Photos - Panda Kopanda and the Rainy Day Circus

Someone asked me for some large-sized pics from Panda Kopanda, so I figured I'd oblige with some of these from Rainy Day Circus.

I especially love the shot of the baby panda being chased by the hands. It reminds me a lot of a similar shot in the Nausicaa flashback scene. Very stylish. This is the better Panda movie, I think. The rainstorm that floods the whole town feels so wonderfully inspired. Instead of becoming threatening, it's just an excuse for an impromptu picnic. This is a benevelent world, one you want to explore in. It's very peaceful and free of cheesy melodrama.

I've often wondered why Panda Kopanda was never spun off into a growing franchise, or why nobody else has taken a swing at another short film. No doubt the shadow of Takahata and Miyazaki and their peers is daunting, perhaps too daunting for anyone else to give it a go.

How about someone from the West? Or are we too trapped by convention and cliche to do justice to this peaceful little world? I think it would be a good challenge for an American studio to tackle, provided they could free themselves to many of the worst Disney cartoon cliches. If someone could deliver the right touch, that storybook feel, they'd really have something special on their hands.

Oh, and do I have to make a formal request for Disney to release Panda Kopanda on DVD and Blu-Ray? Or does Pioneer still have the rights?


asuka said...

panda! papanda! kopanda!
i think you're unnecessarily rough on the pioneer release, you know. sure the dvd places one film right after the other without fresh credits, making it seem as if they're two episodes of the one thing.
but (from memory) there is a title-card, isn't there?

hjg said...

Well, there has been a recent release in Spain, the two parts in one DVD, spanish dub.

Daniel Thomas MacInnes said...

Yes, the Spanish Panda DVD is identical to Pioneer's US version.

As for title cards, no, neither Panda Kopanda short has a title card. The opening and closing sequences are fully animated, and done in a style very, very similar to the ones seen on Animal Treasure Island, Heidi, and Marco.

If I'm hard on DVD publishers like Pioneer, it's only because they take it upon themselves to censor, chop up, or otherwise change anime films. It's a very old grievance among anime fans, and thankfully this offense has lessened greatly in recent years.

It is simply not the business of these distributors to alter or change the original works, based on nothing but their own misguided lack of taste. At least, I remain hopeful that these decisions are due to taste. More cynical minds argue that anime was chopped up because it was perceived as inferior.

Doug said...

So you don't recommend the Pioneer release. Which would you recommend? Do any of the foreign (to U.S. that is) include english subs? Thanks.

Daniel Thomas MacInnes said...

The Ghibli ga Ippai DVDs from Japan include English subtitles for the features, but not for any of the extras. That's unfortunate, because my copy includes a 45-minute discussion with Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata on their experiences making the Panda Kopanda films.

I don't have any experience with any of the other releases around the globe. All I require personally is for the films to be complete and uncut, and the original language (with subtitles) retained. This should be a no-brainer in the age of DVD.

Perhaps others can share their experiences with the Panda Kopanda DVD in their region?

Anonymous said...

Is this it? being released in the UK soon if so,

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