Miyazaki-Inspired Ad Retells Patty Hearst Story Using Teddy Bears

Okay, so that title is a little deceiving, I’ll grant you that. But *most* of it is true.

Well, sorta.

I mean, it’s true that this four minute ad for the Japanese store, Control Bear, is very Miyazaki-esque. That’s probably because it was beautifully directed by former Studio Ghibli animator Yojiro Arai (Arriety, Up On Poppy Hill).

It’s also true that it features teddy bears. This is undoubtedly due to the fact that Control Bear is a shop that specializes in teddy bears, clothing for teddy bears, and clothing for humans…that’s decorated with teddy bears.

But the Patty Hearst part? Okay, I could see how you might want to cry foul over that. But if you’re willing to bare/bear with me for a second, I’ll quickly run down the list of similarities:

  • Innocent young girl is taken from her family without warning.
  • Girl’s physical appearance is altered by kidnapper — hair and clothes styles made unrecognizable.
  • Girl is taken to kidnapper’s headquarters, where she is indoctrinated with kidnapper’s unusual ideology.
  • Girl is introduced to more members of kidnapper’s organization, slowly begins to feel a kinship with them and their ‘plight.’ (See: Stockholm Syndrome.)
  • Finally, young girl comes to fully identify herself with her abductors, going so far as to join them in an illegal act of wanton destruction and civil disobedience.

So you see? I wasn’t COMPLETELY off base with that click-baiting title. Just…a little.


Thanks to my online hero, Jerry Beck, for the initial link. In truth, he probably hates me for mentioning him in connection with this.

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