The blog of Richard Thompson, caricaturist, creator of "Cul de Sac," and winner of the 2011 Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Totoro Forest Project

Anybody who loves the work of Hayao Miyazaki should know about the Totoro Forest Project. It's an international charity organized by several hard-working Pixar animators. In their own words, the aim of the Totoro Forest "is to save Sayama Forest, also known as Totoro Forest in Japan. Have you watched the movie "My Neighbor Totoro"? This wonderful forest is where Miyazaki came up with the idea for Totoro. Miyazaki has been actively working towards the preservation of this urban forest, which has been in danger of the city's urban development, for many years now." Co-organizer/animator Enrico Casarosa talks about it on his blog

To that end, the TFP has organized an auction of especially created work by over 200 international artists, cartoonists and animators, as well as a gallery show and the publication of a book. Animators are the most energetic and indefatigable people out there, which may explain why their drawings move so much. I'm practically inert in comparison, yet they asked me to do a drawing for the Project, the only direction given was to draw my own Totoro. And it couldn't be Miyasaki's, so no tracing.

Well, I love My Neighbor Totoro, it's the most human-scaled of all of Miyazaki's movies, and little Mei is one of my favorite characters. I stole some from her when creating Alice (though I'm not sure they'd get along well; Mei is a lot more selfless than Alice). Here's my Totoro that I drew for the Totoro Forest Project

So please go poke around on the Totoro Forest Project site, there are some lovely things to see. And if you see one you'd like to hang on your wall consider bidding at the auction. All the info is at the site, or soon will be.


Matthew Forsythe said...

I love this one.

Are you going to the gallery opening in September?

I'll be there - it would be great to meet you!

Mike Rhode said...

Ooooh, that's scary.

paul bowman said...

Up here in Baltimore today, a piece about a lot of undeveloped Chesapeake shore acreage being charted for buying up & preserving, if the down market keeps buyer competition at bay for a while longer. Makes one wish for a Chesapeake Miyazaki. Maybe there's some shore-dwelling spirit to be discovered around here, to inspire imaginative participation the way they've realized it over there.

Cedar said...

Wow--this is really cool. Thanks for the link to the site.

richardcthompson said...

Matthew, I wish I was going, but SF is a little too far away right now. But let me know how the opening goes, please!

It's not scary; it's supposed to be benevolent, geez.

Paul, they should revive the legend of the Snallygaster, which I think is like Bigfoot only on the Eastern Shore. Make it a protective spirit of the Bay.

Cedar, you're welcome!

Kid Shay said...

I wish I could ride on the cat bus.

I love the way Miyazaki is able to make environmentalism a theme in his movies without turning it into something preachy. A Miyazaki "Mutts" movie would be pretty cool.

Mike Rhode said...

It looks like one of those trees from the Wizard of Oz, just waiting for Alice to stop paying attention...

Anonymous said...

This is one of my favorite

noodle said...

Wow, I never knew it was a real place.

Is the Totoro Forest Project intending on using the money raised to buy plots of the forest to preserve? I couldn't really find that information on their site.