Spirited Away Finally Coming To Blu-ray In North America

Posted by Bob Muir on Mar 26, 2015 in Anime, Cinema

Spirited Away

Ever since the first Studio Ghibli movie came out on Blu-ray, I’ve been waiting for Spirited Away to come out. It’s only been available on DVD since its US release in 2003, while it’s been available on Blu-ray in Japan since last year. That’s set to change, according to this new listing on Amazon, which official-looking box art. The Cat Returns also has a listing, helping to fill out the Blu-ray releases for their entire catalog. There are no release dates listed yet, but it’s just good to know that Disney, the official US distributor, hasn’t forgotten the second film to win Best Animated Feature. Hopefully it’s out by this summer! Read more…

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New Trailer For The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness

Posted by Ben Huber on Nov 23, 2014 in Anime, Cinema


He means it! The upcoming documentary The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness will be particularly compelling due to Hayao Miyazaki’s recent retirement, as it goes in-depth about the making of The Wind Rises and The Tale of Princess Kaguya. It’s an amazing look at how Studio Ghibli, Miyazaki, and Isao Takahata make films. Especially since Miyazaki retired during the period the documentary covers, it’s fascinating to see the way that it affects the studio. The film is already out in Japan, but it’ll be showing in some theaters later this month, with a wide VOD release in late January. Trailer below! Read more…

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Studio Ghibli May Halt Production Of New Films

Posted by Ben Huber on Aug 4, 2014 in Anime


No, Ghibli is not dead. However, it appears that When Marnie Was There could be the final film animated in-house at Studio Ghibli — at least for the immediate future — if a planned restructuring happens. Producer Toshio Suzuki spoke on the MBS program Jounetsu Tairiku and said that the production studio is considering shutting down, as no new films are in the pipeline. Goro Miyazaki is directing a CGI TV series made by Polygon Pictures, Hayao Miyazaki has retired, Isao Takahata will probably not be making another film, and Hiromasa Yonebayashi’s Marnie didn’t do well in theaters. All of this means that (if true) Ghibli will essentially be taking a break, and the animators will be let go for now. If the studio comes up with another film to do, they may bring everyone back, or they could simply remain as a company shell solely for licensing merchandise and film rights. Time will tell! Read more…

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GKIDS Will Bring Studio Ghibli Documentary to US

Posted by Ben Huber on Jun 15, 2014 in Animation, Anime


Good news, Studio Ghibli fans! The documentary about the famous Japanese animation studio, “The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness,” will be getting a theatrical release here in the US thanks to GKIDS. The doc, directed by Mami Sunada, follows the production of the most recent two Ghibli releases, The Wind Rises (from Hayao Miyazaki) and The Tale of Princess Kaguya (by Isao Takahata). Sunada was granted unprecedented access to the studio while they toiled, getting a surprisingly up-close look at their work. It’s unusual to see such unfettered access to a Japanese studio, much less Ghibli themselves. GKIDS did not specify a release date, but did say that it will come this year. This is one that any animation fan will not want to miss. Read more…

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Miyazaki and More Nominated in the 86th Academy Awards

Posted by Ben Huber on Jan 17, 2014 in Animation, Anime


Many folks wondered if Hayao Miyazaki’s film film, The Wind Rises, would get nominated for Best Animated Feature Film. Well, the noms came out and surprise, surprise, it’s on the list. It’s in the company of The Croods, Frozen, Ernest and Celestine, and Despicable Me 2. This is also the first time in a long, long while that Pixar has not had a film nominated for the category. I’m honestly a bit surprised that Monsters University didn’t beat out, say, The Croods. Also interesting, is that Shuhei Morita’s Possessions short animated film got nominated as well (it was part of Katsuhiro Otomo’s Short Peace collection). Read more…

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Check Out The Simpson’s Tribute to Hayao Miyazaki

Posted by Ben Huber on Jan 11, 2014 in Animation, Anime


You know, a lot of people pick on The Simpsons nowadays, but when they put their heads together and do a tribute in reference to something, they really do it well. The latest tribute features Homer getting drunk in Little Tokyo and then everything goes as little crazy, Miyazaki-style. Cat-bus, the moving castle, Kiki, and of course, Spirited Away, are all there. I think I saw a few smaller references as well, so watch the video below and see if you can catch them all. It’s a pretty lengthy sequence to devote to one gag. Read more…

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Disney Is Actually Releasing The Wind Rises, And Here’s The Trailer

Posted by Bob Muir on Nov 20, 2013 in Anime

The Wind Rises

I know that Disney had previously said that it would release The Wind Rises in select North American theaters on February 21, 2014 (with a wider release on February 28 and an Academy Awards-qualifying run in NYC and LA last week), but I still have a hard time believing it. Though they have the right of first refusal on all Studio Ghibli films, they had passed on their previous films From Up on Poppy Hill. And though this is the last film directed by Hayao Miyazaki, I kind of figured they’d pass on The Wind Rises due to it not only being an adult-focused film, but one that offers a semi-biographical look at the man who invented one of the most efficient planes that Japan used in WWII, something that is controversial in Asia. But luckily, they’re releasing it under Touchstone Pictures, and here’s the trailer to prove it! Read more…

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Hayao Miyazaki to Retire from Feature-Length Directing

Posted by Ben Huber on Sep 2, 2013 in Anime


At the Venice Film Festival, Studio Ghibli’s president Hoshino Koji officially announced some sad news: Hayao Miyazaki will be retiring. It was implied that Miyazaki would stick around at Ghibli to offer mentorship and possibly work on small projects, but his time on large films is over. Granted, this is not the first time Miyazaki has attempted to retire — but it’s also the first time a press conference has been held to announce it. Hoshino Koji said there will be another press conference next week to provide more details. Will The Wind Rises be Miyazaki’s final film? It sure seems that way. Miyazaki has had a long and prosperous run at Ghibli, I don’t fault him for wanting to retire now, though I will certainly miss his filmmaking. Now the real challenge: Ghibli must find suitable directors to take up the mantle. Give Hiromasa Yonebayashi another feature film! Read more…

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Ghibli Updates: Kaguya-hime no Monogatari Images and The Wind Rises Subtitled Trailer

Posted by Ben Huber on Aug 17, 2013 in Anime


There’s a lot of Ghibli goodness in the pipeline. The Wind Rises, Hayao Miyazaki’s latest feature film, is already out in Japan and doing well, but we’re only just now getting a subtitled trailer for the film. Tiff has uploaded the trailer we shared before, but now with subtitles. Also, Isao Takahata’s upcoming movie, Kaguya-hime no Monogatari, has gotten some new images on Japanese TV. It looks absolutely gorgeous, and I love the style that they’ve adapted here — it really contributes to the storybook feel of everything. Check out the videos for both after the break. Read more…

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Miyazaki’s Next Film, The Wind Rises, Looks Stunning

Posted by Bob Muir on Jul 23, 2013 in Animation, Anime, Cinema

Kaze Tachinu

Though Ghibli has put out two films in the past few years, but while both were written by Hayao Miyazaki, neither were directed by him. His first film since 2008’s Ponyo is Kaze Tachinu, or The Wind Rises. It’s based on a manga that Miyazaki made in 2009, which is loosely based on Tatsuo Hori’s short ’30s novel The Wind Has Risen. It tells the story of Jiro Horikoshi, the man designed the Mitsubishi A6M Zero plane, one of the top fighters in World War II. But from watching this four-minute trailer, the movie seems to prioritize the joy of flight over pro-war statements. Read more…

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Miyazaki’s Kaze Tachinu and Takahata’s Kaguya-hime no Monogatari Revealed

Posted by Ben Huber on Dec 15, 2012 in Anime


Been wondering what the Ghibli folks are up to? We had heard inklings from the domain names register earlier and Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata’s comments over the past few years, but now we have official word on the next two Ghibli films. The first will be Miyazaki’s Kaze Tachinu, based on the life of Jiro Horikoshi, the designer of the Mitsubishi A6M fighter plane. Miyazaki has already done a 2-part manga series on the man, so presumably he’ll be drawing upon that and the book Kaze Tachinu by Tatsuo Hori. Isao Takahata is returning to the director’s chair as well, with Kaguya-hime no Monogatari, based on the Tale of the Bamboo Cutter. Both films will be released on the same day this summer in Japan, something that hasn’t happened since Totoro and Grave of the Fireflies in 1988. Wow! Read more…

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Titles for New Ghibli Films, GKIDS Grabs Grave of the Fireflies

Posted by Ben Huber on Nov 23, 2012 in Anime, Cinema


Things have been quiet on the Studio Ghibli front, with Up On Poppy Hill out and all. We’ve known that Isao Takahata has been working on an adaption of the folk story The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, but we recently got confirmation of the title via domain name registrations from Ghibli. It’ll be titled Princess Kaguya Story (Kaguya-hime no Monogatari) and should be released sometime next year (summer, if Ghibli’s release schedule holds up). Hayao Miyazaki has also been hard at work, and his film about the man who made the Japanese Zero fighter plane has gotten a name as well: The Wind Rises. Lastly, GKIDS has picked up the distribution rights for Takahata’s Grave of the Fireflies and will re-release the film next year, just in time for the 25th anniversary. Exciting times for Ghibli fans! Read more…

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A Look at Ghibli’s Poppy Hill

Posted by Tim Sheehy on Aug 8, 2012 in Anime

The latest collaboration between Hayao Miyazaki & Studio Ghibli might lack the touch of fantasy or adventure we usually associate with their films, but that won’t keep us from appreciating the beautiful art or story. From Up On Poppy Hill tells the story of high-school romance set against the backdrop of a post World War II Japan in days leading up to the 1963 Tokyo Olympics. The film hit Japanese theaters a little over a year ago, but won’t be released domestically until next Spring. If you’re just curious as to how it looks, or what to expect, be sure to check out the trailer above. The film was directed by Miyazaki’s son, Goro, who had previously directed the 2006 Ghibli feature Tales from Earthsea based on the novels by Ursula K. Le Guin.

Read more…

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Eleven Yummy Reasons to Love Totoro

Posted by Michael Sacco on Sep 9, 2010 in Animation, Cinema

Totoro Cupcakes

Only children are supposed to be able to see Totoro, Miyazaki’s friendly furry forest spirit, but it looks like exceptions are made when he’s crafted of fondant. Carolyn Lengel made these adorable cupcakes with her daughter Harriet to celebrate Harriet’s 11th birthday. Seeing all eleven together will likely make you use the word “cute” several hundred times, and you might even want one for yourself, but alas — you can’t have your Totoros and eat them too. Read more…

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If Miyazaki Did a Film Starring Bender

Posted by Michael Pinto on Jun 28, 2010 in Animation

If Miyazaki Did a Film with Bender

As a Futurama and anime fanboy I just loved this fan illustration! The illustration is from the French website bouletcorp.com.

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Ponyo: The Voice Acting Sounds Quite Promising!

Posted by Michael Pinto on Aug 7, 2009 in Animation

We already know that Ponyo is going to be a great film — but the real question is if Disney would mess up the voice acting? I always hate when Hollywood studios favor screen actors over good old fashioned voice actors, but I’ve got to say that it sounds like they’ve pulled it off looking at this second trailer! The film opens on August 14th so get ready to reserve your tickets…

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Miyazaki’s Fish Story: A First Look at the Disney Release of Ponyo

Posted by Joe Strike on Jun 30, 2009 in Animation


Everyone’s had that tingling feeling running (as they say) up and down one’s spine when they experience something awesome. Last night I saw a preview of Hayao Miyazaki’s new film Ponyo — and the feeling hasn’t gone away yet. Read more…

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Please Make Them Stop Making Anime Shows About Cute Sea Creatures!

Posted by Michael Pinto on May 2, 2009 in Animation


Don’t get me wrong Hayao Miyazaki is a genius, but the theme song from Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea made me want to scream after a while! But sadly the success of this film has encouraged TMS to turn the Mamegoma (まめゴマ) bean seal toys into an anime series: Read more…

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