My whirlwind trip to Burbank culminated in an intimate overheard conversation between John Lassiter and Hayao Miyazaki. It was an amazing experience listening to two talented animator speak of their past in the industry and they struggles to make animation a legitimate film form (it always has been, but perception has been different.)

Dave & I landed minutes apart from each other on Tuesday morning and then started to bus around Hollywood for a little while. I’d never seen the Hollywood Walk of Fame, so with a sense of irony, I started to walk on the stars. Near Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, we saw a crowd and flowers on the ground. Of course, we should have know it was this. Not to be outdone by all those clamoring to get a piece there was a man off to the side playing MJ’s music from a tiny boombox. I don’t remember a tip jar from my quick glance, but wouldn’t not have been surprised to see one.

A stop at Canter’s on Fairfax was fun. Cameron recommended this established diner and it didn’t disappoint. The picture to the left is their ceiling which was a tree canopy pattern that worked on two levels: you felt like you were under a forest of autumn grease or you had turned into a fly on one of the burgers and were seeing a single tile with your multi-facetted eyes. And their famous pickles turned out to be a cacophony of dill and garlic.

Of course, the entire reason we went was pretty damn amazing. The new film I can see anytime when it comes out next month, but seeing two of the best animators alive talk to each other was a rare event. They started with the Japanese previews all of his Miyazaki’s films and would play great clips between the interview. Since I’ve only seen his last three on the big screen (Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle), it was a treat to see clips of his other outstanding pieces blown up to their proper size. At their intended size, small details are more noticeable. So much so that I’m going to watch them all again starting with My Neighbor Totoro in order to appreciate the subtleties. I would recommend you do the same.

4 thoughts on “Miyazaki-san

  1. I watched Totoro the night I got back, then moved on to Porco Rosso and Mononoke on the plane to Dallas. Then The Castle of Cagliostro for my flight to Atlanta. And Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle are waiting for my flight home. There are certainly worse ways to spend time on a plane!

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