Created by the animation team behind the complex PRINCESS MONONOKE (1999), these two dubbed, interconnected yarns for little children are awash in pretty pastels and a disarmingly simple drawing style. In the first story, orphaned Mimiko, who's been left unattended by her grandmother, befriends zoo escapees Papa Panda and his baby, Panny. Mimiko instinctively treats the cuddly creatures like the family she doesn't have. Panny follows Mimiko to school and wreaks havoc at the cafeteria, but Papa Panda becomes a hero by rescuing Mimiko and Panny from the river. As a reward, the pandas are allowed to visit Mimiko regularly. In the second tale, a circus owner searches for his missing tiger while the cub hides at Mimiko's house. The Baby Tiger bonding with Panny and invites his new pals to the circus, where he's reunited with his mother. When the town gets flooded, Papa Panda and Mimiko rescue the circus beasts from their stranded train. Safely home, the animals put on a show. Never brassy or coy, this quietly charming cartoon capitalizes on the natural bond between kids and animals somehow Japanese director Isao Tahata and screenwriter Hayao Miyazaki bring more dignity to their anthropomorphic tales than similar American filmmakers do. Although this engaging folderol will enchant very little viewers, older children and adults may find the proceedings less jolly. It's odd to hear such brazenly American-sounding voices emerging from the mouths of Asian characters, and American parents may be put off by stories in which a child is casually left home alone without supervision. Reservations aside, this cartoon bounces along on the wings of adventures that are neither too scary nor too tame.
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- Released: 1994
- Rating: NR
- Review: Created by the animation team behind the complex PRINCESS MONONOKE (1999), these two dubbed, interconnected yarns for little children are awash in pretty pastels and a disarmingly simple drawing style. In the first story, orphaned Mimiko, who's been left u… (more)