Lasseter on TCM - Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro

This Youtube clip comes from TCM's series of Studio Ghibli movies from last year. John Lasseter was on hand to discuss his memories and his impressions. In this clip (taken from two different segments), he discusses Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro. It's terrific to watch, and I learned a few new things that I didn't know before.

If I may, I'll humbly make one minor correction. Totoro was not a success in its first theatrical run. Kiki's Delivery Service in 1989 was the first Studio Ghibli movie to turn a profit. It was the sale of the plush toys that eventually made My Neighbor Totoro a success. This was just a different movie, one that needed to build its audience slowly, 1988 was the year of Akira, after all.

Likewise, it has taken a while, perhaps longer, for Totoro to find acceptance here in the US. It simply breaks too many established "rules" of animation. But isn't that what makes it so great? It continues to stick out like a sore thumb today, in 2009. There simply is no American equivalent. And that is something that very desperately needs to change.

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