News Miyazaki Article on Spectator Blog
The British periodical The Spectator has an article online about the director Hayao Miyazaki, and discovering his work in far-flung places. Film writer Michael Mirasol tells about he introduced his relatives in Saudi Arabia to Miyazaki's film Ponyo; and how he learned about his Saudi cousin's long search for My Neighbor Totoro.
Mirasol also writes about how he himself was introduced to Miyazaki through a Philippines broadcast (courtesy of a US army base) of Warriors of the Wind, the abridged US version of Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind.
The article is called 'A Miyazaki Connection in the Wasteland.' On Ponyo, Mirasol writes:
As it played [to Mirasol's adult Saudi relatives], not one objection was raised. Here we adults were, entranced by a wondrous film aimed more at young children. Any laughter that arose was the kind a parent would have over a young child's discovery or acknowledgements of life's little truths. Once it had finished, the room was unanimous in its approval. Even my cousin Said, who was 24 at the time, liked it profusely.
On My Neighbor Totoro, he writes:
[Mirasol's Saudi cousin] told me a story of when she was a little girl going to a piano lesson at a friend's house. Her friend was Japanese, and while waiting for the piano teacher to arrive, she popped Totoro in the VCR. My cousin said that at the time she had absolutely no idea of what the characters were saying, or really what the story was about. All she could remember was this cute little girl lying on top of this humongous furry creature's belly and rubbing its nose. She didn't even finish the video, but its warm images lingered with her for good.