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.
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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 »
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 »
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 »
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]
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]
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.
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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 »
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.