Thursday, April 21, 2016

Totoro Sits on Deadpool

"Insert snarky comment here"

Our younger son has developed a sudden intense desire to watch the movie "My Neighbor Totoro." I suspect this interest somehow came from a YouTube video, but I cannot identify the exact source. Unfortunately "Totoro" appears to only be available on DVD, and our TV and DVD player stopped communicating with one another about a year ago. The kids are utterly mystified- "HOW can this movie not be available on Netflix or ITunes?  In their universe, all video entertainment is available at all times.

As a stopgap measure to satisfy the Totoro craving, I picked up a used copy of a four volume graphic novel composed of stills from the movie. The direct import of movie stills into the book leads to some oddities. There is not a lot of dialogue in the movie, but there are a lot of sound effects. These are reproduced graphically in Japanese text with an index of english translations in the back- many pages of tiny text translations of "tmp, tmp, tmp,"  "VROOSH" and the like.

And certain images in the book seem a little odd or awkward because they were isolated out of a stream of animation. In the flow of the movie, one would not be able to dwell on them, but in the book, one can.

One such image which particularly drew my sons' attention was the dangling furry testicles of the flying "CatBus" character. In the context of the movie, his endowment might be a brief visual joke, if one noticed at all... but in the book, one can dwell on the image at length, particularly if testicles are of special interest.

Earlier on in the book, I had explained that Japanese culture feels generally a bit more relaxed about the anatomical realities of the human body than we do here in the puritanical United States. There is a scene where the Dad hangs out naked in the bathtub with his two female children which would probably not appear in an episode of "Dora the Explorer" or "Inside/Out."  But the CatBus scrotum seemed a bit extra credit anyway.  As my sons were quick to point out, he did not appear to have a penis.

The CatBus anatomy of course led to conjecture about Totoro's genitals, or lack thereof.
So when it came time to draw Totoro comically sitting on top of Deadpool, I decided that Wade had better be on his stomach and not potentially getting a face full of furry dangly bits.

My sons told me that I should have just drawn Deadpool's head sticking out instead, and that he should have a speech bubble that says "insert snarky comment here."
As usual, they were correct. 

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