(Welcome to Pop Culture Imports, a column that compiles the best foreign movies and TV streaming right now.)
For the first time in its 36-year history of making some of the most breathtaking animated masterpieces of all time, all of Studio Ghibli‘s movies are available to stream right now. The Japanese animation studio best known for its adorable raccoon-like mascot and the acclaimed works of animation titan Hayao Miyazaki, Studio Ghibli is often written off as the maker of peculiar arthouse animes — too philosophical for western kids used to fast-paced Disney movies, and too anime for cinephiles. Well, I’m here to prove those hypothetical haters wrong. Or, at least, to lend a helping hand to those who are interested in diving into the works of Studio Ghibli, but are unsure about where to start or if the studio’s films will even appeal to them. I can assure you, of the 21 feature films (and one TV movie) released by Studio Ghibli since its inception in 1984, there will be something for you.
So in this week’s Pop Culture Imports, I’m shaking things up a bit and spiriting you away across the Pacific to give you a beginner’s guide to Studio Ghibli movies.
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Studio Ghibli fans, mark your calendars for two weeks from today. On Tuesday, December 17, 2019, the beloved Japanese animation studio will finally release its complete library of films on digital home media in the U.S. and Canada. Ghibli’s North American distributor, GKIDS, has announced through a press release that the studio’s entire catalogue will be available to download for the very first time on all major transactional platforms, including Apple TV, Amazon VOD, Vudu, Google Play, Sony, Microsoft, and Fandango Now.
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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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There’s nothing as magical as watching a Hayao Miyazaki film, and letting it transport you to a fantastical world where dragons soar and castles walk. But a Hayao Miyazaki print done in the style of Japanese woodblock prints may just come close.
For a limited time, Japanese woodblock-style prints of Studio Ghibli movies directed by the legendary anime filmmaker are available to purchase. But better snatch them up quick, because like a certain antique grandfather clock in Whisper of the Heart, at the stroke of midnight, they may disappear.
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Come 2022, you can be spirited away to the world of Studio Ghibli. An upcoming theme park will bring to life the vibrant and surreal worlds that were first introduced to us in the animated movies by Hayao Miyazaki, Isao Takahata, and other illustrious anime directors.
The theme park’s opening is still several years in the future (they’re probably trying to figure out how to make a real-life Catbus as we speak), but for now, we can get a first look at some absolutely magical Studio Ghibli theme park concept art.
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The Collected Works of Hayao Miyazaki Blu-Ray Set will be released by Disney in North America and is now available for pre-order for $224.99. The U.S. release of this set appears to be an Amazon exclusive. Shipping is free with or without Amazon Prime. The set includes the following films: Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Porco Rosso, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo and The Wind Rises. An international trailer and details about bonus features included in the set, can be found after the jump.
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How much would you love to visit the worlds of Hayao Miyazaki? Who wouldn’t want to stay at the Hotel Adriano from Porco Rosso or the Aburaya Bathhouse from Spirited Away? Japanese artist Takumi has dreamed up a Studio Ghibli Theme Park we can only wish were real — its not gonna happen but imagine if Disney were to buy Ghibli and create such a theme park in Japan. After the jump you can see the fantastic designs created by Takumi which bring together many of the worlds seen in the Studio Ghibli movies.
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Screenprinted movie posters continued to explode in 2014. I drool over so many posters every year, it’s very difficult to pick favorites. With movies, at least you know what you like and you don’t like. Why something works and why something doesn’t. Physical art is more subjective. Some art just hits people one way and others another. Such it is with pop culture posters. Maybe I love one subject more than another and that makes the art seem better. Maybe the art is absolutely incredible but, if I don’t connect with the subject, it’s harder to appreciate. Long story short, ranking them in any definitive ways seems futile.
That said, we figured it would be fun to at least call out a few of coolest screenprinted movie posters of 2014. Fifteen personal favorites that stand out, for one reason or another, to me. Posters are are beautiful, unique and make me remember their subject in a new, vivid way. Check out my favorite screenprinted movie posters of 2014 after the jump. Read More »
Cool Posts From Around the Web:
Don’t let the name “Kung Fu Theater” throw you off. The latest exhibit at the Hero Complex Gallery in Los Angeles, CA isn’t explicitly about martial arts. That subject is in there – big time – but this exhibit features Asian films of all action persuasions. The weapons aren’t just feet and fists, but guns, swords, monsters, robots and more. The show opens Friday November 14 and will be online Saturday November 15. Below, you can check out some of our favorite pieces in the show, as well as the exclusive reveal of Craig Drake‘s Princess Mononoke poster which will be available on bamboo. Read More »
If you’re in the continental US, it’s hard to get closer to Japan than San Francisco. That makes the Bay City the perfect place for artist Joshua Budich‘s first solo show Otaku Obscura, a tribute to the art of Japanese animation. Opening October 4 at Spoke Art in San Francisco, Budich has created 28 brand new prints based on some of the most famous and popular anime of all time. Films like Akira, My Neighbor Totoro, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Ghost in the Shell, Princess Mononoke and Cowboy Bebop.
Below, we’ve got just some of the gorgeous pieces of Joshua Budich anime art that’ll appear in the show including a /Film exclusive. Check them out below. Read More »