Hayao Miyazaki short film

In January of 2019, we learned that legendary Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki and his filmmaker son, Goro Miyazaki, were working on new movies. The elder Miyazaki’s film still has years of work left before it will be completed, and the younger’s movie was previously shrouded in mystery. All we knew about it was that it would be a rare all-CG movie for the venerated Studio Ghibli, and that it was based on an English book about “a very wise girl.”

Today, more details came to light. Goro Miyazaki’s mysterious movie was announced as part of the 2020 Cannes Film Festival’s virtual lineup, and the title has been revealed: it’s called Aya to Majo, or Aya and the Witch, and it’s based on a book by the author of Howl’s Moving Castle, which Studio Ghibli adapted into a movie in 2004. Read More »

(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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how do you live

Hayao Miyazaki is a notoriously meticulous director. The formerly retired filmmaker oversees every key frame of his films, and has his hands on every part of the animation process. Naturally, that results in a famously slow production for many of the films of the legendary anime director behind Studio Ghibli classics like Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke and The Wind Rises. But they’re always worth the wait.

However, Miyazaki fans breathlessly waiting for his new film, How Do You Live?, a coming-of-age drama that brought the filmmaker out of retirement once again, will have to wait a little longer. Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki gave an update on the How Do You Live production, revealing that the upcoming film is still years away from being completed.

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Studio Ghibli Legend of Zelda Movie Trailer

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, watch a fanmade trailer for a Legend of Zelda movie in the style of animated movies from Studio Ghibli. Listen as director Guy Ritchie breaks down a scene from The Gentlemen with the film’s cast, and Saturday Night Live cast member Aidy Bryant tells some stories from behind the scenes of her eight seasons on the long-running late night sketch series. Read More »

studio ghibli movies streaming

Studio Ghibli has been notoriously resistant to streaming — until three months ago, when HBO Max scooped up the U.S. streaming rights to all of the classic anime films from Hayao Miyazaki, Isao Takahata, and more. But what about the Studio Ghibli movies streaming rights for everywhere else? Netflix, ever the opportunist, has snapped up those global streaming rights, debuting all 21 Ghibli features on its streaming service this February in every country except the U.S., Canada, and — ironically — Japan.

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studio ghibli streaming

If we have learned anything over the years, it’s to never take a Studio Ghibli declaration at face value. Hayao Miyazaki has fooled us several times over with his “retirements.” And now we learn that, contrary to reports from just two days ago that Studio Ghibli films would never appear on any streaming service, HBO Max has acquired the Studio Ghibli streaming rights. This marks the first time in history that the venerated animation studio’s films will be available to stream.

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studio ghibli streaming

When Disney+ announced the mountain of titles it would make available upon the streaming service’s launch, fans were quick to notice that the works from Studio Ghibli, the most prolific animation studio outside of Disney and Pixar, were missing. And Disney+ is not the only service to not feature any of the masterworks from the Japanese animation studio: you won’t find any Hayao Miyazaki or Isao Takahata films on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, or any forthcoming service.

But that’s not an oversight: GKIDS, the indie animation distributor that took over the distribution rights to Ghibli films from Disney in 2017, says it doesn’t have any plans to bring Ghibli films to any streaming service in the foreseeable future. And there’s a very specific reason for that.

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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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never-ending man hayao miyazaki clip

Hayao Miyazaki is returning to Studio Ghibli after the animation studio closed down following his 2013 retirement. Most of his former employees and coworkers ended up migrating to the newly established Studio Ponoc, but that doesn’t mean Miyazaki will be the only one occupying the dusty offices at Ghibli. The elder Miyazaki is bringing his son and filmmaker Goro Miyazaki with him, and the pair are reportedly working on two new Studio Ghibli movies.

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yoshiaki nishimura interview

An underwater fantasy epic. A slice-of-life drama about a kid suffering from an egg allergy. An invisible man who becomes an unlikely hero. All three of these stories are segments from Studio Ponoc‘s Modest Heroes, an anthology film following up the animation studio’s highly anticipated inaugural feature film, Mary and the Witch’s Flower.

Modest Heroes comes to the U.S. (in theaters January 10 and January 12) amidst a sea of buzz, much like last year’s Mary and the Witch’s Flower, an enchanting and serene fantasy adventure directed by the director of The Secret World of Arrietty. Why so much buzz around a rookie animation studio? Because it’s made up of chiefly Studio Ghibli alumni.

It’s no surprise that Studio Ponoc is being informally positioned as the successor to Studio Ghibli in the wake of legendary anime director Hayao Miyazaki‘s retirement (and subsequent return). The fledgling studio was founded by Yoshiaki Nishimura, the Oscar-nominated producer behind Isao Takahata’s The Tale of Princess Kaguya, and is staffed by the 150 Ghibli employees who were left without a workplace after Ghibli’s film division shuttered in 2014. But though many rising companies would shrink at the prospect of being compared to one of the greatest animation studios to ever exist, Nishimura is embracing it.

“At Studio Ponoc it was really our intention to carry on the Ghibli spirit,” Nishimura told /Film in an interview via translator. “That was our biggest personal challenge to meet that high bar.”

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