Monday, January 12, 2009


Hayao Miyazaki's animation studio has a very cool museum in Inokashira Park, in Mitaka, a suburb west of Tokyo. It's great for kids. There's a giant cat bus to play in, with piles of big black poof balls with eyes to throw around (modeled after those little creatures in My Neighbor Totoro, made of soot I think); a trippy zoetrope with 3D models of the Totoro characters, spinning around on a circular platform (a strobe LED makes it look like they're in motion -- there's Mei jumping rope!); loads of watercolor sketches and a few cels from Totoro and other Miyazaki movies; film reels you can manipulate yourself; a theater showing an animated short (in Japanese) about a lost dog (the film changes every few months I think); and a gallery showcasing other animators' work (right now it's the 1954 British animated feature version of Animal Farm, which is actually being re-released here, we're told, and will soon be showing in a couple theaters in Shibuya).

The robot from Castle in the Sky lives up on the roof. We paid him a visit last Saturday.
[Thanks, Stace, for telling us about this place all those many months ago. It just took us a while to get there!]


Patrick said...

I can't wait to go here. I saved a story about the museum from Animation Magazine. Is Totoro still in the ticket booth? His studio still there?

Maryanne said...

Totoro is everywhere! We will definitely go when you come visit. Remind me to get tickets ahead of time.