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.
Yesterday, there were a flurry of reports that the beloved Japanese animation company Studio Ghibli was shutting down. For those unfamiliar with the studio, it was founded in 1985 by directors Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away) and Isao Takahata (Grave of the Fireflies) and producer Toshio Suzuki (The Wind Rises). In addition to producing all of Miyazaki’s classic films since 1986′s Castle in the Sky, the studio has also played host to a collection of other talented filmmakers. It’s no surprise that the studio’s closing was met with an outpouring of grief.
However, Ghibli isn’t closed just yet. That being said, it’s no longer going to remain in its current form. Hit the jump for more.
Studio Ghibli has released the first When Marnie Was There trailer. Based off the 1981 book by Joan G. Robinson, Marnie tells the story of Anna, a lonely, young girl who meets a strange girl by the name of Marnie. Just when it seems like their friendship is striking up, Marnie mysteriously disappears, and Anna begins to learn some strange truths about her new friends. However, none of the plot comes through in the trailer, which contains no dialogue. Instead, we’re treated to the beautiful animation we’ve come to expect from Studio Ghibli. The trailer is really quite lovely and moving, and I hope we’ll get to see the film in the U.S. soon.
Hit the jump to check out the When Marnie Was There trailer. The film opens in Japan on July 19th. No word yet on a U.S. release.
Opening this weekend in limited release is Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises. Inspired by the Tatsuo Hori novel, The Wind Rises tells the tale of young Jiro (voice of Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who dreams of flying and designing beautiful airplanes, inspired by the famous Italian aeronautical designer Caproni (voice of Stanley Tucci). Using historical events as a backdrop, the film also follows Jiro in his relationship with Nahoko (voice of Emily Blunt), and his friendship with his colleague Honjo (voice of John Krasinski).
Expanding to a wide theatrical release starting February 28th, the English voice cast of The Wind Rises also features Martin Short, Mandy Patinkin, Mae Whitman, Werner Herzog, Jennifer Grey, and William H. Macy. Hit the jump to watch the clip.
In a bit of an unexpected announcement, Studio Ghibli has revealed its first-ever television series, an adaptation of Astrid Lindgren’s children’s fantasy novel, Ronja the Robber’s Daughter. The series will follow the adventures of Ronja, the daughter of a robber chieftain, as she meets the denizens of the dark pine forest in which she lives. The series will premiere in Japan on August 31st and will be directed by Goro Miyazaki (From up on Poppy Hill).
Hit the jump for more.
The U.S. trailer for filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki’s new—and possibly final—Studio Ghibli film The Wind Rises has been released online. The movie centers on Jiro Horikoshi, the man who designed the Zero Fighter used by Japanese pilots in World War II, and examines the Japan’s turbulent first half of the 20th century as the country struggled through an earthquake and economic fallout. The pic screened at the Toronto International Film Festival to a relatively positive response, but our own Matt Goldberg was disappointed in the picture, calling it Miyazaki’s weakest film in his review. This dialogue-less trailer highlights the film’s gorgeous animation while flanked by positive pull-quotes from the TIFF reviews, and fans of Miyazaki’s work will surely be interested to see what his farewell picture entails.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film will open in U.S. theaters on February 21st in limited release, expanding in the following weeks.
Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki is retiring. Studio Ghibli president Hoshino Koji announced earlier today at the Venice Film Festival that the 72-year-old filmmaker and master of animation is retiring, but further questions about the decision were not answered. Miyazaki first started working as an animator in 1961, going on to co-found the wonderful Japanese animation studio Studio Ghibli, where he directed a number of highly regarded animation features including 1988’s My Neighbor Totoro, 1989’s Kiki’s Delivery Service, 1995’s Princess Mononoke, and 2007’s Ponyo.
This is not the first time that Miyazaki has announced retirement, as he previously took a sabbatical after Princess Mononoke, only to come return to direct 2004’s Howl’s Moving Castle. Miyazaki’s latest—and probably final—film, The Wind Rises, is currently making the festival rounds and is poised to play Telluride this weekend and the Toronto International Film Festival next week. Hit the jump to relive some highlights from Miyazaki’s career.
Since 1986, Studio Ghibli has been in the business of providing original animated features that have grown into modern classics, though a sequel film or franchise has yet to appear on their production slate. Writer-director Hayao Miyazaki, who has had a creative hand in well over half of the studio’s productions, recently suggested that this might change in the near future for one particular film. Though Miyazaki technically wrote and directed Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind just before Studio Ghibli was formed, he’s apparently open to a sequel of the beloved adaptation. The real kicker here is that he wouldn’t be directing it; that honor would fall to Neon Genesis Evangelion director, Hideaki Anno. Hit the jump for more.
As most of you know, we here at Collider are huge fans of Mondo. It seems like every time they put out a limited screenprint that blows everyone away, they turn around and do it again a short time later. This probably explains their ever-growing fanbase, and why their posters sell out in minutes. For more on Mondo, here’s our previous coverage. You can also check out everything they’ve released on their website. Be warned: some of their older posters are rare and expensive.
At Comic-Con, I sat down with Mondo CEO Justin Ishmael for an extended video interview. We talked about their Comic-Con plans, the next Mondo Mystery Movie (which is taking place at the end of this year in L.A.), Drew Struzan‘s Dark Tower poster, how Mondo had to design custom wooden coffins for shipping to prevent damage, Jason Edmiston‘s upcoming gallery show, their Studio Ghibli deal, their new license with the 20th Century Fox, future convention plans, how they’re going to release t-shirts featuring Tyler Stout‘s Ghibli art, and so much more. If you’re a Mondo fan, I promise you’ll learn a lot watching the interview. Hit the jump to check it out.
Mondo announced they will release a limited edition Studio Ghibli compilation on vinyl July 26. Featuring performances from the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Studio Ghibli Kokyo Kyokushu includes selections from Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, The Cat Returns, and My Neighbors the Yamadas. Naturally, Mondo recruited Tyler Stout to design three beautiful album covers inspired by Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, and Howl’s Moving Castle.
Mondo will sell one version at Comic-Con tomorrow, and will make all three available at the Mondo site on July 26. Hit the jump for the artwork, tracklisting, and info on how to buy.
Today’s deal on Amazon is great for fans of Studio Ghibli. Many of the studio’s animated features are 55% off right now on Blu-ray and DVD, including Kiki’s Delivery Service, Spirited Away, Castle in the Sky, Princess Mononoke, Ponyo, The Secret World of Arrietty, and many many more. If you’re missing a couple for your collection or have yet to start snatching these up, now’s the perfect time. Click here to check out the deals.
Have you ever been watching one of the fine animated films from Studio Ghibli and thought to yourself, “Man, I really wish I could light this Djarum Black or start a small brush fire while showing off my appreciation for My Neighbor Totoro?” I know I have. Well now you can add a little flair to your smoker’s/arsonist’s lifestyle with these new Zippo lighters featuring notable characters from Studio Ghibli’s storied resume of films. Show your friends you still pine for Princess Mononoke, or that Ponyo and The Cat Returns remain unfairly underrated. Hit the jump to find out where you can buy them, along with more than 25 images of the various lighters for sale.
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.
Back in August, we brought you the trailer for Studio Ghibli’s From Up on Poppy Hill, written by Hayao Miyazaki and directed by his son Goro Miyazaki. Now, we have word that the English version has a planned theatrical release of March 15th, 2013. Lending their voices to that version will be such top talent as Gillian Anderson, Ron Howard, Christina Hendricks, Jamie Lee Curtis and Beau Bridges, among others. Hit the jump to see who else is joining the party, along with the synopsis for From Up on Poppy Hill.
Written by Hayao Miyazaki and directed by his son Goro Miyazaki, From Up on Poppy Hill is the latest animated film from Studio Ghibli to grace our shores. Based on a popular manga by the same name, From Up on Poppy Hill follows a group of teens who attempt to prevent their school clubhouse from being demolished by a local developer. The trailer steers away from that plot and focuses on an interesting dynamic between a young boy and girl. From Up on Poppy Hill was released in Japan on July 16th of last year, but will be distributed domestically by GKIDS in March of next year. Hit the jump to check out the trailer.