Program

Retrospective

The Adventure of Panda and Friends

Japan

1972

Introduction

Mimiko lives with her grandma at a home in the bamboo forest.
Grandma has a memorial service to attend away from town, but she is worried about leaving Mimiko alone. Mimiko assures grandma that she will be fine and greets her out for her trip. Mimiko is very excited about her first time living alone. Mimiko goes shopping for dinner and goes back home, only to find a baby panda in her yard!
The baby panda Pan is invited inside and the father Papanda shows up as well. Papanda is especially interested in all the bamboo around. Mimiko is happy to have them and determined to serve her guests well. Papanda learns that Mimiko has no parents and offers to be Mimiko’s new father! Mimiko gets excited about getting a papa and she in turn offers to be Pan’s mother. Thus, the pandas start living with Mimiko as a new unique family.
Mimiko takes care of her new family, but runs into all kinds of trouble! One day, the town’s policeman who came to visit Mimiko found out about the pandas and he panics. The whole town is after them for Mimiko’s safety, and turns out they were Pandas who escaped from the Zoo!

 

©TMS

Director

Isao Takahata

Born in 1935 in Mie Prefecture, Japan. After graduating from The University of Tokyo with a degree in French literature, he joined Toei Animation Company. He debuted as a director with the animated TV series KEN, THE WILD BOY (1963 – 1965), and directed his first animated feature film, THE LITTLE NORSE PRINCE VALIANT (1968). He left Toei in 1971 and worked at various studios and directed TV series including HEIDI A GIRL OF THE ALPS (1974), MARCO, FROM THE APENNINES TO THE ANDES (1976), and ANNE OF GREEN GABLES (1979), and feature films such as DOWNTOWN STORY (1981) and GAUCHE THE CELLIST (1981).

Takahata co-founded Studio Ghibli in 1985 with Hayao Miyazaki, and has directed five feature films since: GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES (1988), ONLY YESTERDAY (1991), POM POKO (1994), which received the Feature Film Prize at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival in 1995, MY NEIGHBORS THE YAMADAS (1999), which was chosen by The Museum of Modern Art in New York for its film collection, the first Japanese animated feature film to be so honored, and his latest film, THE TALE OF THE PRINCESS KAGUYA (2013), nominated for the 2014 Academy Award® for Best Animated Feature. He served as producer for Hayao Miyazaki’s films NAUSICAÄ OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND (1984) and CASTLE IN THE SKY (1986), and artistic producer for Michael Dudok de Wit’s THE RED TURTLE (2016).

In 1998, Takahata received Japan’s Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon. He was awarded with the Honorific Leopard at the 2009 Locarno International Film Festival and the Special Cristal Award for lifetime achievement at the 2014 Annecy International Animated Film Festival. In April 2015, He received the “Officier” of the Order of Arts and Letters, France. He received the 2015 Winsor McCay Award of the Annie Awards. On April 5, 2018, Takahata passed away at the age of 82.