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Ghibli Influences Kung Fu Panda, Clone Wars, Pixar's Up

posted on by Egan Loo

The directors of three current or upcoming American computer-animated films all cited Studio Ghibli as an influence on their works. Kung Fu Panda director Mark Osborne told the Mainichi Shimbun paper's Mantan Web on July 26 that he was inspired by Japanese anime such as Ninja Scroll, FLCL, Cowboy Bebop, and Samurai Champloo. He specifically cited Studio Ghibli co-founder and director Hayao Miyazaki as an influence. Since Osborne was in Japan to promote his movie, he planned on visiting the Ghibli Museum the day after his Mainichi interview. According to Osborne, the entire Kung Fu Panda staff admires Miyazaki's works. Osbourne said that the worlds that Miyazaki creates are dreamlike, but his characters are all realistic with their feet planted on the ground. Kadokawa Shoten marked the July 26 opening of Kung Fu Panda in Japan by publishing a manga adaptation (pictured at right) in Kerokero Ace magazine.

The Eiga.com movie news website reports that Star Wars: The Clone Wars film director Dave Filoni said that he loves Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke, so his team made The Clone Wars' new main character Ahsoka with hints of Mononoke's characters. Filoni made his comments during Star Wars Celebration Japan, the convention held near Tokyo from July 19 to July 21. Star Wars: The Clone Wars will open in America on August 15, and then will open in Japan on August 23.

During last week's Comic-Con International in California, Pixar's Up film director Peter Docter also expressed his admiration for Miyazaki. The Slashfilm website reported on Docter's comments at the convention: “We're all huge fans of his. He's an amazing filmmaker. Miyazaki pays so much attention to small details that make you feel like you're actually there. And we're trying to do that in this film as well.” Docter directed the English adaptation of Miyazaki's last film, 2004's Howl's Moving Castle. Up opens in the United States on May 29, 2009.

Thank you to Siegel Clyne and Daniel Zelter for the news tips.

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