When I was six, my mom brought a new television. Since then, I have been obsessed with the magical black box … especially animated movies and TV shows. Whether they were Tom and Jerry, Donald Duck, or some Japanese animations, I’m sure I have seen them. Except for my parents, animation is my best friend and the one I spend most of the time with. Every time I opened the television, a fantastic, magic world would reflect on my eyes.
So many images…especially from Japanese anime director Hayao Miyazaki.
Watching Spirited Away, I can be sitting on a train with a ghost, as it steers its way into the blue sea with piercing sunlight and drifting clouds that turn the skyline into a huge ink-wash painting. A young girl’s parents are transformed into pigs and she goes to work in a bath house for spirits, and eventually learns that a “can do” attitude can help her overcome any obstacle.
I can see the Garden of Words out of the screen in my imagination. It’s so beautiful. So green. So sad…I can still the tick tock… that the raindrops threw on the pond, and the water rifflling over the lake …it makes you feel the loneliness of love.
I was thoroughly immersed in strange situations, bizarre characters and magical rules in each tale. Perhaps that is the animations real power, to throw reality aside and thrust an audience into a new world unlike anything they have ever seen before.
The world where nightmares are never far away, but dreams come true. In this world, the spirits and demons are cute.
I wish I can have such adventures, a magnificent adventure life.
I hope to have such a good friends to stay with me and to support each other during our hard long life…
I hope to have lovely and stupid childhood friends, that can be like a beautiful painting coloring over the monotony of my real childhood palette.
Yes, this might be difficult; this is just a fantasy,
However, that’s great isn’t it?
As the director of Ice Age Chris Wedge, said, part of the fascination with making animation is you go to a place; it’s a complete immersion in someone else’s fantasy.
So here I am in Canada, 8,000 kilometers away from home. Somedays I feel very lonely. And when I’m sick, I just want to curl up beside my mother and watch TV with her.
In those moments, the world can feel grey and cold, the white snow piling up outside and making me feel imprisoned.
And I might watch something like My Neighbour Totoru by Japanese anime director Hayao Miyazaki. It tells the story a young girl who befriends magical creatures. I remember there’s a bus-shaped giant cat… a sister who gets lost…and eventually they find their mother.
It’s gentle and magical. And it makes me feel like I’m drinking a magic potion that allows me to stop looking at the world as dark and complex. It becomes colourful and simple.
Like being a child.