Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Sutan gets a Totoro birthday cake and visits Ghibli Park

On at least one occasion, probably more, Moe (aka Kimono Mom) has mentioned that her fans are familiar with anime. Anime also shows up in the videos here and there, at least on two occasions very prominently, but also a bit here and there. Sutan is fond of Miyazaki’s film, My Neighbor Totoro (so am I).

Go to Ghibli Park to Meet Totoro! | Travel to Japan

Here is an episode where the family visits the new Studio Ghibli Park outside Nagoya. They’re visiting the Grand Warehouse. Here’s how Sam Anderson describes it in today’s New York Times:

The most theme-park-like area of Ghibli Park — the place that you will see all over Instagram — is called Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse. From the outside, it absolutely lives up to that name. It is a big giant warehouse: hulking, boxy, utilitarian. It looks as if it might contain a municipal swimming pool — which, in fact, it once did. (An identical building, right next door, still contains an ice rink.) Now the building is stuffed with Ghibliana: a dense bonanza of references and tableaus and scale-model buildings. It is colorful chaos. There are fountains and staircases and bright mosaics with Ghibli’s signature creatures worked into the patterns. There is a children’s play area featuring Totoro and a giant Cat Bus. There is a grand old-fashioned theater that plays charming short films never released in theaters. (I saw one about a group of preschoolers who imagine their way out onto the open sea, where they lasso a smiling whale.)

The Grand Warehouse’s main draw was an exhibition called, wonderfully, “Exhibition: Becoming Characters in Memorable Ghibli Scenes.” It is a series of life-size tableaus from beloved Studio Ghibli films into which visitors can insert themselves. You can run on top of a giant fish with Ponyo, pose with a robot from “Castle in the Sky,” enter the cluttered clubhouse in “From Up on Poppy Hill” or stand with the hunters from “Princess Mononoke.” Or, the most popular choice, you can sit on the train next to No Face.

They arrive at the Grand Warehouse at 6:09 and see a giant Totoro at 6:46 and enter the Cat Bus at 7:08. They’re out of the park at 9:02, where they meet Moto. A bit later Sutan notes that Totoro didn’t move (9:48). Moe reports on the day over a meal of chicken wings.

Happy 2nd Birthday SUTAN!

This is fun. Moto makes Sutan a Totoro birthday cake. From 5:35 on we see him planning and making a Totoro cake. The design is based on the scene that comes just after this frame:

Totoro is lying on his back at the bottom of a large camphor tree. That’s Mei on his belly. She’ll climb up a bit further and then lie down on Totoro’s belly. At about 5:53 Moto is sculpting what I assume is a marzipan figure of Mei. Starting at 9:35 Moe talks about putting acorns on the floor of the apartment to re-create the scene where Mei follows a path of acorns that eventually leads her to Totoro. At 10:51 Sutan spots the acorns.

1 comment:

  1. Sutan grew into her cheeks from her watermelon onesie at 1:35 to her walk on the acorn trail. Adorable.