Satoshi Kon's 'Tokyo Godfathers' Is Returning To Theaters 10 Years After The Anime Master's Death

While it's a bit late to be a Christmas present, GKIDS is bringing back Satoshi Kon's anime classic (and all-time great Christmas movie) Tokyo Godfathers to theaters for a limited time. The Tokyo Godfathers theatrical re-release comes as the venerated anime director is soon to be rewarded a posthumous Winsor McCay Award at the upcoming 2020 Annie Awards for lifetime achievement in animation. This year also marks the 10-year anniversary of the sad passing of an animation titan.

GKIDS is partnering with Fathom Events to bring Kon's critically acclaimed classic Tokyo Godfathers to theaters in a new 4K restoration this March. GKIDs had previously re-released a remastered version of Kon's widely influential (as in "ripped off by Darren Aronofsky") psychological thriller Perfect Blue in 2018 with Fathom Events, and is continuing its restoration of Kon classics into the new decade.

It comes at an important time for Kon: the beloved anime director is receiving the Winsor McCay Award from ASIFA-Hollywood at the upcoming 2020 Annie Awards, and a new stage play based on Tokyo Godfathers has been announced by the New National Theatre, Tokyo, to be performed during the theater's 2020-21 season. 2020 also marks the 10-year anniversary of the tragic passing of the filmmaker from cancer at the age of 46.

I'm an avowed fan of Kon, whose name I believe should be celebrated in equal standing as the globally acclaimed Hayao Miyazaki. His often brutal meditations on identity and memory are some of the most astounding animated films — nay, films — that I've ever seen. Tokyo Godfathers, released in 2003 to near-universal acclaim, is his kindest film, even if on the surface it is his ugliest. It's intentionally ugly though: exploring the seedy underworld of Tokyo's homeless on Christmas Eve, as three strangers stumble upon an abandoned baby in a garbage dump. Tokyo Godfathers is probably the most accessible of Kon's films to dive into for a non-anime fan, with its Frank Capra-esque warmth and host of colorful characters.

Tickets for the Tokyo Godfathers theatrical re-release will be available beginning on Friday, January 31 tickets at Fathom and participating theater box offices. The movie will be presented in both English-subtitled and English dubbed versions in select U.S. theaters on Monday, March 9, 2020 at 7 p.m. (local time, English-language subtitled) and Wednesday, March 11, 2020 at 7 p.m. (local time, English-language dubbed).

Here is the synopsis for Tokyo Godfathers:

In modern-day Tokyo, three homeless people's lives are changed forever when they discover a baby girl at a garbage dump on Christmas Eve. As the New Year fast approaches, these three forgotten members of society band together to solve the mystery of the abandoned child and the fate of her parents. Along the way, encounters with seemingly unrelated events and people force them to confront their own haunted pasts, as they learn to face their future, together.