Panda! Go Panda!

Panda! Go Panda! ★★★★

The Anime Marches On! 2020 Challenge (13/32)
One Non-Hayao Miyazaki Studio Ghibli film
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A little girl's sole guardian--her grandma--goes off on a little trip and leaves the six-year-old home alone for a couple days...cuz that's something adults do. While she's alone she becomes subject to a bizarre home invasion where a father panda and his adorable baby drop by and become her new family. Is it weird that I'm more put off by the abnormality of the grandmother leaving this little kid to fend for herself than I am by the anthropomorphic bears that just show up at their place and start breaking shit?

But nevermind. This proto-Studio Ghibli entry from director Isao Takahata is pure fluff with sound effects that are ridonkulous. The little girl constantly does handstands that turn her skirt inside out and each time she does the movie makes a sound like someone just put a quarter in an arcade machine. The closest this movie comes to generating anything resembling dramatic tension is when Papa Panda declares that he has a newfound love for tobacco thanks to the little girl introducing him to it. Panda! Go Panda! is lightweight, colorful, and almost completely harmless…a Nerf ball of a movie if ever there was one. Share it with your favorite three-year-old.

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