Mirò the cat. From Italy to China

The National Museum of Cinema - from July 4th to September 16th, 2019


The National Museum of Cinema in Turin is celebrating Cristina Làstrego and Francesco Testa’s art with a tribute to Gatto Mirò  (Mirò the Cat) , their most famous creation, recently landed on the shores on China.


The enormous success in the land of Marco Polo has led to a great project with the creation of a theme park in the city of Yancheng, about 100km from Shanghai, over a surface of 4 thousand hectares with house and hotel accommodation for 30 thousand. Inside there will also be a cultural centre, a theatre, a kindergarten, a farm and a castle, all with Gatto Mirò.


This is a master plan for a cartoon that saw the light under the Mole Antonelliana.

Cristina Làstrego created it as an extension of a long series of characters, first on paper - La Giovanna a fumetti, subsequently a cartoon - : Mirò is a blue cat,  a collage  of fabric, buttons, and trimmings  that takes shape like Arcimboldo’s characters and their world, all made using great inventiveness and original technical and composition solutions.


A tribute of the National Museum of Cinema in the magical framework of the Temple Hall, following the creative  process from the idea to the story board, to observing the expressions on the characters’ faces, tallying with the exhibition #FacceEmozioni. 1500-2020: dalla fisiognomica agli emoji (FacesEmotions from 15000 to 2020: from physiognomy to emjois) opening on July the 17th, a more ‘animated’ development. Paper and pixels, the creations fully achieve their aim on the when the Gatto Mirò  sequences are shown as a animation while a series of illustrations introduce Mirò’s friends: Bea the Bear, Lele the Elephant and lots of others all drawn in digital relief.

The tour ends with an illustration of the theme park in China, that was developed using Mirò’s adventures as a starting point.


Animation is also a dialogue among spatial dimensions: Cristina and Francesco decided to close the exhibition with a ‘real’ Gatto Mirò, made by hand, using materials, fabrics, buttons and trimmings, the result of Cristina’s creativity once again proving that the digital world is bolstered by the actual 3-D generated by imagination.

Gatto Mirò is the first case in Italy of an animation project starting from a software  app developed by the Ovolab in Turin, recently updated for iPhone as Mirò the Cat. The series is computer generated using digital cut-out, that gives the impression of a moving collage.

Young visitors can access the Gatto Mirò site and send him drawings and stories to contribute to new episodes.


Làstrego e Testa Multimedia S.r.l. in an independent animation studio specialised in children’s TV series, that was established int he 1970’swhen the founders Cristina Làstrego and Francesco Testa began working in the children’s publishing sector.


As authors they have published with Einaudi, Zanichelli, Mondadori, Fatatrac, Gallucci, Carthusia, E.Elle, Gallimard, Grasset et Fasquelle, Simon & Schuster, Nord Süd, Benziger, Velber, Carlsen, Altea, Juventud, Ravensburger,  Henan Science &Technology Press and  Beijing Yangliu Classic Culture.

Over 200 of their books have been published in 18 languages.


By focussing on visual quality as well as on teaching methods, animation is aimed at stimulating children’s creativity and imagination, highlighting values of solidarity and cooperation. Mirò the Cat is based on drawing by Cristina Làstrego and texts by Francesco Testa, made into cut-out animation in the footsteps of Emanuele Luzzati,  their master.