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Here’s the very first footage from the new Hayao Miyazaki film, The Wind Rises. The movie, which hits screens in Japan in a few weeks, is Miyazaki’s most realistic to date. It tells the story of Jiro Horikoshi, the engineer who designed the Zero Fighter used by Japan in World War II. Or, the film is at least based on his story; as you’ll see in the footage, there’s an element of fantasy on display.

The teaser below isn’t very long, but it features enough footage to show off just how gorgeous the animation may be. That, in turn, should be enough to make animation fans happy that Miyazaki continues to direct, no matter the pace he sets for himself. Read More »

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The new film from Hayao Miyazaki is Kaze Tachinu (aka The Wind Rises, or The Wind is Rising), based on the manga of the same name about Jiro Horikoshi, who designed the famous Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter plane. The fighter was extensively used by Japan during World War II, and Miyazaki’s interest in flight is well-documented, making this project seem like a natural choice for the director.

The film will be released in Japan on July 20 of this year, and a trailer should air on Japanese television this week. We’ll have that trailer when it arrives, but in the meantime we can give you three new images from the film, which will be used as posters in cinemas later this spring. They’re pretty tiny, but you can compare one of them to the original manga art seen above to get a sense of how Miyzaki has translated the visual style.

Update: The same images have been released in much larger size. We’ve added them below.

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The idea of a live-action remake of one of the movies by animation master Hayao Miyazaki might not be very appealing no matter who wants to make it, even if the project is based on one of the director’s projects that is best positioned for live-action.

But what about the idea of Miyazaki himself contributing to a live-action companion to one of his films?

Both of these ideas are now realities, with Takashi Shimizu (The Grudge) confirmed to direct a live-action version of the coming-of-age story Kiki’s Delivery Service, in which a young witch develops her skills and sense of self-worth after moving to a new town. Miyazaki, meanwhile, contributed a kaiju design for a live-action short that essentially acts as prequel to his early film Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. Read More »

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Hayao Miyazaki‘s status as a master of animation is undisputed, but would his stories work so well with flesh-and-blood actors? If a new rumor making the rounds is to be believed, Takashi Shimizu may be trying to find out. According to this report, the The Grudge director has signed on to direct a big-budget live-action remake of Kiki’s Delivery Service, Miyazaki’s anime fantasy classic from 1989. Hit the jump to keep reading.

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Not long ago, domain name registrations all but confirmed that Studio Ghibli will release two films in 2013: The Wind is Rising (Kaze Tachinu) from director Hayao Miyazaki, and The Tale of Princess Kaguya (aka The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, or Kaguya-hime no Monogatari) from Grave of the Fireflies director Isao Takahata. (The two men are also Ghibli’s founders.)

Now those two films are fully confirmed, as Studio Ghibli has formally announced each one, and has specified that they will be released on the same day. That echoes the release in 1988 of My Neighbor Totoro and Grave of the Fireflies, which were released on the same day that year. Not a bad 25th anniversary celebration of that event.

Studio Ghibli also launched official websites to promote the films. With those sites come early art for the movies, which you can see below. Read More »

Good news for fans of Hayao Miyazaki and films from Studio Ghibli: the company has taken action to secure rights to two film titles, and in doing so has given us the name of two new projects. Hayao Miyazaki’s next film seems to be called Kaze Tachinu (The Wind Rises), and we know that it will tell the story of the man who designed the Zero fighter plane for Japan. The  new project from Grave of the Fireflies director Isao Takahata, meanwhile, is Kaguya-Hime no Monogatari (Princess Kaguya Story), based on the folk story ‘Tale of the Bamboo Cutter.’ 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 »

From Up on Poppy Hill is a rare realistic film from renowned Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli, and we’ve got the first English-subtitled trailer. (We featured a Japanese-only look at the film last year, around when the movie opened in Japan.)

Hayao Miyazaki (My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away) conceived and scripted the film, which was directed by his son, Goro Miyazaki. This looks like a fresh start for Goro, whose debut Tales From Earthsea was often criticized at the time of its release. And it doesn’t hurt that this film resembles another realistic Studio Ghibli project, Whisper of the Heart. Check out the trailer below. Read More »

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