studio ghibli fest

Studio Ghibli Fest is back to spirit you away to the magical worlds of anime titan Hayao Miyazaki. GKIDS has announced the dates of Studio Ghibli Fest 2021, which will return to theaters this fall with a celebratory 20th anniversary screening of Miyazaki’s Oscar-winning Spirited Away. It will be followed by three other Miyazaki films, all hitting theaters in both their English subtitled and English dubbed versions.

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nausicaa art print

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind turned 35 last year, but it’s never too late to celebrate a stone-cold classic. Hayao Miyazaki‘s fantasy epic, which would become the inaugural film for the animation titan Studio Ghibli, has a haunting new art print courtesy of artist Karl Fitzgerald, whose work is debuting on Bottleneck Gallery today.

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earwig and the witch review

There’s been a lot of trepidation heading into Studio Ghibli’s Earwig and the Witch. It is the studio’s first foray into CG animation, a technology it had used sparingly for high-octane action sequences in Spirited Away and Princess Miyazaki or for the clattering steampunk castle of Howl’s Moving Castle, but never to this extent and never for a feature film. And that trepidation only grew with subsequent trailers for Earwig and the Witch showing the film’s oddly stiff character animation and flat, untextured surfaces. It looked like an unfinished 3D-animated imitation of Ghibli’s classic warm, genial art style — a style that has mostly been instructed by the animation style of Hayao Miyazaki — but missing the soulfulness that typically characterizes the studio’s films.

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goro miyazaki interview

When Goro Miyazaki returned to Studio Ghibli in 2015, he found the offices to be completely empty.

“Nobody was here and it was like storage, very empty,” Miyazaki recalled in an interview with /Film over Zoom ahead of the release of his upcoming movie Earwig and the Witch. “And I thought, ‘Okay, so I won’t be making films anymore.'”

But it would be just three years later that Miyazaki would get back in the director’s chair once again, for a kind of film that had never been done at Studio Ghibli before: a CG-animated movie. Earwig and the Witch was always conceived as a computer-animated film, but the Japanese anime industry more often uses that tech as a tool to imitate a cel-shaded/ hand-drawn look, as Miyazaki had recently done in the CG-animated TV series Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter. But something about doing a fully CG-animated film appealed to Miyazaki because “here at Studio Ghibli, doing a cel look, emulating hand-drawn animation at a studio that specializes in hand-drawn animation didn’t really make sense.”

And it was Miyazaki’s father, the legendary Ghibli filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki, who actually encouraged him to pursue the film with this approach.

“It was actually recommended, or suggested, by Hayao Miyazaki and [longtime Studio Ghibli producer] Toshio Suzuki that I would do a film adaptation of this story,” Miyazaki said.

Read our full interview with Goro Miyazaki on Earwig and the Witch below.

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aya and the witch images

Studio Ghibli‘s first CG-animated movie is coming to theaters and HBO Max this February. GKIDS, the North American distributor for Ghibli, has set the theatrical release for Earwig and the Witch for February 3 in select theaters nationwide, with an HBO Max streaming debut set to follow just a few days later.

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earwig and the witch trailer

The first-ever CG animated film from Studio Ghibli is getting a lot of press for the anime studio – beloved for 2D classics like Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro – as they enter the unknown territory of 3D animation. And U.S. distributor GKIDS is pulling out all the stops for Earwig and the Witch, directed by Hayao Miyazaki’s son Goro Miyazaki, by recruiting a star-studded English voice cast which includes Richard E. Grant and Kacey Musgraves. Watch the new English dub Earwig and the Witch trailer below.

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earwig and the witch us release

It only took a bit of witchy, CGI magic to revive Studio Ghibli after the revered Japanese animation studio temporarily shuttered its doors in 2014 following the supposed retirement of anime titan Hayao Miyazaki. But it’s Miyazaki’s son, Goro Miyazaki, who will direct the studio’s first film in 7 years, and Studio Ghibli’s first-ever fully CG-animated feature, Earwig and the Witch. Watch the Earwig and the Witch trailer below.

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my neighbor hayao art book

In 2017, Spoke Art Gallery held its first annual Hayao Miyazaki-inspired art exhibit in San Francisco, featuring art from over 250 artists who celebrated the legendary filmmaker with creations that brought guests into the whimsical worlds created by Miyazaki. Now, Spoke Art has collected the Miyazaki-inspired art into a book, My Neighbor Hayao: Art Inspired by the Films of Miyazaki, which goes on sale today.

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academy museum hayao miyazaki exhibit

Hayao Miyazaki is one of the few anime filmmakers who can claim crossover success, with beloved classics like My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away leaving an indelible mark on global pop culture (and the latter winning the director a much-deserved Oscar). But the Studio Ghibli filmmaker has never yet had a North American museum retrospective dedicated to his art and works. Until now.

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures announced that its inaugural exhibition will be Hayao Miyazaki, a retrospective on the filmmaker that explores each of Miyazaki’s animated feature films through his six-decade career and features original art, character designs, storyboards, and more. It will be the first time these 300-or-so objects will be available for public view outside of Japan.

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ocean waves

(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)

The Movie: Ocean Waves

Where You Can Stream It: HBO Max

The Pitch: In the early ’90s, Studio Ghibli launched an unusual experiment: the studio gave its youngest animators, all in their twenties and thirties, a chance to make a cheap, quick film to show what they could achieve. Ultimately, the experiment failed in the first two aspects — Ocean Waves went over budget and over schedule, airing on local television in 1993 to little fanfare. But what those young Ghibli animators did manage to achieve sets Ocean Waves apart from the rest of the studio’s filmography: they made Ghibli’s most queer film.

Why It’s Essential Viewing: To be honest, the film that Studio Ghibli ended up making is far less interesting than the queer-coded film they accidentally made. Ocean Waves is a wistful slice-of-life film so steeped in nostalgia that it may as well be shot entirely in sepia tones, with a paper-thin plot that is stretched over 72 slow-moving minutes. But while on the surface Ocean Waves is a film about two best friends stuck in a love triangle with a truly unlikable girl, the movie’s theme of repressed teenaged angst unexpectedly becomes a fascinating ode to repressed sexuality.

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