Mr. Dough and the Egg Princess (パン種とタマゴ姫 , Pandane to Tamago Hime) is a 12-minute animated film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and premiered on 20 November 2010. It is the eighth in a series of twelve short films screened exclusively at the Saturn Theater in the basement of the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Japan.
It was Miyazaki's latest project following the release of "Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea" (2008) and his next short film after "Mizugumo Monmon" or "Water Spider Monmon" (2006). According to the Animation Director of this short, Kitarō Kōsaka, this work was meant to "return to the origin of animation". This meant that number of drawings rose to an average of 190 per animated cut, which was the highest number of any Ghibli works at the time.
Miyazaki conceived the idea for the film from the painting "The Harvesters" by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. The music was composed by Joe Hisaishi and consists of a set of Baroque variations on the Folia theme by Antonio Vivaldi.
Once upon a time, a witch named Baba Yaga lived a life of isolation in a watermill at the back of a thorny forest. She returns home having collected a basket full of eggs, then cooks them in a massive pan. Try as she might, one egg could not be cracked. She takes one her ribbons and grants life to the unbroken egg, calling it "Egg Princess" or . Time passes, and the young egg princess is forced into indentured servitude working in the witch's mill and kitchen. She's kept under the watchful eye of the witch, whose grotesque appetite fuels her obsession with creating bonemeal. She even taunts the young Tamago with an apple with a worm.
One night, the leaven that was kneaded by the captive Egg suddenly comes to life thanks to the mysterious and begins to move. She grants Mr. Dough sight by offering it a few berries as eyes, and helps it escape the watermill. Baba Yaga awakens and senses something is amiss.
Egg Princess and Mr. Dough flee the thorny forest and through the wheat fields as villagers in a nearby town toil. Mr. Dough gains the ability to run and enjoys his stroll through the countryside. Baba Yaga searches far and wide for her ward, wrecking havoc among the laborers. The pair disguise themselves as a spoke in a wheel in a caravan of harvested wheat returning to town's mills.
The town is filled with activity as they mill their harvest. Mr. Dough disguises himself as a laborer, but they are soon spotted by the witch from up on high. Baba Yaga flies down and wears a hat as she searches for the two. She stumbles upon a tent where villagers make bread. She tears through the crowd and captures Mr. Dough, then takes him into a baker's home where she dissects him into pieces of bread. The Egg Princess quickly pieces Mr. Dough back together, whom the witch seemingly allows. Once completed, Baba Yaga shoves Mr. Dough into the oven where he bakes and is turned into a large humanoid bread man.
They are soon interrupted by royal guards, and along come the Egg King and Queen. The now large Mr. Dough then takes the Egg Princess from the witch and places her upon his shoulder for her protection. The villagers, along with the royalty among them begin to cheer. Baba Yaga seethes in anger, and Mr. Dough offers a part of his chest for her consumption. She snatches the piece and devours it in frustration, then quickly leaves the scene. She sticks her tongue out in disgust, and flies off. Egg Princess and Mr. Dough then walk off into the sunset waving goodbye as credits roll.
Behind the Scenes
This is an animated film written, scripted and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. This was Miyazaki's first work as director since "Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea" released in 2008. It was released as part of his library of short films released at the Mitaka Municipal Animation Museum (also known as the Ghibli Museum of Art in Mitaka) and was the first director's work since "Mizugumo Monmon" released in 2006.
Miyazaki took inspiration from European landscape paintings and folk language. Miyazaki was also inspired by the 1565 painting "The Harvesters" by Flemish artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder. When Miyazaki learned that the crop depicted in the painting was "rye", he expressed shock that he didn't know and wanted to make a film about the European landscape depicted in the painting.
During the film's preview, Kiyofumi Nakajima, director of the Ghibli Museum at the time, explained that it was "a film created by Miyazaki inflating his image in the wake of Bruegel's paintings." According to the Animation Director of this short, Kitarō Kōsaka, this work was meant to "return to the origin of animation". This meant that number of drawings rose to an average of 190 per animated cut, which was the highest number of any Ghibli works at the time. This work's animation has been praised for bringing dynamism to very unusual character designers, making them as if they are indeed, "alive". The film does not have a single line of dialogue, something that has become commonplace among Ghibli's shorts where animation becomes purely the focus of the viewers.
Miyazaki pointed out that references to folk languages in Europe could be seen as Mr. Dough runs away with the Egg Princess, similar to the Japanese folktale "Omitsbi Kororin". "I learned that there is a similar story about bread running away in a nation where people eat bread." When I was considering those folktales, he said, "If it was a bread species before it became bread, I wonder if Nebaneva would run away with Gnyagnya..."
The process of making this work, Studio Ghibli introduced a "Professional Work Style" method.
La Folía: Mr. Dough and the Egg Princess Soundtrack (ラ・フォリア「パン種とタマゴ姫」サウンドトラック, Ra Foria "Pandane to Tamago-hime" Saundotorakku) was composed and arranged by Joe Hisaishi, and is based on the D minor variations from Baroque composer Antonio Vivaldi's "La Folia".
Akihiro Miura conducted and Concertmaster Miura Strings performed. The first release of this disc was on the Team Mamma Aiuto label, the series of museum short film soundtracks available for sale only at the Studio Ghibli Museum. A second release with different cover artwork was created on the Tokuma Japan Communications label for sale outside of the museum.
The characters of Mr. Dough and Egg Princess were heavily merchandised around the time of the short's release. Aside from the standard brochure that came with the other Ghibli short films, this release saw multiple figures, keychains, pins, postcards. They also sold a carton of eggs fashioned as characters in the film, including the Egg King, Queen and their soldiers.
Hayao Miyazaki himself would use the Egg Princess and Mr. Dough in multiple occasions, cameoing in various comics and exhibition art. During the film's release, the Ghibli Museum created a large display of said characters, and a comic featuring the two describe the various kinds of grain, rye and even bread making process.
|Director, Screenplay||Hayao Miyazaki|
|Animation Director||Kitarō Kōsaka|
|Original Drawing||Atsuko Tanaka, Kenichi Yamada, Hideaki Furuya, Shogo Furuya, Makiko Ogura, Yasumi Ogura Shoko, Nagasawa Naoko, Kawahara Shiori, Fujisawa Akiyo, Okuda Yui, Osaki Keng,o Takehana Takeshi, Honda Taichi, Kitada Atsuko, Itagaki Atsuko|
|Color Design||Michiyo Yasuda, Yukie Tamura|
|Video Check||Hitomi Hateno|
|Art Director||Yoji Takeshige|
|Video||Akiko Teshima, Mayumi Omura, Rie Nakagomi, Saito Masaya, Alexandra Waeraufu, Minoru Ohashi, Kaori Fujii, Yamada Shinichiro, Tadashi Megumi, Mariko Matsuo, Atsushi Tamura, Yokota Higaki, Fumie Konno, Masayo Takahashi, also Arai good stone corner, Sunabi Tomoko, Miura Masako, Akita Atsuta, Saiwai Hisashi, YoJiro Andong, Ota KoromoYoshi, Shima Sachiko, Sugiura Matsuura, Yoshie Noguchi, Tomoyo Nishida, Emi Tamura, Naoya Wada, Kasumi Yagi, Azuma Seiko, Makita Kiyoko, Yayoi Toki, Keiko Tomizawa, Maya Fujimori, Tomoko Fukui, Yohei Nakano, Tanitaira Kumiko, Yukari YAMAURA, Nakazato Masakiyo, Koyama Masami, Yukie Kaneko, Mai Akane, Rie Eyama, Rie Fukui, Otani Kumiko|
|Background||Takashi Omori, Yoichi Takamatsu, Yoichi Nishikawa, Shiho Sato, Satoko Nakamura, Izumi Muta, Yumi Ishii|
|Finish||Kanako Takasugi, Naomi Mori, Hiroaki Ishii, Kazuko Karube, Junya Saito, Rie Kojo, Eiko Matsushima, Yuu Kashima, Takeshi Nakamura, Yuko Watanabe, Yuki Komatsu, T2 Studio, Kumi Nanjo, Akiko Shimizu, Yoshimi Shibata, Natsumi Watanabe, Natsuko Inohara, Yukiko Kawamata|
|Animation Cooperation||Anime Toro Toro, Studio Takuranke|