Original Art Auction To Raise Funds For Totoro Forest Fund

The world's top film animators, comic book artists and illustrators have come together to create original works of art inspired by the iconic animated film MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO for an auction to benefit the Totoro No Furusato (Totoro's Homeland) National Fund -- also known as the Totoro Forest Fund.

The organization is dedicated to preserving Sayama Forest, a large park outside Tokyo that inspired the beloved film by respected Japanese movie director Hayao Miyazaki. The Totoro Forest Project Charity Auction (http://totoroforestproject.org/) will be held Saturday, September 6, at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, California.

The Sayama Forest, which inspired the landscape of 1988's MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO, occupies nearly 15 square miles of cultivated forest, rice paddy fields, wetlands and grassland amidst an encroaching sea of urban development. The area has been the subject of preservation efforts since the 1970s, but because land is at such a premium in the Tokyo area, it is under constant threat of development. The Totoro No Furusato National Fund was established in 1990 following the success of MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO and the attention the film drew to the Sayama Forest.

"Professor Tashihiko Ando, chairman of the Totoro No Furusato National Fund, has stated that Hayao Miyazaki has described MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO as a movie that portrayed a paradise for children," said Dice Tsutsumi, art director at Pixar Animation Studios and one of the organizers of the Totoro Forest Project Charity Auction. "The Sayama Forest is the embodiment of that paradise. The auction is a wonderful opportunity for artists to help preserve this historic forest for future generations of children, and pay tribute to Miyazaki-san and the film that has been so inspirational to their art."

More than 200 artists from around the world have created nearly 210 original paintings, illustrations and sculptures for the Totoro Forest Project Charity Auction. A high quality book featuring all the works of art will be available for purchase at the event. Additionally, a selection of the artwork will be featured in a special exhibition September 20, 2008 to February 8, 2009 at the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco.

Pixar artists Dice Tsutsumi, Enrico Casarosa and Ronnie Del Carmen, and Yukino Pang of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, lead the Totoro Forest Project Charity Auction organizing committee.

For more information about the Totoro No Furusato National Fund and the Totoro Forest Project Charity Auction, visit http://totoroforestproject.org/ or email totoroart@gmail.com.

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