The Catbus is taking us on a jaunt back in time for My Neighbor Totoro‘s 30th anniversary. My Neighbor Totoro returns to theaters for three days only in celebration of the Studio Ghibli classic, which introduced many Western audiences to animation master Hayao Miyazaki.
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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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(Welcome to Let’s Get Animated!, a column that spotlights the best of film animation. In this edition: the best anime movies to watch if you’re a fan of Studio Ghibli movies.)
It felt like a big, gaping hole was left in the animation industry when Studio Ghibli temporarily shuttered its doors in 2014. The game-changing studio’s co-founder and the greatest animation director of this generation, Hayao Miyazaki, had just retired (again). And with that, Disney was back to dominating the animation market, with quality alternatives few and far between.
For years, Studio Ghibli was an animation titan that not only offered a refreshing foil to Hollywood’s frenetic, action-packed animated movies, but was a genre unto itself. Fans of the works of Miyazaki, Isao Takahata, Hiroyuki Morita, Gor? Miyazaki, and Hiromasa Yonebayashi didn’t have to say they liked anime — they liked Ghibli. Which is a shame, because Japan’s anime industry has so much more to offer.
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No matter how many times he has announced it, Hayao Miyazaki will never retire. And we can only be grateful that a genius like him will keep blessing the world with his works.
Miyazaki announced (for the umpteenth time) that he would retire from the grueling world of animation that he revolutionized with films like Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away in 2013, after the release of his World War II epic The Wind Rises. But a comeback was inevitable — a few years later it was revealed that Miyazaki was secretly working on a short film called Boro The Caterpillar. Unsatisfied with the final product however, Miyazaki is expanding the short into a feature length film. His un-retirement became official today when Studio Ghibli, Miyazaki’s professional home for 30 years, reopened its production department to work on Miyazaki’s feature film.
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Japanese theme parks have been in the news a lot as of late. We recently reported on the news of Super Nintendo World coming to Universal Studios Japan (Forget about playing Mario Kart – soon you will be able to live the game Mario Kart). We also recently reported on a new attraction called Nemo & Friends SeaRider, developed by Pixar exclusively for Tokyo DisneySea.
In the midst of all this, it was announced that a Studio Ghibli theme park is coming to Japan just in time for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics. Ghibli, of course, is the animation powerhouse behind such films as Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away. It has often been likened to Disney, with IMDb even listing “the Japanese Walt Disney” as an official nickname for the studio’s co-founder, Hayao Miyazaki.
Yet the Ghibli park promises to be a very different kind of experience, informed by the environmental sensibilities of Miyazaki’s films. A theme park that values immersion and harmony with nature over thrills has deep roots in the filmmaker’s thematic concerns.
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Hayao Miyazaki is one of the best living filmmakers in the world, in and outside of animation. So it was a loss for us all when he announced he would retire in 2013 — and a perplexing but exciting gain for us when he nixed that retirement and stated that he was coming back to direct a feature-length CGI animated film.
And because we got a lovely, melancholy documentary following the end of the last phase of his career — if you haven’t seen 2013’s The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness by Mami Sunada, do so now — we’re getting yet another documentary on Miyazaki titled Never-Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki, which follows his newfound passion for CGI animation and the making of the film bringing him out of retirement, Boro the Caterpillar.
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Posted on Tuesday, November 29th, 2016 by Angie Han
In celebration of its 15th anniversary, Spirited Away is headed back into theaters for a very limited run next month. And while you’re probably familiar with that Studio Ghibli classic already, it’ll be bringing with it something you’ve probably never seen before. Playing after Spirited Away will be Ghiblies: Episode 2, a Studio Ghibli short film that’s never been released in North America.
Head below to check out a Ghiblies: Episode 2 clip, and get all details on its U.S. theatrical release with Spirited Away. Read More »
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Posted on Monday, November 14th, 2016 by Angie Han
2016’s been a rough year, so here’s a bit of good news to brighten your day. Hayao Miyazaki, the legendary Japanese animator and filmmaker, has decided to come out of retirement for one last feature film. Specifically, he’s got plans to turn a CG-animated short he’s been working on, Boro the Caterpillar, into a full-length feature. Read More »
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 »