Other Films

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Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves

Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves (アリババと40匹の盗賊 Aribaba to Yonjū-ppiki no Taizoku?) is a slapstick sequel to the classic story from 1001 Nights. Released in Japan in 1971, the story picks up 33 generations after the original Ali Baba tangled with the 40 thieves, and now the roles have reversed. Ali Baba's descendant is a selfish tyrant king who pits his troops against any who dare oppose him. Along comes a band of 40 unlikely characters to take up the challenge, accompanied by a genie with a severe anxiety disorder, and frenzied antics ensue.

No doubt the creators had a great time making Ali Baba, particularly the key animators, which included Hayao Miyazaki. Starting with the very first opening credits, the audience never has the chance to forget animation is constrained only by the limits of the animator's imagination.

The climactic finale in particular is pure action-packed hilarity and is undoubtedly Miyazaki's animated choreography. While this unique film has much more cartoonish character designs and backgrounds than what we are used to from Miyazaki's pen, they are fitting for the film's delightful sense of humor.

Ali Baba was renamed Ali Baba's Revenge for the U.S. video release.

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Animal Treasure Island

Miyazaki worked as a key animator on Animal Treasure Island (どうぶつ宝島 Dōbutsu Takarajima?), an animated feature film made by Tōei Dōga in 1971. Based on Stevenson's Treasure Island, all the characters appear as animals except Jim and Kathy (who is a typical Miyazaki heroine). It's a fun, slapstick adventure film.

Captain John Silver is a mean-looking pig, and he might be a distant ancestor of Porco.

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The Flying Ghost Ship

Miyazaki worked as a key animator on The Flying Ghost Ship (空飛ぶゆうれい船 Sora Tobu Yūreisen?), a 1969 animated feature film by Tōei Dōga. He proposed scenes in which tanks march and shoot in the middle of Tōkyō, and then animated them. He wanted to show what would happen if a military power started using its force in the middle of a town. This motif was also used in "Lupin III: Farewell Beloved Lupin".

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Gulliver's Space Travels

Miyazaki's first job as an animator was in-betweening on Wan Wan Chūshingura (わんわん忠臣蔵 Watchdog Bow Wow?) in 1963. However, the first movie in which Miyazaki showed his creative brilliance was Gulliver's Space Travels (ガリバーの宇宙旅行 Garibā no Uchū Ryokō?) in 1965. He was still a lowly in-betweener, but he proposed changes in the script and animated the changed scenes. At the end of the story, Gulliver was supposed to rescue a robot princess of the Robot Country. Miyazaki changed it so that the shell of the princess cracked open, and a human princess appeared from within. This changed the whole meaning of the movie. Now, the robots were people trapped in robot bodies, and they regained their humanity with Gulliver's help.

Gulliver was released in the United States in the 1960s as Gulliver's Travels Beyond the Moon.

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Puss 'n Boots

Based on Charles Perrault's book, Puss 'n Boots (長靴をはいた猫 Nagagutsu o Haita Neko?) was made in 1969 by Tōei Dōga. It is considered a masterpiece of comedy anime in Japan. Miyazaki did key animation for it, as well as providing numerous ideas for it. The last 20 minutes of it is considered to be the prototype of Cagliostro.

Since Puss was so popular, Tōei Dōga made two more sequels, but Miyazaki was not involved in them. The main character, Pero the Cat, eventually became the mascot character of Tōei Dōga, and you can still see him on posters and other merchandise.

Puss received "The Most Entertaining Movie" award at the Moscow Movie Festival, Children's Movie Division.

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