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Title (English) Panda and Friends
Title (Japanese) Panda ko Panda

book cover

Fantasy Novel

Notes An early Miyazaki movie, released by Pioneer on bilingual DVD. 33mins + 38 mins.
Classification -
Synopsis Little Mimiko is left alone by her grandmother for an extended time in their house in the middle of a bamboo forest. When Mimiko comes home from seeing O-baa-chan off at the train station, she first finds a cute baby panda sitting on her porch, then the panda's father joins them. Both pandas are sentient, and Papa Panda is aghast that little Mimiko would be left alone with no parents, so Papa Panda decides to become Mimiko's "father". Meanwhile, little Pan (da) wants a mother, so Mimiko takes on that role.
It turns out that both pandas are on the lam from a zoo, but Papa Panda doesn't want to go back because he likes the bamboo around Mimiko's house. So he ends up commuting each day back and forth to the zoo, like any "good father" should. At the end of the day at the zoo, Papa picks up his hat and briefcase, punches out at the time clock, and takes the train home.
Review The animation in the show is surprising good at times, particularly in some of the outdoor scenes. And Mimiko's cheerfulness is only matched by the sugar content in my Grand Marnier. I don't think that I could watch an "all nighter" of this show ( and stay sober ), but it is fun in a goofy way (Dave Baranyi)

Panda Kopanda has long been 'a hidden classic' of Miyazaki, and enthusiastic anime fans continued to show this film in private showings. Think about the age when these films were made. It was in the middle of 'kaijyu-boom', suit monsters fights against superheros type of stuff flooding the market, and Miyazaki and his colleague wished to manufacture, 'what they thought really good, warmhearted stuff for younger children'. The result was this. As you mentioned there were already many factors which became developed in his later films which were already seen in many aspects.
It is not a bad idea what he was doing in his early days. And I also recommend you to watch his classics in his Toei Douga age. (CALCI)

Credits Hayao Miyazaki
Release Jap:DVD, US:DVD
TV Showing See the whole series for free? This series may be syndicated to regional cable, satellite or terrestial TV stations. For Europe click here.
Date 1972
References & Help Look up the latest data on this title at:
Richard Llewellyn's Animated Divots, or
Anime News Network (see Encyclopedia section) ,
or in "The Anime Encyclopedia" (Clements & McCarthy, Stone Bridge Press, 2001).
Help & further information.



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