Sunday Reading: “Chihiro’s Journey to Miyazaki Country”

As an American, Sam Anderson knows what it feels like to arrive at a theme park. “The totalizing consumerist embrace,” he writes. “The blunt-force, world-warping delight of escapism.” He has known theme parks with entrances like “international borders” and ticket prices like “mortgage payments.” Mr Anderson went to Disney World, which he describes as “an alternate reality that essentially occupies its own tax zone”.

In November, when Park Ghibli finally opened, Mr. Anderson made sure to visit. The park is a homage to the legendary Studio Ghibli, created by animator Hayao Miyazaki in 1985 out of desperation when he and his co-founders, Isao Takahata and Toshio Suzuki, couldn’t find a ready-to-release studio. their work.

Miyazaki is obsessed with details. He agonizes over his children’s cartoons as if he were Michelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel, insisting that while few viewers will be aware of all this work, every viewer will feel it. And we do. These little touches, which add up throughout a film, anchor his fantasies in the real world.

And so, after many years and many trips – finally – Mr. Anderson found himself stepping into the wonders of Park Ghibli. His first impression was not awe or majesty or abandonment or consumerist bliss. It was confusing.

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Additional production for The Sunday Read was contributed by Emma Kehlbeck, Parin Behrooz, Anna Diamond, Sarah Diamond, Jack D’Isidoro, Elena Hecht, Desiree Ibekwe, Tanya Pérez, Marion Lozano, Naomi Noury, Krish Seenivasan, Corey Schreppel, Margaret Willison, Kate Winslett and Tiana Young. Special thanks to Mike Benoist, Sam Dolnick, Laura Kim, Julia Simon, Lisa Tobin, Blake Wilson and Ryan Wegner.


Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
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