If you're looking for a good cartoon to show for all the kids during the holiday season (remember Orthodox Christmas still awaits), you can't do much better than the two Panda Kopanda films. I think I'm a little more partial to the second one, Panda Kopanda and the Rainy Day Circus, if only because of its slightly more meditative pace that hints at what's to come with Heidi a year later. Oh, and there's also a lot of madcap comedy. I'm impressed at how much is crammed into a 35-minute show.
Perhaps someday I'll learn why there were never any more Panda Kopanda cartoons. I'd assume that Miyazaki, Takahata, and the rest were far too consumed by Heidi and Marco and everything to come later. Still, you'd think that someone would take the reins and revive the franchise. I would think an animation studio dreaming of creating something akin to the Peanuts cartoons would jump right into Panda's world.
The two Panda movies are available in North America under the title Panda Go Panda. The Japanese DVD, naturally, is the better version, with a brighter picture, and some lengthy television interviews with Takahata and Miyazaki.
daniel thomas Categories: panda kopanda, screenshots