“Why must fireflies die so young?”
On April 5, the world lost an animation titan. Isao Takahata, the co-founder of Studio Ghibli, a frequent collaborator with Hayao Miyazaki, and the director of stunning anime films like Grave of the Fireflies and The Tale of Princess Kaguya, died at 82. But not many people outside of hardcore Studio Ghibli fans may recognize his name.
Takahata’s films are rarely given international acclaim and Disney hasn’t rushed to bring his movies Stateside like they have for his partner, Miyazaki. Until a few years ago, most of his filmography wasn’t even available to buy in the U.S. Which is a huge shame. Much credit has been given to Miyazaki for elevating anime to international heights and testing the limits of anime’s narrative and creative potential. But the Isao Takahata legacy is just as groundbreaking, if not more so.
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Posted on Wednesday, December 30th, 2015 by Angie Han
When Daisy Ridley was first announced for the cast of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we weren’t quite sure what to make of her, for the very good reason that we, like most people, had no idea who she was. But now that the movie’s finally opened, Ridley’s dazzled us all with her charm and talent, and we’re dying to see what she’ll do next.
Fortunately, we won’t have to wait too long. Ridley already has her first big voice role lined up in Only Yesterday, a 25-year-old Studio Ghibli feature that’ll be released in North America for the first time next year. Also lending their voices to the English-language dub are Dev Patel, Alison Fernandez, and Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka Tano on Star Wars Rebels). Watch the Only Yesterday trailer after the jump. Read More »
GKids will release the English-language remake of Studio Ghibli‘s 1991 anime classic Only Yesterday. Academy Award-winning filmmaker Isao Takahata’s movie has never seen official release in North America and it i the only theatrical Studio Ghibli feature not yet released on home video in the United States or Canada (although a subtitled version of the film aired on Turner Classic Movies in January 2006 as part of the channel’s month-long salute to Miyazaki and Ghibli). GKids is planning the release the English-dubbed film theatrically in early 2016, coinciding with the film’s 25th anniversary. But the bigger news is the voice cast for this English-language release. Hit the jump to read more about the Only Yesterday US release.
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Studio Ghibli’s next release in the US is The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, and we’re happy to present the first US teaser for the film. Directed by Grave of the Fireflies director Isao Takahata, the movie explores the folk tale of a young princess who is found as an infant by a bamboo cutter, and tells of the fate that befalls her. The English-language version of the film is to be released by Gkids in October, with James Caan, Mary Steenburgen, and Chloë Grace Moretz voicing the lead roles. There’s no dialogue in this first trailer, but you will get to see some of the unique and lovely visual style employed for the tale. See The Tale of the Princess Kaguya US teaser debut below. Read More »
Posted on Tuesday, July 15th, 2014 by Angie Han
Studio Ghibli’s latest movie is getting ready for its American bow. Chloë Grace Moretz has been set to lead the English-language cast of The Tale of Princess Kaguya, which GKIDS has just scheduled for a fall release in the U.S.
James Caan, Mary Steenburgen, Darren Criss, Lucy Liu, James Marsden, Beau Bridges, Oliver Platt, Daniel Dae Kim, John Cho, and Dean Cain will also lend their voices to the project. Get all the latest details after the jump.
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We’ve told you about The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness, the documentary about Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli. Now we get to tell you that GKIDS, the US distributor which has taken up distribution of some Ghibli titles in the States, will bring the doc to US theaters this year. Read More »
It’s been years since we saw the arrival of a period that was as rich for Studio Ghibli fans as this year has been. We get new films from not one of the studio’s major directors, but two: Hayao Miyazaki, with The Wind Rises (see the new US trailer here) and Isao Takahata with The Legend of Princess Kaguya.
The latter film adapts the Japanese story The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, in which an aged and childless bamboo cutter slices open a glowing bamboo stalk to find a tiny child inside. He and his wife raise the girl, Kaguya, who grows into a delicately beautiful woman. The cutter also finds himself rich as his work, impossibly, yields gold from bamboo. The strange truth of her existence is revealed, as hopeful suitors arrive to ask for Kaguya’s hand in marriage.
We’ve seen various small trailers and footage breaks from The Legend of Princess Kaguya over the past couple months, but now we’ve got an extended six-minute trailer that really shows off the film’s gorgeous animation, influenced by ancient Japanese illustration styles. Read More »
Twenty-five years ago Studio Ghibli’s second major release was the double feature of My Neighbor Totoro from Hayao Miyazai and Grave of the Fireflies from Isao Takahata. This year we’ve already seen Miyazaki’s latest, The Wind Rises, arriving to acclaim (and some controversy) in Japan, and we’ve now got a poster for the US release.
At the same time, Takahata’s latest film, The Tale of Princess Kaguya, is soon to be released in Japan, and we’ve got a new three-minute trailer for the film. We’ve seen some footage from that already, but this offers a lot more to take in. Read More »
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When Studio Ghibli comes up in conversation, it is inevitably co-founder Hayao Miyazaki who dominates the talk. For good reason: he’s made more movies than any other director at the studio, and his films have helped change the face of animation.
That said, while another Ghibli co-founder, Isao Takahata, is less prolific, his films are no less effective. Takahata’s Grave of the Fireflies, which officially launched Ghibli along with Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro, is a testament to the power of animation as a straight narrative form, free of genre-based embellishments. Films like Only Yesterday, My Neighbors the Yamadas, and Pom Poko (a personal favorite) tell stories of modern Japan that are unlike any other animation director’s work.
For his latest film, however, The Tale of Princess Kaguya, Takahata has gone back to ancient Japanese folklore. The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter is the inpiration for this film, and in keeping with that starting point, Takahata’s animation is inspired by charcoal, watercolor, and sumi-e ink illustration techniques. If you think of Studio Ghibli as having a house style, footage from The Tale of Princess Kaguya will shatter that notion.
It’s gorgeous to see in motion; have a look at a trailer below.
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The best way to learn about Japan’s famed animation house Studio Ghibli is simply to watch Ghibli’s films, especially those made by co-founder Hayao Miyazaki. Barring that, a visit to the Ghibli Museum in Japan will give you a good look at the studio’s history; cheaper but also far more limited is the selection of “making-of” clips that accompany some of the company’s films.
How about a better middle ground? A documentary called The Kingdom of Dreams & Madness is in the works now. The film will look at the making of two new animated films, among them Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises. Read More »