Cheerful Mimiko has a very strange family for a little girl - a Panda for her Papa, and his son, Panny, calls her Mom! Join this happy family and their many adventures! When Panny follows Mimiko to school, he must pretend ... more »to be a teddy bear so Mimiko won't get into trouble, but everyone wants a cute Panda! Despite his efforts to behave, Panny causes trouble in the school kitchen, and now the whole school is after Panny! Then, Panny makes a new friend, Tiny, a baby tiger who's wandered off from the circus. Getting Tiny back to his mom becomes the first adventure, but after a hard rain, the whole town is flooded and Mimiko, Papa Panda and Panny must rescue Tiny and other animals from the trapped circus train!« less
"I picked this up for my niece and nephew (ages 4 & 5), who are both devoted "My Neighbor Totoro" and "Kiki's Delivery Service" fans. I was pretty excited that they loved Miyazaki, and wanted to keep them interested.Well, they loved "Panda! Go Panda!" just as much as the other films. I was told they watched it five times in a row. Yay for Uncle Zack! Of all of Miyazaki's films, this one is truly aimed at the younger crowd. There is very little of the multi-level storytelling that you will find in his later films. The pandas (who talk, by the way. I was pretty surprised by this, as Totoro does not talk.) are bundles of cuteness. The animation is decent, with lots of bright kid-friendly colors. The DVD is great, as it offers both an English and Japanese soundtrack. (It's a good film for people learning Japanese, because the vocab is limited.) This is very rare for imported kid's films.And, I liked "Panda! Go Panda!" too. It's fun, light fare."
Good Panda family fun
maryoh | Nara-shi, Nara-ken Japan | 11/09/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"My 2 1/2 year old son is rapidly wearing out the tape. It features cute animals with exciting (but not too dangerous) adventures, befriended by adorable Mimiko. The circus train scenes are great. If you're a die-hard anime fan, it will probably disappoint, but if you're a parent looking for a truly gentle G-rated film this is it. It also gives glimpses of typical Japanese life (school life, curry-and-rice dinners, etc.) which might be interesting for older viewers."
Who Knew Panda's Liked Curry So Much?
Kelly K. Coyle | Michigan | 03/14/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"One of my daughter's favorites. And I read the synop. above and don't be fooled, the animation here is not that high quality,beautiful animation that you see with Kiki's Delvery Service or Totoro. However, the stories are very cute and sweet and young kids will love the independent little girl who befriends a Panda Papa and his Little One.The stories are about a little girl who meets the pandas and takes care of them. This is not a Kratt Brother's show,the animals are much more human-y than Panda-y. The little girl cooks for them and they eat Curry. There's lots of adventure when the young Panda follows the little girl to school. The second story is about a train of Circus animals and a flood, but there's nothing frightening, as Papa Panda comes to the rescue and everyone is safe and sound. The animation is simplistic, but still good and the stories are interesting but won't over-excite or frighten your child. And you'll find yourself humming the theme song over and over again, whether you like it or not . . ."
Your little kids will love it!
Matthew L. Mutchmore | 07/19/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I have the original version in Japanese. The music is a little bit monotonous, but my son who is just 18 months seems to enjoy it. The film teach some good family values, but the tempo is extremely slow, but again, my son really enjoys all those cute character scenes!"
Storybook Charm and Simplicity
Matthew L. Mutchmore | Indianapolis, IN | 11/14/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Panda Kopanda (Panda! Go Panda!) was a 30 minute movie made in 1972. Animation super-creator Hayao Miyazaki created the original idea, the script, the layouts, and did key animation, and Isao Takahata directed the film. A 1973 sequel, Panda Kopanda: Amefuri Saakasu no Maki (Panda Kopanda & the Rainy-day Circus), continues the story and was made by the same people who made the first movie. The literal translation of the title Panda Kopanda is "Panda, Baby Panda", but it's been released as "Panda Go Panda" (basically because that's what the song sounds like.) The movies were made at a time when "panda fever" was sweeping Japan. China donated a pair of pandas to Japan, and the public was very into them. These two movies are considered by many to be prototypes of Miyazake's My Neighbor Totoro due to the similar character designs and child-friendly nature throughout the films.
The story goes something like this: Mimiko's grandma is leaving to visit some friends, and must leave little Mimiko by herself. (I guess they can do that in Japan, eh...) After finally persuading her Grandma to leave, and seeing her off on the train, Mimiko returns home to find by her house a tiny, baby panda. It turns out he's not a toy, but real (named Kopanda), and they quickly become friends and then big Panda (Papanda-San) arrives. He's VERY big and very friendly. Since the house had a beautiful bamboo forest (pandas eat bamboo), they decided to live with her. The three became a family. Wacky adventures ensue...
The sequel, "Panda Kopanda and the Rainy Day Circus" is quite similar, with Grandma away again, (where is she going?) but this time with a circus arriving (complete with a cute baby Tiger who becomes friends with Kopanda), and a rainy day that rains so much that the rain floods up to Mimiko's house. Mimiko and the Pandas save the animals who are trapped in the circus train underwater. The Panda Go Panda DVD combines the two features on one volume. If you liked Totoro, then there are elements here you will enjoy too. Although nowhere near as complex (visually or in narrative) Panda! Go Panda! has overwhelming charm and storybook simplicity. The features were made just for children, so keep that in mind. They're just plain fun."