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Explore the dense world of Spirited Away in 8-bit theater

“I do believe in the power of story. I believe that stories have an important role to play in the formation of human beings, that they can stimulate, amaze and inspire their listeners.” – Hayao Miyazaki The above quote could easily apply to any of the stories woven by Miyazaki and his animation studio, Studio Ghibli, which have been formative to so many people across the globe. Visual artists in particular have used the storyteller’s colorful worlds to inform their own original work and tributes. From woodblock prints to art nouveau, artists have translated the Japanese filmmaker’s stories into other…

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Of course someone created The Matrix’s construct scene in VR

We have one word about the famous Matrix scene being refitted for Oculus Rift: Whoa!  OK, we have a few more, but that’s a good starting point. There’s just something awe-inspiring about being in the same hollow, boundless white room where a debonair Laurence Fishburne introduces slack-jawed Keanu to computer-simulated reality. As Morpheus said, “Unfortuantely, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself,” and that’s exactly what this demo by Tipatat Chennavasin lets you do.  VR film scene tourism is a trend we’re seeing more of recently, with adaptations letting fans step…

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Studio Ghibli beer, worth drinking for the whimsical label alone

The label on this bottle of beer strikes me as curious and whimsical and unlike anything I’ve seen in my lustrous beer-drinking career, which has been the downfall of many-a-beers. That’s because it comes from the hot-dog stand at the Studio Ghibli Museum in Tokyo, as snapped by a blogger over at Boing Boing. You can really sense the Miyazaki-ness of this bottle that pays tribute to Nausicaä: Valley of the Wind. Now I’ll spend the rest of the afternoon dreaming of what other Studio Ghibli-themed beers might be peddled there: a Porco Rosso saison, perhaps?  Via Boing Boing

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A Nausicaä-inspired work of animation that lets you be director

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is pretty outstanding. But the problem is it’s static. Once you’ve seen it, you’ve seen it. However, the storytelling app IDNA—which takes inspiration from that famous anime of Miyazaki—is in a state of constant evolution.  Now on Kickstarter, the episodic animated film for Oculus and iOS touts a technique called “spacial storytelling,” which is a fancy way of saying that it lets you direct the story by holding your iPad in the air and swiveling it. This sounds fascinating, as long as you have strong wrists and won’t drop your iPad.  As seen in…

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Virtual reality dev continues to melt hearts with My Neighbor Totoro

The virtual reality developer Red of Paw continues to make virtual reality an altogether more whimsical place, blogging that they will bring the “bus stop” scene from Studio Ghibli’s My Neighbor Totoro to the Oculus Rift next. This is the memorable moment for fans of Japanese anime where the doe-eyed Japanese youth of that film offers the broad-bellied forest mammal a place under her umbrella. Yes, I fully expect it will give me rosy cheeks. Reinterpreting the works of Hayao Miyazaki in three-dimensional space is becoming something of a tradition for Red of Paw. Last time we heard from them, they…