The Real Star of “The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness”
When announcing his retirement back in 2013, animator Hayao Miyazaki had a film crew following his every step, shooting a documentary about the inner goings of Studio Ghibli. The result became The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness, an amazing film that looked into Miyazaki’s creative process while he worked on his last two films. However, the true star of the film wasn’t Miyazaki, it was Ushiko, the Studio Ghibli cat that wandered the offices.
In one short scene, Miyazaki reveals he’s envious of the cat’s “schedule-free” life. Weirdly enough, as brief as the cat’s appearance is, it provides an eerie parallel between Miyazaki’s reality and desire, the cat representing that elusive desire for freedom. But on a less analytical note, we also just like cats.