The Morning Watch - David Fincher VFX

(The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.)

In this edition, a video essay takes a look at the seamless, invisible visual effects in the films of David Fincher. Plus, find out what happened when master filmmakers Akira Kurosawa and Hayao Miyazaki met in 1993, and witness every single “That’s what she said” joke across all nine seasons of NBC’s The Office. Read More »

hayao miyazaki kingdom of dreams and madness

No matter how many times he has announced it, Hayao Miyazaki will never retire. And we can only be grateful that a genius like him will keep blessing the world with his works.

Miyazaki announced (for the umpteenth time) that he would retire from the grueling world of animation that he revolutionized with films like Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away in 2013, after the release of his World War II epic The Wind Rises. But a comeback was inevitable — a few years later it was revealed that Miyazaki was secretly working on a short film called Boro The Caterpillar. Unsatisfied with the final product however, Miyazaki is expanding the short into a feature length film. His un-retirement became official today when Studio Ghibli, Miyazaki’s professional home for 30 years, reopened its production department to work on Miyazaki’s feature film.

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never ending man hayao miyazaki

Hayao Miyazaki is one of the best living filmmakers in the world, in and outside of animation. So it was a loss for us all when he announced he would retire in 2013 — and a perplexing but exciting gain for us when he nixed that retirement and stated that he was coming back to direct a feature-length CGI animated film.

And because we got a lovely, melancholy documentary following the end of the last phase of his career — if you haven’t seen 2013’s The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness by Mami Sunada, do so now — we’re getting yet another documentary on Miyazaki titled Never-Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki, which follows his newfound passion for CGI animation and the making of the film bringing him out of retirement, Boro the Caterpillar.

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Hayao Miyazaki Coming Out of Retirement Again

hayao miyazaki unretires

2016’s been a rough year, so here’s a bit of good news to brighten your day. Hayao Miyazaki, the legendary Japanese animator and filmmaker, has decided to come out of retirement for one last feature film. Specifically, he’s got plans to turn a CG-animated short he’s been working on, Boro the Caterpillar, into a full-length feature. Read More »

The Collected Works of Hayao Miyazaki Blu-Ray

The Collected Works of Hayao Miyazaki Blu-Ray Set will be released by Disney in North America and is now available for pre-order for $224.99. The U.S. release of this set appears to be an Amazon exclusive. Shipping is free with or without Amazon Prime. The set includes the following films: Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Porco Rosso, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo and The Wind Rises. An international trailer and details about bonus features included in the set, can be found after the jump.

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Hayao Miyazaki Is Making a New Short Film

Hayao Miyazaki short film

We have good and bad news not he Studio Ghibli front. The good news is that “retired” animation master Hayao Miyazaki is making a new short film, with the primary character being a caterpillar. And, surprisingly, it seems that the short could be the animator’s first all-CG work. There are two bits of bad news, however. One is that this short may take up to three years to complete. And, second, you’ll have to travel to Japan to see it. Read More »

See The Studio Ghibli Theme Park We Wish Were Real

Studio Ghibli Theme Park

How much would you love to visit the worlds of Hayao Miyazaki? Who wouldn’t want to stay at the Hotel Adriano from Porco Rosso or the Aburaya Bathhouse from Spirited Away? Japanese artist Takumi has dreamed up a Studio Ghibli Theme Park we can only wish were real — its not gonna happen but imagine if Disney were to buy Ghibli and create such a theme park in Japan. After the jump you can see the fantastic designs created by Takumi which bring together many of the worlds seen in the Studio Ghibli movies.

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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 »

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 »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

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 »