GKIDS Licenses Studio Ghibli’s Full Catalog for Blu-ray/DVD Release

GKIDS has announced that it has licensed Studio Ghibli’s full catalog for Blu-ray Disc and DVD distribution in North America. The company will re-release all the titles on Blu-ray Disc and DVD, starting with Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, Kiki’s Delivery Service, My Neighbor Totoro, Ponyo, and Princess Mononoke on October 21, 2017, followed by Castle in the Sky and Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind on October 31, 2017, and My Neighbors the Yamadas in early 2018.

Ghibli will provide the English subtitles for the Japanese audio on all the releases, and the discs will also have separate French subtitles and English SDH subtitles for the dubs.

GKIDS has handled theatrical rights for Studio Ghibli films since 2010, and most recently began a partnership with Fathom Events to screen older Studio Ghibli films in theaters.

Source: ANN

VIZ Media Expands the Studio Ghibli Library This Winter With New Picture Book Releases

VIZ Media announced during its official panel at Chicago’s premier pop culture and comics convention C2E2 that the company will release of a pair of full-color picture books for the Studio Ghibli films Castle in the Sky and Princess Mononoke in Winter 2017.

The new books expand VIZ Media’s Studio Ghibli Library and capture the magic of the studio’s animated films with easy-to-read text, full-color pictures direct from the film, and a family-friendly oversized hardcover format aimed at readers of all ages.

Castle in the Sky, Studio Ghibli’s first feature film, celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2016. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the North American theatrical release of Princess Mononoke, which has gone on to become one of the studio’s most popular anime films.

Additional information on each of these titles will be announced in the near future.

Debuts December 2017
The legends were true. Somewhere high in the clouds, human beings have again set foot on the floating island of Laputa, for centuries a peaceful, parklike ruin, tended only by its silent, faithful robots. But just behind Pazu and Sheeta are soldiers from the aerial dreadnought Goliath – who have captured Dola and her pirate crew, and are now looting the gold and jewels of the Castle in the Sky for themselves. But the man who guided them there, Muska, has his eyes on power, not money – and he alone knows how to activate the castle’s ancient superweapons that could make him master of the world! Can Pazu and Sheeta stop his sinister plan? Includes scene-by-scene illustrations and character dialogue from the film.

Debuts December 2017
Marked with the curse of a rampaging boar god, young Ashitaka sets off on a journey to cure his mysterious affliction. From behind the walls of an iron-mining town, Lady Eboshi arises to smash all obstacles to technological development. And from out of the forest comes Princess Mononoke, driven by a hatred of all humans. Can she and Ashitaka ally in time to stop the wild lands from being destroyed?

Ocean Waves Grosses US$68,300 in 30 Days at U.S. Box Office

Box Office Mojo has reported that GKids’ theatrical release of Studio Ghibli’s Ocean Waves has grossed US$68,300 in the United States as of January 26, 2017. GKids opened the film at the IFC Center in New York on December 28, 2016, and it lists 54 theaters that have screened or will screen the film in North America.

The film grossed US$12,039 at three theaters in the United States in its first six days and ranked #57 at the box office for its opening weekend.

Source: ANN

Ocean Waves Earns US$12,000 In Its First Six Days at the U.S. Box Office

Box Office Mojo has reported that GKids’ theatrical release of Studio Ghibli’s Ocean Waves anime film grossed US$12,039 at three theaters in the United States as of January 2, 2017. The film ranked #57 at the box office for the weekend.

GKids opened the film at the IFC Center in New York on December 28, 2016, and it has screened at two other theaters in Ohio and New York since its opening. The film also screened at Toronto’s TIFF theater on January 2, 2017.

Source: ANN

Studio Ghibli Color Designer Michiyo Yasuda Passes Away

Studio Ghibli color designer Michiyo Yasuda passed away due to an illness on October 5, 2016 at the age of 77.

Yasuda began working with Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata on 3000 Leagues in Search of Mother (From the Apennines to the Andes) in 1976. She served as color designer on Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind and went on to work on Studio Ghibli films for about 30 years. She retired after finishing her work on Ponyo in 2008, but returned for The Wind Rises, Miyazaki’s final film before his retirement in 2013.

Yasuda won an Animation Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011 from the Japan Movie Critics Awards.

Source: ANN

Studio Ghibli’s Only Yesterday to Receive U.S. Theatrical Release

GKids has announced that it will start its United States theatrical release of Studio Ghibli and Isao Takahata’s Only Yesterday (Omohide Poro Poro) anime film in the IFC Center in New York on January 1, 2016. GKids will expand the theatrical release nationwide on February 26, 2016.

The film originally premiered in Japan in 1991. GKids’ theatrical release will correspond with the film’s 25th anniversary. It has not previously been released in North America.

The film will get an English dub, and the cast includes Daisy Ridley, Dev Patel, Ashley Eckstein, and Alison Fernandez.

In addition to the theatrical rights, GKids has also licensed the non-theatrical, home video, and television rights for the film.

Source: ANN

Anime Film Review: The Wind Rises

The Wind Rises is a film released by Studio Ghibli and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. This film has the distinction of being the final one Miyazaki directed before announcing his retirement from directing anime films.

The Wind Rises
Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki
Written by: Hayao Miyazaki
Starring: Hideaki Anno, Miori Takimoto, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Masahiko Nishimura, Steve Alpert, Morio Kazama, Keiko Takeshita, Mirai Shida, Jun Kunimura, Shinobu Otake, and Nomura Mansai
Run Time: 126 minutes
Rated: PG-13

The film takes place over a number of years and leads up to World War II. The story focuses on a young man named Jiro Horikoshi, who dreamed of becoming a pilot as a child, but realized that his nearsightedness prevented him from achieving his dream. He starts having dreams that feature an Italian aircraft designer named Giovanni Battista Caproni, and Jiro decides to pursue designing planes instead of flying them.

In 1923, while traveling on a train to Tokyo Imperial University, Jiro meets a girl named Naoko and her maid. The Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 strikes, and Jiro is the one who leads Naoko and her maid to safety. It’s revealed later in the film that this is the start of a mutual attraction between Jiro and Naoko.

Admittedly, the early part of the film takes a while to get going. However, these early scenes are important for setting up the story that happens later in the film. In addition to Jiro meeting Naoko, we also see him getting through his time in college in order to be able to pursue his dream of designing planes.

The story begins to move once Jiro and his friend Kiro Honjo graduate from college and begin working at Mitsubishi to design a fighter plane. Over the next few years, Jiro deals with some disappointments and setbacks on the work front, and in 1933, he decides to go to a resort and rest. Here, he has a chance encounter with Naoko, and the two of them realize their feelings for each other. But Naoko contracted tuberculosis from her mother, who died of the disease a few years earlier. Jiro wants to marry Naoko, and she accepts the engagement on the condition that she doesn’t want to marry until she has recovered.

At this point, the film becomes a story of a man who is devoted to both his work and to the woman he loves. But these two sides of his life intertwine when Naoko decides to leave the sanatorium she’s staying at in order to be with Jiro. The emotions Jiro must face with Naoko’s health and the responsibilities of his job are what fuel the drama for the remainder of the film.

In the end, The Wind Rises is a decent film, but it’s not as strong as some of Miyazaki’s other films. It takes the story a while to get going, but after it does get going, it ends up feeling rushed near the end. But even with the pacing issues, the viewer can still tell that Miyazaki put a lot of heart into this film. The characters are also very relatable, which helps to offset some of the pacing issues the film has.

Jiro is voiced by Hideaki Anno, who is best known as the creator of the Neon Genesis Evangelion anime. I have to admit that I was unsure about this casting choice, since Anno isn’t known as a voice actor, but I was impressed by his performance in this film. He had the perfect sound for a character like Jiro, and he didn’t sound bad at all.

When it comes to the animation, it looks very lush. I appreciated the color choices used for the film, especially when it comes to the backgrounds. And the film definitely looks like a Miyazaki film, between the character designs and the overall feel of the animation.

When it comes to the DVD release for The Wind Rises, Buena Vista didn’t go to much effort when it came to the bonus features. The only item included was a “Behind the Microphone” documentary, which runs for 11 minutes and includes interviews with the director and the voice actors for the English dub. This was what I have come to expect from the other “Behind the Microphone” features that I have seen on other Disney releases of Studio Ghibli films, with the biggest difference being the acknowledgement of Miyazaki’s retirement from directing feature films.

In the end, The Wind Rises will hold a place in anime history since it’s the final film that Hayao Miyazaki directed before his retirement from feature films. While it may not be quite as strong of a work as Miyazaki’s other films, it should still be seen by fans of Studio Ghibli and Miyazaki in order to see his final film.

The reviewer checked out a copy of the DVD through the King County Library System