I finished all my Christmas shopping today and wrapped the gifts, which is truly a relief, but it also reminded me how exhausting buying a gift for everyone in one day can be. Nonetheless, I did enjoy myself today, even though I know that more work is ahead. Anyway, so I got a chance to watch Panda Kopanda (Panda! Go Panda!) evidently and even though I was far off from the suggested audience, it was still enjoyable. So the film is directed by Takahata, but it is also an idea, script and layout by Miyazaki, which I actually forgot about before and while I was watching the film, which means my normal Miyazaki biased statements won’t have to apply for this review!
So, this film basically explored the theory of if Totoro were to have actually been a Panda. The story is split between two arcs and it revolves around a little girl named Mimiko who gets left alone when her grandmother goes off somewhere. Mimiko is depicted as a responsible cute girl, but once her grandmother is gone it seems like the ruckus finally begins and she is constantly doing handstands while wearing a dress revealing her panties constantly, which isn’t too cute to me. She also has some Pipi Longstocking hair going for her, though I actually do find that cute. Anyway, the point of the first arc is that when she gets home to her “empty” house she discovers two panda bears who have escaped from the zoo came to her house, which is surrounded by bamboo. The older panda decides to be her Father, while the young one says that he wants to be the baby, which makes them all a family! After this encounter her life becomes full of happiness and just enough drama to actually have a plot. The next arc basically follows the same concept as the first, except they had in a tiger named Tiny and a bunch of Zoo animals with a lot of water. I actually preferred the second arc more to the first, but they both were entertaining in some way or another. I’m glad both arcs were roughly 30 minutes each because if they were any longer they would have probably just dragged on, this way, we have a short and happy story all contained within a good amount of time.
The film wasn’t as great as I was expecting it to be, but it at least wasn’t boring. Logically, the film made no sense at all, but the cute factor kept me watching. Throughout the first arc there were so many things that I found wrong with it or that shouldn’t make sense in the real world, but after 20 minutes of that, I decided that it wouldn’t be worth watching this film on any levels of something realistic, which was when I began to enjoy it more. Maturity doesn’t exist in this movie, which for some could be a good thing while for other the opposite. Personally, as mentioned, once I watched it on a less critical viewpoint, it drastically seemed more entertain and amusing. The animation is also very simple, but I don’t think it would be able to create the mood it does if the animation was any different. There isn’t too much that can really be said about the film, but if you’re looking for a happy and cute child’s film, this would make a great choice. It is additionally worth watching just for the opening animation, which is absolutely adorable and the reason why I posted the video in this review! Not to mention a very catchy tune.