I have never been to Oregon, but now I am unshakably convinced that it’s basically a Studio Ghibli movie come to life, thanks to some creative liberties taken by the state’s tourism department in "Only Slightly Exaggerated."
This minute-and-a-half trip is what would happen if Hayao Miyazaki, the legendary director of films such as My Neighbor Totoro and Howl’s Moving Castle, took one huge bong rip (hey, it’s legal there) and set out to animate the wilds of Oregon. Mushroom people hit the beaches, giant bunnies gallop through tulip fields, sky-whales… do their sky whale things. A meteor liquefies and turns into golden goopy eyeballs, like something straight out of Spirited Away. A caterpillar with a face rides through the woods and deeply disturbs me. Keep it moving, giant moon-faced caterpillar man.
It’s the work of ad agency Widen+Kennedy—whose work also includes the equally-weird OkCupid “DTF” ads that are all over the NYC subways right now—in collaboration with “Minecraft Musical” makers Psyop, and is animated by Denmark-based Sun Creature Studio. The Oregon Symphony provides the charmingly nostalgic score.
Oregonian software engineer Matt Fife pointed out on his blog that almost every scene featured in this ad is a real place in the state, including iconic mountain ranges like Three Sisters and events like the Portland Dragon Boat Race and the Willamette Valley Wine and Balloon tours.
If I ever visit Oregon and it doesn’t look exactly like this, I’m going to be so pissed.