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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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.
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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 »
Where can you be the among the first audiences ever to see The Cabin in the Woods, The Grey, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, the first trailers for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and G.I. Joe Retaliation as well as huge upcoming titles like The Adventures of Tintin, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol all in one sitting, all for one ticket price, with the best film audience imaginable? Butt-Numb-A-Thon, of course.
For movie fans, Butt-Numb-A-Thon is the biggest and most rewarding test of film going stamina out there today. Now in its thirteenth year, this annual film festival celebrating the birthday of Ain’t It Cool News founder Harry Knowles is 24 straight hours of new and vintage films played to a hand-picked audience of fans who had to jump through all sorts of hoops to attend. Homework assignments, applications, embarrassing photos. Butt-Numb-A-Thon is not only a marathon of film watching, it’s a decathlon of film passion.
This year’s Butt-Numb-A-Thon, dubbed Butt-Numb-A-Thon Thirteen Wolf, featured an almost staggering amount of new movies, some incredible vintage films and surprises galore. Both Peter and I were lucky enough to have our applications accepted and you can read a full recap and more after the jump. Read More »
Hayao Miyazaki has never made a direct sequel to one of his films. But it looks like he might be about to embark on the first. A new interview with the director suggests that he has conceived a sequel to his sixth film, Porco Rosso, which featured an ace fighter pilot who has been cursed to live with the face of a pig. The sequel, Porco Rosso: The Last Sortie, would pick up long after Porco flew off to a semi-mysterious fate at the end of the first film; we’d see the flying pig much older, in part to reflect the advanced age of his creator. Read More »