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Vintage Miyazaki

AICN points to this early 80s animantion test clip by Hayao Miyazaki which contains his vision for a film adaptation of the Little Nemo comic strip. While he didn't end up working on the project, I'm glad this clip stuck around because it gives us yet one more peek into that storyteller's incredible vision of the universe.

Miyazaki created one of my most favorite films ever, My Neighbor Totoro (Kiki's Delivery Service and Spirited Away are also among my kids' favorites). One of the things I love about Miyazaki's stories is his ability to invite us to take for granted that there's more to this world than we could ever dream, that even in the midst of the darkness and pain this world is part of a universe of great depth, richness, magic and goodness--something I find a wonderful reminder and echo of the Story in which we all live. That most of his films see the world through children is another aspect of his stories that resonates with me as it reminds me of a deeper truth found in Jesus' words regarding becoming as a child to enter the Kingdom; while we often read those words in relation to the humble and teachable nature we need to cultivate, seeing the world through my children's eyes has taught me something about God and his truth on more than one occassion. Then, of course, there's the added bonus that in much of Miyazaki's work are moments of simple and breathtaking beauty.

You don't need to take my word for all this--just spend a little time with Totoro and you'll see what I mean.