Director Isao Takahata Talks THE TALE OF PRINCESS KAGUYA, His Process, the Future of Studio Ghibli, the Popularity of Animation in Japan, and More

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One of my personal highlights from this year’s Toronto International Film Festival was getting to interview director Isao Takahata for his new film The Tale of Princess Kaguya.  If you’re not familiar with his name, Isao Takahata is the co-founder of Studio Ghibli along with Hayao Miyazaki, and he previously directed Only YesterdayPom PokoMy Neighbors the Yamadas, and the war-themed Grave of the Fireflies (which I can’t recommend enough).  In his latest movie, which is based on the folktale The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, Takahata breaks away from Ghibli’s familiar animation style and tells a story that embraces the connection between nature and magic.  For more on the film, read Matt’s reviewThe Tale of Princess Kaguya will be released in North America on October 17.

During the interview Isao Takahata talked about how he picks his subject matter, how he decided on the look of the film and the style of animation, the storyboard process, why animated films are so popular in Japan with both adults and children, what he collects, the future of Studio Ghibli, his directorial process, and more.  Hit the jump for what he had to say.


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Studio Ghibli’s films have always embraced the connection between nature and magic, and The Tale of Princess Kaguya continues this tradition in fine form.  Writer-director Isao Takahata, who also co-founded Studio Ghibli, breaks from the company’s familiar animation style to venture into a sumi-e look that perfectly suits the story’s celebration of nature’s simplicity and magnificence.  Although Kaguya does become slightly redundant in highlighting its heroine’s values before the film indulges in an abrupt revelation, Takahata and Ghibli have still found fresh life in their classic themes.

Studio Ghibli Adds Hayao Miyazaki’s THE WIND RISES and Isao Takahata’s PRINCESS KAGUYA STORY to Upcoming Film Slate

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Fans of Studio Ghibli will be happy to hear they’ve added two new films to their upcoming slate from two of the medium’s most acclaimed directors.  First up from Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away) comes The Wind Rises (Kaze Tachinu). Based on his most recent comic, The Wind Rises centers on Jiro Horikoshi, the man who designed the Zero Fighter used by Japanese pilots in World War II. In an interesting note, the manga’s characters happen to be anthropomorphic pigs.

Also added to Studio Ghibli’s list is Princess Kaguya Story (Kaguya-Hime no Monogatari), the new film from director Isao Takahata (Grave of the Fireflies). This film is based on the Japanese folk story, “Tale of the Bamboo Cutter,” which was also referenced in Takahata’s 1999 work, My Neighbors the Yamadas. Hit the jump for a look at images from Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises manga.

Studio Ghibli Announces New Films from Co-Founders Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata

by     Posted 3 years, 14 days ago

Not every film from Studio Ghibli is a home run but they’re always worthy of attention, especially when they come from co-founders Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away) and Isao Takahata (Grave of the Fireflies).  Miyazaki has announced that he’s preparing a new film that’s an “autobiography” although he did not specify if it’s his autobiography or someone else’s.  It’s worth noting that last year Miyazaki said he’s considering a sequel to his 1992 film, Porco Rosso.  Whatever he chooses, don’t expect it any time soon since there’s usually a four-year wait between Miyazaki’s films (such is the nature of animation).

As for Takahata, he hasn’t directed a film since 1999′s My Neighbors the Yamadas but according to Twitch, he’s “reportedly working on a new film based on the classic Japanese tale about a princess who was discovered as a baby inside the stalk of a bamboo plant.”  That’s what makes bamboo so great: food for pandas, material for chairs, princess producer.  It’s a versatile plant.

First Look at KARIGURASHI NO ARRIETTY, Studio Ghibli’s New Film

by     Posted 4 years, 223 days ago

The Borrower Arrietty movie image.jpg

Studio Ghibli has long been synonymous with its co-founders, the famed Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away) and Isao Takahata (Grave of the Fireflies).  Starting this summer, audiences will be introduced to Hiromasa Yonebayashi, a first time director, looking to make his own mark on the Ghibli name. His film, Karigurashi no Arrietty (lit. The Borrower Arrietty) is based off Mary Norton’s popular The Borrowers series of children’s books.  For more on the new project, as well as the first teaser trailer, hit the jump.

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