Ronia-the-Robbers-Daughter

Briefly: The output of Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli has been aimed primarily at movie theaters, but the company is aiming at television for its next project. In August, a television series based on Astrid Lindgren‘s novel Ronia the Robber’s Daughter, will air in Japan. The book has been turned into a film in Sweden, as well as a stage play and musical.

The series was created as a coproduction with Polygon Pictures, and Hayao Miyazaki’s son Goro Miyazaki is directing. The book is about Ronia, daughter of robber chieftain, and in the novel she develops a relationship with the son of a rival chieftain. They spend time together in secret until a chain of events exposes their friendship. [via NHK]

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The Wind Rises

Briefly: Joseph Gordon-Levitt is having a big news day. He’s attached to adapt Neil Gaiman’s Sandman and he’s now officially been revealed as the lead voice in Disney’s English-language release of Hayao Miyazaki‘s final film, The Wind Rises.

Gordon-Levitt will voice Jiro Horikoshi, a talented engineer who spends his life building planes, only to realize he can’t fix everything. The actor will be joined by an impressive list of names including his Looper co-star Emily Blunt, her husband John Krasinski, as well as Martin Short, Stanley Tucci, Mandy Patinkin, William H. Macy, Werner Herzog (!), Mae Whitman, Jennifer Grey, Darren Criss, Elijah Wood and Ronan Farrow.

The English dubbed version will be released February 21. [USA Today]

When Marnie Was There

As audiences continue to digest Studio Ghibli’s 2013 film, The Wind Rises, the studio’s 2014 film has been revealed. It’s When Marnie Was There, directed by Yonebayashi Hiromasa (The Secret World of Arriety), based on an English language book by Joan G. Robinson. Robinson’s book is number 18 on Hayao Miyazaki’s top 50 recommended children’s book and follows a young girl who learns about friendship from a ghost.

Read more about the story below. Read More »

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Hayao Miyazaki may have retired from directing feature films, but don’t fret: Studio Ghibli will continue to make new movies. The next film from the studio reportedly will be from The Secret World of Arrietty director Hiromasa Yonebayashi.

And for Miyazaki fans, the interesting factor is that an anecdotal piece of information suggest that the film might be the long-rumored sequel to Porco Rosso. That’s Miyazaki’s film about a bewitched human pilot who, trapped in the form of a pig, engages in aerial battles over the Adriatic Sea after WWI. Read More »

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Disney has finalized release plans for what’s likely to be the last film Hayao Miyazaki will ever direct: The Wind Rises.

The Studio Ghibli film will get an Oscar qualifying run in New York and Los Angeles from November 8-14, a limited release on February 21, 2014 and then expand on February 28, 2014. It’ll screen in the original Japanese with English subtitles. After the jump, read the full press release. Read More »

Hayao Miyazaki Retires From Feature Directing

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Briefly: We’ll have to wait for more info, but Twitch reports that Hayao Miyazaki‘s retirement from feature directing was announced at the Venice Film Festival, where his new film The Wind Rises is in competition. He didn’t make the statement himself; rather, Studio Ghibli president Hoshino Koji announced it. There were no further details.

Long-time fans of the director will recall that this is not the first time the director has announced his intention to retire. Only time will tell whether or not he will truly stay away from features now; the fact that the announcement specifically mentioned feature directing does leave the door open for the filmmaker to craft other work, which will be some consolation to fans.

From Up On Poppy Hill, co-written by Hayao Miyazaki and directed by Gor? Miyazaki, was Studio Ghibli’s big 2011 release. It tells the story of two high school students hoping to clean up their hometown who run up against the corporate mindset of a local businessman. When the film came out in Japan last summer, it was a success for the legendary company and soon after, producers Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy decided to bring it to North America via GKids. The film will be released in November for an Oscar qualifying run followed by a wider release in March 2013. Its impressive English language voice cast has now been revealed. Read the full list after the jump. Read More »

The worlds portrayed by Studio Ghibli are so vivid, colorful and imaginative, it seems almost silly to try and picture them realistically. They’re animated for a reason. One film that has a particularly grounded feel though, at least as far as Ghibli goes, is Hayao Miyazaki‘s Princess Mononoke, and that’s probably the reason why Ghibli has officially licensed a London theater group to put on a live-action stage production. It’s the first-ever of its kind.

Princess Mononoke, adapted by the Whole Hog Theatre, will run from April 2-6, 2013 at the New Diorama Theatre in London. This announcement was originally made in July and prompted quite the response, with the run completely selling out in 72 hours.

After the jump, find out more about how Whole Hog plans on adapting one of Miyazaki’s masterworks and how you might be able to see it yourself. Read More »

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