Hayao Miyazaki is one of the most respected animators to bring painted pictures to the big screen, and there’s a reason. His films present a warm human-ness with flights of fancy that delight and have the childlike wonder that comes with the best of Walt Disney’s brand of animation. He truly is a master, and two of his earlier works, one he directed, the other produced through his Studio Ghibli have hit Blu-ray. They are Castle in the Sky and Whisper of the Heart. Our reviews of both follow after the jump.
Earlier this year I was able to do a Hayao Miyazaki retrospective through Netflix DVD rentals, but his films lose their cinematic scope on the small screen. Characters in My Neighbor Totoro (tied with Spirited Away as my favorite Miyazaki film), Castle in the Sky, and Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind soar through the air through massive landscapes and it would be wonderful to see these movies in theaters. Thankfully, that opportunity will come to New York’s IFC Center beginning December 16th when Studio Ghibli and distributor GKIDS do a 15-film retrospective, which will include Miyazaki’s films. The retrospective will run until January 12th, feature new 35mm prints, and will run both subtitled and English-dubbed versions.
But it gets even better. GKIDS plans to bring the retrospective to Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington D.C., Toronto, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, and other major markets in early 2012. Fingers crossed one of those markets is Atlanta. And even if it isn’t, GKIDS is also planning limited releases of select Studio Ghibli titles, many of which have never been released theatrically in the US. If these movies swing by your city, make sure you check them out. Hit the jump for the full press release and list of movies playing in the retrospective. Advance tickets can be purchased at gkids.com.
Along with attending Comic-con and E3, visiting the Studio Ghibli Museum in Japan completes the Holy Trinity of Geek Pilgrimages. The interactive museum, only nine years old, is a testament to Studio Ghibli’s popularity in Japan and around the world. The museum, designed by Ghibli head Hayao Miyazaki, is a bit on the small side—only two hours to fully explore—but since it is such a popular attraction tickets are often sold out for as much as a month in advance. After waiting said month I was finally able to go to Inokashira Park in Tokyo and experience it for myself. Hit the jump for more.