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Classic Cel-Based Series

A Tree of Palme 1: Palme and Popo

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Caution! Spoilers in descriptions!

A Tree of Palme (2001) is an ambitious movie created and directed by Takashi Nakamura, a distinguished animator who also directed Catnapped! (1995). More recently, he was the creator, author, character designer, and director for the TV series Fantastic Children (2004). Palme, a hybrid of Pinocchio and Ghost in the Shell, tells the story of a wooden robot who undertakes a dangerous journey to the underworld, during which his adventures humanize him, for better and for worse.

The movie was a labor of love for Nakamura. "A robot named Palme is frightened by the transience of his existence," he explained in an interview. "Yet he undertakes a journey to the inside of humans' tormented souls and minds, and he comprehends them. We humans living today are like this figure: we also question our spiritual bearings, and what of us will endure. That is why we need stories like this one. I believe that the more deeply this film's values are reflected in the consciousness of each viewer, the more clearly these values will emerge."

Nakamura's high seriousness has won over a number of critics. "This film, so rich in content, with its own style despite its homages," says Amy Harlin in a frames per second magazine review, "blossoms in the minds and hearts of its viewers and deserves to flourish in the anime field and to propagate in the wider world." (Yipes! Nip that botanical metaphor in the bud!)

These cels, handsomely painted, often generously oversized, and among the last ever used by animation studios, generate quite a visual impact. For a wider selection of Palme cels, see Vapalla's Cels.

This gallery focuses on images important in the story of Palme and the difficult but finally moving relationship that he develops with the human girl Popo, whom he encounters on his way.

 Popo: The Final Parting from Palme
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Curator: 60something-sensei
Gallery Created: 8/3/2002
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Presentation 8.82/10   Collection 9.47/10   Overall 9.03/10   Votes 84 votes
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