Koro's Big Day Out

UK Distributor:  N/A

BBFC Certificate:  N/A

Running Time:  14mins (approx.)

Director:  Hayao Miyazaki

Audio for Screening:  Japanese audio, no subtitles

Cinema:  Ghibli Museum Saturn Theatre, Tokyo, Japan

Reviewer:  Rich (Webmaster)


Koro's Big Day Out is one of Hayao Miyazaki's least known works, despite only being made  few years ago.  You may wonder why, and the answer is that it can only be seen in a single cinema in the world.  Koro's Big Day Out is one of a trio of short films created by Hayao Miyazaki for the opening of the Studio Ghibli Museum in the Tokyo suburb of Mitaka, where one film at a time is shown for a season as an exhibit.  This means it's pot luck which one you'll see if you go there...

As with everything in the Museum Koro's Big Day Out is made with children in mind, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy it if you are older.  The story focuses on the little puppy Koro and his owner, a little girl called Sawako.  When Sawako goes to school one day she accidentally leaves the gate slightly open and Koro escapes, and the curious little dog ends up getting lost.  On her return from school Sawako desperately searches for Koro and Koro tries to find his way home, being helped by kindly strangers along the way. 

Those used to Studio Ghibli films will be surprised by the look of this short.  Instead of the incredibly detailed watercolour backdrops the studio usually uses, those in Koro's Big Day Out are picked out in pencil crayon, giving the short a much more childlike feel.  Don't think this means a drop in quality though, the visuals are stunning and the combination of pencil art and normal animated characters is refreshingly different.  The story itself is fun and realistic, and that's where Koro's Big Day Out really excels.  The sketched backgrounds - somewhat surprisingly - really brings the Tokyo suburb in which the short is set to life, and the characters are realistic too.  However, I was most impressed that it focuses on a cute puppy but doesn't fall into the usual cartoon conceits of slapstick comedy and talking animals.

Most of the short focuses on Koro as he wanders the backstreets of a Tokyo suburb, being picked up by different people and being fed by a kindly family with a big old dog.  Koro is the creation of someone who really knows dogs, and I mean really knows dogs.  He is so completely realistic - the way he moves, the way he acts, everything.  It always feels like you are watching a real puppy, and that is something that is very hard to capture in any animated medium.  I was also really impressed

by how well a normal working suburb has been depicted, normal people are shown leading normal lives is a backdrop to such a realistic but charming tale.  The music is excellent too.

It doesn't take a genius to work out how the story will end, it is a heartwarming children's tale after all, but the moment when Koro and Sawako find each other again is so happy you can't help but be moved.  Like all the short films made by Miyazaki for the Studio Ghibli Museum, Koro's Big Day Out is a great piece of pure, joyous entertainment which lifts your spirit and leaves you feeling great.  This short combines almost childish background art with an impressive level of realism that leaves it feeling different from all of the studio's other works, but the Ghibli magic is there for all to see.  If you are lucky enough to visit the Ghibli Museum, when this short is showing you will not be disappointed, it is absolutely brilliant no matter what age you are.


None (cinema screening)


Feature:   Extras: N/A

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