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, orĀ 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 »

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After a nice ten year hiatus since he completed My Neigbours The Yamadas, Isao Takahata is back at work directing the next feature film from Studio Ghibli. Taketori Monogatari, which translates as The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, will be an adaptation of the story considered to be the oldest surviving Japanese folktale. It is an incredibly well known story, at home, much as Grimm’s Fairy Tales are in the West.

I recall that Kon Ichikawa made a live action version of the tale with Toshiro Mifune and, according to my Google Research, Big Bird witnesses a telling of the story by schoolchildren in the TV movie Big Bird in Japan but I dare say most renditions will become ancillary to the Ghibli version, if not outright forgotten in its shadow. I suspect this toon is likely to become a definitive version in Japan much in the way Disney have laid claim to Snow White or Pinocchio for Western audiences. You only have to imagine how deeply entrenched a Pixar version of

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