spirited away collector's edition

If, like me, you have watched your DVD copy of Spirited Away so much that the disc is scratched to the point of being unwatchable, you’re in luck. Hayao Miyazaki‘s Oscar-winning animated classis is getting a long-deserved collector’s edition that will be available in limited supply this November. Studio Ghibli is teaming up with GKIDS and distributor Shout! Factory to issue this Spirited Away collector’s edition, which includes a new 40-page book filled with beautiful art and essays, in addition to hours of special features and the film’s soaring soundtrack composed by longtime Miyazaki collaborator Joe Hisaishi.

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Toy story 4 china box office

It’s very rare for a film, animated or otherwise, to hold a candle to Pixar at the box office. But when you throw in a classic work by Hayao Miyazaki, it’s a different kind of contest. Pixar latest film, Toy Story 4, was a critically acclaimed guaranteed mega-hit that was sure to sweep the box office worldwide — except in one country. China, usually one of the biggest markets for Disney and Pixar releases, instead awarded the No. 1 spot to Spirited Away, Miyazaki’s 18-year-old film which just made its theatrical debut in the country this weekend.

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studio ghibli theme park

There’s no experience more magical than that of watching a Studio Ghibli film. But what about actually experiencing one? Studio Ghibli is bringing to life the works of Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata and its other renowned anime directors in the form of its long-awaited theme park, which is now officially in development thanks to the help of local partners in Japan. The unnamed Studio Ghibli theme park is scheduled to open in 2022.

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hayao miyazaki kingdom of dreams and madness

When Hayao Miyazaki comes back from retirement (again), he’s going to do it right. The animation legend has long had his hands in every detail of his productions, but as he nears 80, you would perhaps expect him to take it easy or slow down just a little. Nope. He’s been dubbed “The Never-Ending Man” for a reason, and this famously perfectionist filmmaker will take as long as he needs to complete his next movie, titled How Do You Live? Even if that means we have to wait another three to four years for it.

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ocean waves trailer

The great Hayao Miyazaki announced his retirement a few years ago following the release of The Wind Rises, only to come out of retirement a few years later to try his hand at CG-animation before announcing last month that he’s prepping his next animated feature. In other words, the rumors of Studio Ghibli’s closure were greatly exaggerated, especially since there are other talented storytellers working for Japan’s most beloved animation studio, who have released The Tale of Princess Kaguya and When Marnie Was There since Miyazaki’s “retirement.”

And while it may be a few more years before their next feature arrives, Studio Ghibli is delivering an unexpected gift to American fans: a 4K restoration and release for Ocean Waves, their 1993 drama that was never released in the United States.

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The Red Turtle trailer

Studio Ghibli’s The Red Turtle is set to premiere in the Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes Film Festival which is currently underway in France. The Red Turtle, or La tortue rouge as it’s titled internationally, tells the story of a sailor who becomes marooned on a deserted tropical island and desperately tries to escape until he encounters a strange turtle that somehow changes his life. The entire 80-minute movie features very little dialogue and looks absolutely gorgeous and promises to be something truly special, making me wish the big American animation studios hadn’t completely given up on 2D feature animation.

Watch The Red Turtle trailer now and tell us what you think in the comments.

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Studio Ghibli Commercials

We may have entered the period where we can expect no new features from director Hayao Miyazaki, and much less work overall from Studio Ghibli, but that doesn’t mean there is nothing left to discover from those animators.

It’s well-established that major filmmakers make commercials in between big projects in order to make money and stretch their skills. That tendency extends even to venerated animation companies such as Studio Ghibli. Below you’ll find a set of Studio Ghibli commercials — that is, spots made by Ghlibi, not ads for the studio — some of which very obviously feature the input of Miyazaki himself. Read More »

Hayao Miyazaki Is Making a New Short Film

Hayao Miyazaki short film

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 »

When Marnie Was There clip

This week the film that may be the final Studio Ghibli feature opens in limited US release. When Marnie Was There is from director Hiromasa Yonebayashi, and tells the story of Anna, voiced here by Hailee Steinfeld, who is sent off to spend the summer with relatives of her foster mother.

In this When Marnie Was There clip we see Anna arriving in the seaside town that will be her summer home, and we meet Setsu and Kiyomasa Oiwa, voiced here by Grey Griffin and John C. Reilly. Read More »

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When Marnie Was There US Trailer

The last time we heard anything about When Marnie Was There, the latest film from Studio Ghibli, was the announcement of the English-language voice cast. As is always the case with films from the Japanese studio, the US localization features a high-calibre cast and may just turn out an English dub that compares favorably with the original Japanese audio. Now there’s a When Marnie Was There US trailer that lets us hear some of that cast, including Hailee Steinfeld as Anna and Kiernan Shipka as Marnie. Read More »