With reports that Japan’s best-known anime director Hayao Miyazaki met up on the sidelines with director Nick Park at this year’s Tokyo International Film Festival, after having previously visited Park’s studio in England, perhaps it’s little surprise that Aardman Animations now finds itself the subject of an exhibition at Ghibli Museum, which houses the anime work of Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli in western Tokyo.
In addition to the regular Ghibli-themed exhibitions, the museum also stages temporary exhibitions on an animation theme.
The Aardman Exhibition, which runs through May next year, includes two rooms of exhibits, video installations, designs and digital displays that will give insight into how Peter Lord and David Sproxton started Aardman in small backyard workshop (recreated at the exhibition) in 1976 in Bristol, western England. One floor of the exhibition is dedicated entirely to the making of Aardman films, including the “claymation” Academy Award-winning picture “The Curse of the Were-Rabbit,” directed by Park. Figures used in Aardman films will be on display.
Also on show at the museum through Dec. 26 is a new anime, “The Day I Bought a Star,” written and directed by Miyazaki (whose feature-length films include the Academy Award-winning ‘Spirited Away”). The 16-minute short is based on an original story by Naohisa Inoue and follows a boy, Nona, who leaves home and soon finds himself walking in the desert alone, where he starts to sow seeds of stars instead of vegetables.
Entrance to the museum is by advance ticket only, available from Lawson convenience stores. Tickets are 1,000 yen. The museum is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (closed Tuesdays) and is a 15-minute walk from Mitaka Station on the JR Chuo Line.