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Miyazaki's first original work as a screenwriter is a charming tale of a little girl who befriends a panda and his cub. Left home alone when her grandmother has to go away for a few days, little Mimiko is surprised to find a panda and his cub moving in. They very soon form a little family of their own, with Father Panda offering the fatherless Mimiko the paternal affection she's always wanted, and Mimiko mothering the motherless cub. Everything is going well until the local policeman discovers exactly who Mimiko's houseguests are. The father-bear, a model of good parenthood foreshadowing Miyazaki's ongoing concern with the parent/child relationship, can also be seen as one of the stages in the creation of My Neighbor Totoro, and the young protagonist has much in common with the heroine Miyazaki had sketched for TMS's abortive Pippi Longstocking project. The sequel, Panda Go Panda: Rainy Day Circus, also directed by Takahata, followed a year later. Pandas were big box office in the 1970s after the arrival of a Chinese panda at Tokyo Zoo, and other unrelated appearances during the period included Yugo Serikawa's Panda's Great Adventure (1973) and the Sino-Japanese coproduction Taotao the Panda. The following decade would see a similar obsession with koalas-see The Noozles.