Ghibli Museum Short Films - Mr. Dough and the Egg Princess (2010)
Ladies and gentlemen, the newest animated film by Hayao Miyazaki, Mr. Dough and the Egg Princess (Pan-Dane to Tamago-Hime). This short film was released to the Ghibli Museum on November 20, and is also paired with an exhibit
What we are looking at is the official art book that accompanies each of the museum's shorts. It all looks so spectacular; of course, we already expect this. It's Miyazaki. I'm thrilled to see him continue his surrealist streak; you can see how happily he has settled into his grandfather role.
At its core, Mr. Dough and the Egg Princess asks the question, "How is bread made?" The idea is examined through the wild, imaginitive eyes of a small child. Cooking becomes magic. Ingredients become alchemy. Leavened bread becomes alive. The miracle of creation is on display, weaving through waking eyes and the imagination. Miyazaki has a way of making the natural world seem magical that is wholly unique. Perhaps it's because I hail from Minnesota that I can identify with this quality so much. American animators should aspire to this.
Little details are to be found everywhere in these photographs. I'm sure the animation is a joy to watch. The shot of the breadman crawling out of the oven is a riff from the giant robot in Castle in the Sky. The animal farmers remind me a lot of Richard Scarry's animals, which I loved as a small child. On the final photo, you can spot Miyazaki-the-Pig, and is that Heidi seated at a table with some bread? Yes, it is! And I marvel at the brilliant contrast between the large witch - a surreal, messy cousin to the witchy women in Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle - and the Egg Princess, who is a textbook example of simplicity in action. This 10-minute cartoon is amazing in its diversity. Am I right to suspect that some of Miyazaki's greatest anime resides in these Ghibli Museum short films?
You'll have to click on the photos to seem them in the proper size. The color and detail is exquisite; our thanks go out to the forums at Buta Connection in France. No doubt copies of the art book will be sold on Ebay; like every dedicated Miyazaki fan, I am determined to collect all of them. What an amazing movie.