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 »
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Posted on Wednesday, February 4th, 2015 by Peter Sciretta
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.
Posted on Tuesday, December 9th, 2014 by Germain Lussier
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 »
Posted on Saturday, November 22nd, 2014 by Germain Lussier
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 »
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 »
Posted on Saturday, June 14th, 2014 by Russ Fischer
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 »
Posted on Wednesday, February 5th, 2014 by Russ Fischer
Rumors of the closure of Studio Ghibli are not true, but it seems that Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro director Hayao Miyazaki may be done with feature filmmaking for good. In a career that spanned over thirty years directing features, Miyazaki refined his own storytelling and helped change the world’s idea of what stories animated films can bring to audiences of all ages. And yet even with the muscle of Disney behind them, the films of Hayao Miyazaki have been somewhat slow to hit DVD and then Blu-ray in the US. (For Blu-ray that is in part thanks to a measured release plan in Japan.)
With the recent US Blu upgrades for Kiki’s Delivery Service and Princess Mononoke, and the debut release of The Wind Rises on Disney home video, all but three of Miyazaki’s films are now on blu-ray in the States. (Disney will probably have Spirited Away out by Christmas 2015.) That’s as good a reason as any to look back at the filmmaker’s illustrious career. There aren’t any films on his CV you should not see — he has not made a bad movie — but below we’ll look at the films of Hayao Miyazaki in ranked order, to help you figure out what to prioritize, in the event you’re relatively new to his work.
Update: Disney has now also released Porco Rosso on blu-ray, along with excellent discs of Pom Poko and Tales From Earthsea. Disney’s blu releases of Miyazaki (and Ghibli films in general) have been excellent, and stand as essential upgrades from previous releases.
Posted on Thursday, January 9th, 2014 by Russ Fischer
When Homer Simpson and a salaryman friend wander the streets after drinking too much wine, they find themselves in an altered reality derived from the films of Hayao Miyazaki. Yep, in The Simpsons‘ ceaseless quest to catch our attention with short, referential sequences, the show has bowed deeply to the master animator with a sequence packed with visual gags that will be recognizable to even casual fans of the director.
That’s one of the sequence’s big nods, above, but there are plenty more in the scene, which you can see below. Read More »
Posted on Monday, November 18th, 2013 by Russ Fischer
Hayao Miyazaki‘s final feature film, The Wind Rises, just finished its Oscar-qualifying run in New York and LA, and will be back in theaters for a full run in February. This first brief run of the film was a subtitled affair, preserving the original Japanese voice track. When the movie returns next year there will be a choice of subtitled and dubbed versions.
We’ve got a new trailer for the US release, but we don’t get to hear those performances. In fact, we don’t even know who the English voice actors are. The sound here is mostly via one of the film’s songs.
Therefore, while this trailer gives you some idea of a few visual flights of fancy that take place in the movie, as Jiro Horikoshi dreams of becoming an aeronautical engineer and follows through to succeed at his goal, it does not let us hear much of the film’s stunningly unique sound design. I won’t be more specific, but the aircraft and natural events in this film don’t sound quite like you’d expect them to. Read More »