Live Charity Auction Raises US$45,000+ for Totoro Forest

posted on by Egan Loo
Silent auctions also raise roughly twice that for forest that inspired Miyazaki

The Totoro Forest Project raised over US$45,000 in a live charity auction to preserve one of the forests that inspired Hayao Miyazaki's My Neighbor Totoro film, and in addition to that, silent auctions raised roughly twice that amount on Saturday evening. Oscar-winning director John Lasseter (Toy Story) officially opened the event at his Pixar Animation Studios headquarters in northern California, and he noted that he has known his close friend Miyazaki since 1983 — since even before Miyazaki co-founded Studo Ghibli. Auction co-organizer and Pixar art director Dice Tsutsumi's "Totoro of Their Own" piece (pictured at right) alone raised US$4,250 for the cause, while at least eight other items each went for US$3,000 or more.

In all, almost 200 artists contributed to the efforts, and all proceeds will go to The Totoro no Furusato Foundation, a group that is gradually acquiring 8,650 acres of forest land in the Saitama Hills west of Tokyo. The participating artists included Hans Bacher (Ahiru no Quack, Fantasia 2000), Pete Docter (Monsters, Inc., Howl's Moving Castle's English dialogue director), William Joyce (Rolie Polie Olie, Robots), Kazu Kibuishi (Flight), Sho Murase (Guardians of Luna), Robin Nishi (Mind Game), Steve Pilcher (Shrek 2), and Katsuya Terada (Blood: The Last Vampire). About half of the art pieces will be on display at San Francisco's Cartoon Art Museum from September 20 to December 7, and most of the rest will be on display at the same site from November 6 to February 20.

An event report will be posted soon.

This article has a follow-up: Totoro Forest Auction Earns an Estimated US$201,236 (2008-10-02 23:57)
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