A fun new way to raise a glass to the wonders of anime.

One of the most surprising highlights of a trip to Tokyo’s Ghibli Museum is the spinning, mind-bending zoetrope on the ground floor. The fascinating display stops and starts in a never-ending loop that perfectly demonstrates how a static scene becomes animated, using famous characters like Totoro and the Catbus from the movie My Neighbour Totoro.

When it’s not moving, you can see that the display consists of a number of models that are slightly different — the skipping rope held by Satsuki at the front, for example, becomes slightly higher and then lower with each successive model, while the height of Totoro’s jump changes in the middle and the Catbus’ feet above it are positioned differently.

As soon as the display begins to spin, and flashing lights are added, the slight changes in each model pass by your field of vision at such speed that it makes it look as if they’re moving before your eyes. Suddenly, the game of jump rope comes to life, as Totoro bounces up and down and the Catbus runs in midair.

The “Bouncing Totoro 3-D Zoetrope“, as it’s known, is a beautiful homage to the zoetrope, a pre-film animation device that became popular in the 1830s. Up until now, the only way to witness the beauty of the Totoro zoetrope was with a visit to the Ghibli Museum, but there’s now a way to enjoy its splendour at home, thanks to the new Ghibli Museum Original Pair Glass.

▼ The two characters chosen for the two-piece set are Totoro and the Catbus.

Each glass in the set features the character’s best poses from the zoetrope, carefully selected for ultimate cuteness.

While we don’t recommend spinning these glasses to create the zoetrope effect, it is possible to gently sway them from side-to-side as you drink, so you can view the ever-so-slight changes that form the basis of all good anime.

The glasses have been created in conjunction with Noritake, the esteemed Japanese porcelain brand that also makes a number of other Ghibli goods. Priced at 4,840 yen (US$42.07) per set, the glasses went on sale today at the museum’s Mamma Aiuto store and online, and thankfully, they’re much easier to wrap than the store’s cat jars.

Source: Ghibli Museum Shop
Featured image: Studio Ghibli

Insert images: Ghibli Museum Shop
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