaki's ever drawn. They feel so fresh and full of life, brimming with the excitement of an artist who's in the works of fully coming into his own. Takahata's words also illustrate why he's the best animation director there ever was. This is the best anime never made, and now it almost feels like it exists in my mind!
I would love for you to eventually tackle more seminal TV anime from the 1970s. Projects such as Heidi or Gamba no Bouken raised the bar so high that they're arguably still unmatched in many regards from both an audiovisual and storytelling perspective (and how these work in tandem) in the realm of serialized animation.
I could just visualize how the entire show would look like from these vividly outlined storyboards and sketches. Kudos to finding these gems!
This was really beautiful! 💚
I've only barely heard about this show but was so glad to learn more! So refreshing to see something wholeheartedly devoted to play and beauty like this. I think it's what people want, but takes a careful hand and trusting leadership to execute - Takahata's notes are so insightful!
Truly inspiring story, and maybe a model for any artist.
This would have been incredible! I remember watching the film as a child. An anime version would’ve worked so well.
Love the emphasis on "everyday magic"! I’m incredibly inspired by this concept too, and I'm currently working on a YouTube pilot for a character I've been developing: Cosmic Emilia. Just as Pippi brought magic to ordinary things, my goal is to add a touch of wonder to everyday moments through the perspectives of a little girl and her baby sister. And those Miyazaki sketches? I could look at them forever! 🎨🪄