Feed Your Imagination
“To give life to beauty, the painter uses a whole range of colours, musicians of sounds, the cook of tastes — and it is indeed remarkable that there are seven colours, seven musical notes and seven tastes.”
The phrase “Eat with your eyes” is one that you have probably heard. Food is something we need to fuel ourselves, not only for our bodies, but also for our minds. The dish that is served needs to be a feast for the sight, before you even consume it. Our brains are hardwired to be drawn to nutritious foods, and in order to appeal the food has to be colourful.
Somehow artists have captured this sentiment through animation, tantalising our taste buds through their art. Food in animation has become so integral to cinema that a dish has become a part of the main story line. For example, the scene in Lady and the Tramp; after a long arduous day of being chased the pair finally settle down to share a meal. The chef brings out a plate piled high with spaghetti and one large meatball. The relief from Lady is something that is felt through the screen. This meal led to the iconic spaghetti kiss which was so important to the progression of their relationship.
Not only are these moments so wonderful in Disney but other animators like Studio Ghibli, Dreamworks and Laika Studio have this magic too. Studio Ghibli captures the pleasures of eating so beautifully that they too have become iconic. There is something irresistible about the way the artists draw their culinary delights that even a simple cup of honey milk tea looks delicious. Hayao Miyazaki, the director and co-founder of Studio Ghibli, was inspired by meals he had created throughout his life and many believe this is why the food looks so tasty because they were created from a place of fondness from the director.
The food created such inspiration that there was a whole exhibition called Taberu Wo Kaku which translates to Delicious! Animating Memorable Meals at the Studio Ghibli museum. This exhibition contained actual replicas of meals from the movies. As well as how each piece was made to look as delectable as possible. In addition, sound bites featuring the sizzle of Howl making bacon and eggs for his new found family.
Studio Ghibli movies are comforting, filled with tiny details that let you know that every second of the movie has been carefully curated to give you a cinematic experience you will never forget. Just like a recipe it’s something that will be handed down in generations.