hayao miyazaki documentary

Tuesday December 9 is a great day to be a fan of Studio Ghibli. It’s the day Mami Sunada‘s documentary, The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness, hits all your big digital VOD platforms: iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Google Play, Playstation, Xbox, and Vudu.

That means you can sit back and be a fly on the wall of one of the world’s most incredible and influential animation studios as Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata work to finish The Wind Rises and The Tale of The Princess Kaguya. That in itself is an amazing opportunity. What’s even more incredible is while Sunada’s cameras were rolling, Miyazaki made the decision to retire from filmmaking.

Below, we’ve got an exclusive clip from The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness. In it, you can watch Miyazaki actually work. He animates the final shot of The Wind Rises, which he decided to change at the last second and, to him, it tied everything together. It’s a bitter sweet, wonderful moment and – potentially – a piece of film history. Watch the exclusive Hayao Miyazaki documentary clip below, then read through our recent stroll through his entire feature career. Read More »

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studio ghibli documentary trailer

The best documentaries take a great subject and then get hit by lightning. You’re filming your movie and then, over the course of it, something incredible and magical happens that takes the story in a whole different way. For filmmaker Mami Sunada, unprecedented access into one of the most famous animation studios in the world, Studio Ghibli, was just the beginning. Things got very interesting when their most famous and revered filmmaker, Hayao Miyazaki, decided to announce his retirement.

The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness is the result of that crazy story. It’s a documentary about the behind the scenes drama at Ghibli and the aftermath of Miyazaki making the bombshell announcement. A trailer for the film has now released in advance of a limited theatrical release November 28 and then a VOD window early in 2015. Check out the The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness, a Studio Ghibli documentary trailer, below. Read More »

Princess Kaguya US teaser

Studio Ghibli’s next release in the US is The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, and we’re happy to present the first US teaser for the film. Directed by Grave of the Fireflies director Isao Takahata, the movie explores the folk tale of a young princess who is found as an infant by a bamboo cutter, and tells of the fate that befalls her. The English-language version of the film is to be released by Gkids in October, with James Caan, Mary Steenburgen, and Chloë Grace Moretz voicing the lead roles. There’s no dialogue in this first trailer, but you will get to see some of the unique and lovely visual style employed for the tale. See The Tale of the Princess Kaguya US teaser debut below. Read More »

Studio Ghibli Clarifies Future Plans (Slightly)

Studio Ghibli future plans

The internet nearly exploded a few days ago when a poor translation of quotes from Toshio Suzuki of Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli suggested the company would cease production of new animation. The situation is a bit different than that, as Ghibli is looking at “housecleaning” or “restructuring” as it moves forward. While the company’s animated features are work-intensive and very expensive to create, Studio Ghibli isn’t necessarily giving up just yet.

In fact, Suziki has made another appearance on Japanese television to clarify his weekend comments. He even suggests that we’ll see more work from Hayao Miyazaki, who retired from feature directing last year. Whatever Miyazaki makes next probably won’t be a feature, however, and you might have to go to Japan to see it. Suzuki also had a bit more to say about how the company is approaching its future.  Read More »

Studio Ghibli closed

The rumors of Studio Ghibli‘s demise have been flying for a couple years, and intensified when co-founder Hayao Miyazaki announced his retirement from directing feature films. And while the Gibli documentary The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness hasn’t been officially released in the US, one sequence from the film has been floating around over the past week. In that sequence Miyazaki says “the future is clear. It’s going to fall apart. I can already feel it.” But has Studio Ghibli closed already? Nope!

No matter what a badly-translated quote said as it did the internet rounds on Sunday, the studio is still moving forward. Precisely how it will move forward is the question.

Ghibli co-founder and current general manager Toshio Suzuki has appeared on Japanese television program Jonetsu Tairiku on Sunday to talk about what the studio may do in the wake of Miyazaki’s retirement. While he said that one option would be to shut down the production department, the takeaway is that Studio Ghibli is looking into “housecleaning” or “restructuring” as it prepares for the future.

Read More »

When Marnie Was there Japanese trailer

The first trailer for the new Studio Ghibli movie When Marnie Was There was barely a trailer at all. Rather, it was more of a music video for the film’s primary song, by Priscilla Ahn. Now we’ve got a proper look at the film, in HD, via the When Marnie Was There Japanese trailer. This sets up a great deal of the story of a young girl who makes her first true friend. The only complication is that Marnie has her own unique situation.

At least, we think the trailer sets up that story. None of the dialogue is in English, so we have to rely upon an understanding of the source novel, and the exemplary visual storytelling in the footage. Being a Ghibli film — in this case, one directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi (The Secret World of Arrietty) — the animation and storytelling look to be wonderfully refined and elegant. Check out the trailer below. Read More »

When Marnie Was There

The next film from Studio Ghibli is When Marnie Was There (Omoide no Marnie), directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi (The Secret World of Arrietty). The story follows an adopted girl who makes a ghostly friend — her first friend, really — during a stay at a seaside town. The film is set for release in Japan this summer, and now there’s a When Marnie Was There trailer.

As often happens with Ghibli films, this trailer comes from a TV broadcast, so it is littered with some graphics and text. And as also often happens with Ghibli films, this first trailer is more of a music video for the song associated with the film. In this case, it is an English-language tune, ‘Fine on the Outside,’ sung by Priscilla Ahn. It’s the first time an English-language song has been associated with a Ghibli film. Check out the trailer below. Read More »

Studio Ghibli documentary

We’ve told you about The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness, the documentary about Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli. Now we get to tell you that GKIDS, the US distributor which has taken up distribution of some Ghibli titles in the States, will bring the doc to US theaters this year. Read More »

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