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Pippi Longstocking 1 (Miyazaki/Kotabe, 1971): Image Boards and Test Cels

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Pippi and the Frog 1: Test cel
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Added 8/3/2011
Updated 8/18/2022
This smile-provoking test cel of Pippi making friends with a frog was directly worked up from one of Miyazaki’s sketches that was reproduced in Kodansha’s Image Boards.

While Miyazaki’s sketch puts Pippi’s head more forward, they are clearly the same image. In working up the color, notice how the frog’s bright yellow belly echoes Pippi’s brilliant yellow panties. The way in which Pippi seems to be sinking into the grass is also effectively done by drawing zigzag ink lines on to the edges of Pippi’s arms, legs, and skirt, then leaving these sections unpainted so that the green watercolor underneath showed through. I’ve added a detail from this part of the transparency in the thumbnail. Another Miyazaki sketch in the 1983 artbook shows the playful girl in mid-air, imitating the frog’s leap into the lake.

It is interesting that the art-book’s preliminary version shows some color-shifting and a sprinkling of artifacts in the top corners. At first I thought this might signal mold damage in the original sketch. But after “brightening” some of the photos of sketches that later became available, I realized that this digital work often left the upper corners darkened and full of digital artifacts. So it is possible that some of the images in the Image Board publication were reproduced from safety photos (already showing darkening and color shifts) rather than the original artwork.

The test cel is included in the 2014 Maburoshi publication, p. 8. The preliminary drawing is also in Maburoshi, p. 56.

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Curator: 60something-sensei
Gallery Created: 8/3/2002
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