Panda! Go Panda!

Panda! Go Panda! ★★★½

Genius for simply how uninterrogated it's premise is: this is about a little girl forcing two wild animals into living a domesticated life, to act out her impressions of family as a means substitute her own lack of one. It's fucking heartbreaking, and I'm so used to seeing these kind of themes actively engaged with within tales of broken households & familial longing that to see it opt only for pure positivity feels almost quaintly subversive. Papa Panda is so strangely passive too: whatever Mimiko says, he does. He's living out a little girl's terribly sad parental fantasy and yet his animalistic complacency renders him nothing but totally oblivious to it. But I'm thankful for it because all I'd ever want for these characters is for them to just be happy, and Takahata & Miyazaki obviously recognise that because that's all we get. Sometimes ignorance really is bliss.