Which popular children's story almost became a Miyazaki classic?
Hayao Miyazaki, who just recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, has made a total of 26 animated feature films in his distinguished career. 40 years ago, he started developing an animation based on a children's book, but he eventually had to give up before the project went into production. What might have been is sure to surprise you.
If things had gone according to plan, Pippi Longstocking may have joined Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, and others as one of Miyazaki's most popular works. 40 years ago, when Pippi Longstocking was still a Swedish children's book, her story caught Miyazaki's eye, and he instantly started working on adapting the story. It even got as far as Miyazaki drawing up the characters, as seen below, but unfortunately, due to Pippi Longstocking author Astred Lindgren not wanting to hand over her rights, he had to abandon the project and move on, which he obviously did.
If things had worked out, there would have been a Hayao Miyazaki version of Pippi Longstocking, produced by Studio Gibli. Unfortunately that didn't happen, but check out the concept art of what might have been.
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