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One evening in 1994, the BBC screened a documentary simply called Manga. Presented by Jonathan Ross, it showcased the rising popularity of Japanese animation, largely focusing on the output of Manga Entertainment, whose dubbed VHS releases had made a huge impact on anime fans and caused a certain amount of consternation among the mainstream press.
For British viewers, the anime boom took a long time to arrive. In America, Japanese shows like Kimba The White Lion, Gigantor and Astro Boy were a common sight on television in the 1960s, yet it took until the late 70s and 80s, and a string of European-Japanese co-productions, before anime finally began to find a hold on UK television.
As a youngster at the time, I didn't necessarily know »
Now that lead animator Hayao Miyazaki has apparently retired, his co-founder of the Studio Ghibli animation house, Isao Takahata, might begin to get the international recognition he deserves. The animations Takahata has directed, which include the Second World War drama Grave of the Fireflies and the wistful contemporary urban tale Only Yesterday, have tended to be less fantastical than Miyazaki's – but The Tale of the Princess Kaguya takes the viewer on some wonderful flights of fancy. »
★★★☆☆ There was much discussion over the past year about the winding down of beloved Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli with its two founding fathers, Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, hanging up their pencils. Both found fitting if unspectacular ways to bow out; first Miyazaki with the soaring The Wind Rises (2013) and now Takahata with the evocative fable The Tale of Princess Kaguya (Kaguyahime no monogatari, 2013). A melancholic swansong, it blends the director's prior occupations and provides a perfect canvas for a final visual flourish. Taking watercolours as inspiration, the aesthetic is impressionistic and painterly with a fluidity that imbues the piece with an intrinsic magic.
- CineVue UK
Isao Takahata makes his directorial comeback with The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, his first film for Studio Ghibli since 1999's My Neighbours the Yamadas. The man behind the brilliant, emotionally-devastating Grave of the Fireflies may be in his late 70s, but on this evidence he's still able to conjure up a memorable yarn.
Based on an old Japanese folktale, it centres on a kindly wood cutter who stumbles across a tiny girl living in a bamboo shoot. Taken in by the man and his wife, she's named Princess but earns the moniker Little Bamboo from other children in the village due to her ability to magically grow at speed.
When her adopted father finds gold the family uproot to a mansion in the city and a life »
While many reports have said that Studio Ghibli figurehead Hayao Miyazaki was to “retire” from the studio and focus on other things, some are still hoping that the output from the famous animation house will continue in earnest. For now though, fans haven’t got long to wait for Ghibli’s new film When Marnie Was There, which is released this summer.
Gkids, the distributor behind 2015 Oscar-nominated Song of the Sea and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, has announced the English-language voice cast who will lend their talents to the film, which is getting a limited run in New York and Los Angeles on May 22nd before a nationwide expansion.
Hailee Steinfeld (Pitch Perfect 2), John C. Reilly (Step Brothers), Vanessa Williams (Ugly Betty), Geena Davis (The Fly), Kathy Bates (Misery), Ellen Burstyn (Interstellar) and Catherine O’Hara (Home Alone) are among the cast for the film, which tells »
- Scott J. Davis
Gkids, the distributor behind 2015 Oscar-nominated "Song of the Sea" and Ghibli's own "Tale of the Princess Kaguya," will release "When Marnie Was There" on May 22 in New York and Los Angeles before a nationwide rollout. Hailee Steinfeld, John C. Reilly, Vanessa Williams, Geena Davis, Kathy Bates, Ellen Burstyn, Catherine O’Hara, Kiernan Shipka, Grey Griffin, Ava Acres and Raini Roodriguez will round out the English-language voice cast for this story of a 12-year-old orphan's friendship with a ghost. Read More: An Exclusive Behind the Scenes Tour of Studio Ghibli The revered Japanese animation house has started to pull back from production in the wake of is-he-or-isn't-he-retired figurehead Hayao Miyazaki's turn toward manga-making, and this may well be Ghibli's last film (for awhile at least). Directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi and based on a children's novel by Joan G. Robinson, "Marnie" was a summer 2014 box office hit in »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Miyazaki Hayao may be done, but that certainly does not mean we are done with him. His enduring legacy will echo across animation forever and what better way to remember the legend than a spiffy box set? Madman proudly presents The Collected Works of Hayao Miyazaki - available on DVD and Blu-ray, April 15, 2015.Presenting the complete feature-length works of Hayao Miyazaki, world renowned artist, auteur and founding member of the iconic Studio Ghibli. This special limited edition box-set collects Miyazaki's 11 feature films - from The Castle of Cagliostro to the Academy Award-winning Spirited Away and his final masterpiece, The Wind Rises. It also features a bonus disc offering a rare look at some of his earliest works, presented with English translations for the first time.Complete list of...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
The 18th edition of the Montreal Festival International du Film pour Enfants begins on February 28th, just in time for Spring Break offering a wide range of films for children, teens and families alike. With events at Cinema Beaubien, Cinema du Parc and the Imperial theatre, there is a little something for everyone, with a wide variety of international premieres and showcases.
One of the highlights of this year’s edition of the festival is a showcase called “Focus Japan”, highlighting some of the very best children’s films from Japan. This comes as the Fifem collaborates for the first time with the Tokyo Kinder Film Festival (the next edition in August 2015 will see the fest taking on a new name, Kineko). Focus Japan will feature great Japanese films new and old, including the ever-popular works of Hayao Miyazaki (Kiki’s Delivery Service, My Neighbour Totoro, Howl’s Moving Castle »
- Justine Smith
Good evening and welcome to the 87th Academy Awards, live from the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, Los Angeles.
The biggest movie event of the year is with us once more, and Digital Spy will be bringing you comprehensive live coverage, from the first Manolos on the red carpet to the last teary speech from the stage.
Refresh your memory with this list of all the nominations and compare your prediction cards with our guesses for who will win all the major gongs.
21:15What were your favourite moments from tonight? And what do you think of all the big winners, especially Birdman's victory over Boyhood? Do let us know in the comments box below, and stick around on DS for our full reaction to the ceremony.
21:14Neil Patrick Harris was undoubtedly a bit hit and miss, lacking confidence in the middle more than anything else, but there were »
Photo: AMPAS Oscar Musts: Predictions | Nominees | Presenters | Printable Ballot It's that time of year again and I welcome you to the 2015 Oscars Live Blog with up-to-the-minute live winners, commentary, red carpet coverage and overall merriment. We are kicking this thing off around 4 Pm Pst or so and carrying on until 9 Pm Pst or whenever this thing ends, which means you better have food, water and perhaps a tasty beverage or two because it's going to be a long night. I've already posted my predictions and have collated the reader polls into one, easy-to-read place along with my predictions as well as my Oscar-blogging co-hort and podcast partner Laremy Legel. You can find all three, one after another with the differences highlights right here. As far as my predicting prowess is concerned, last year I went 21 for 24 and I always shoot for at least 20 correct... we'll see how this year turns »
- Brad Brevet
With its nomination for Best Animated Feature at this Sunday’s Oscars, the film represents the end of an era in many ways. The legendary production house, which has pioneered the dying art of line-drawn animation against increasing competition from CGI, is losing its co-founder Hayao Miyazaki. His absence is clearly seen as a heavy blow – Miyazaki’s contribution to Ghibli’s output was incalculable. Indeed, entries such as Spirited Away ensured a presence for this singular approach to filmmaking amongst the big hitters of Hollywood. Yet when he departs, replacement Toshio Suzuki is unsure of any future direction.
So as Princess Kaguya lines up to take her place for the forthcoming ceremony, now is a good time to look back at other notable movies from »
- Steve Palace
Chicago – Just in time for its potential win of the “Best Animated Feature” Oscar this Sunday, the Irish animated film “Song of the Sea” opens this weekend at Chicago’s Music Box Theater. A grab-bag myth come to storytelling life, this film is vitalized by its gorgeous animation as much as the heart within its narrative.
This animated treasure from the “Secret of Kells” director Tomm Moore is an original story, but based on the Irish folklore of Selkies, creatures that live as seals in the sea, but humans on land. Moore angles his Selkie tale to focus on themes of humans dealing with burrowed grief. In “Song of the Sea,” a father (Conor, voiced by Brendan Gleeson) cares for his children, his pre-teen Ben (David Rawle »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
The great Hayao Miyazaki may no longer be calling the shots on Studio Ghibli’s animated features but the studio is still ticking along nicely. Its latest, The Tale Of The Princess Kaguya, is the work of his co-founder Isao Takahata (Grave Of The Fireflies) and promises a typically loving, hand-drawn interpretation of a folk tale, The Tale Of The Bamboo Cutter. Take a look at its new poster by clicking on the image below. Joining other great movie princesses (Leia, Belle, Buttercup… Padmé, to a lesser extent) on the big screen, Kaguya is a tiny discovery made by a curious man who finds her inside a bamboo stalk. She’s raised by him and his wife to become a beautiful young woman who finds herself the subject of many suitors. She alone, however, is privy to a secret that will affect her life. The Tale Of The Princess Kaguya »
With its exquisitely drawn style that recalls washed-out Japanese watercolours, the film is a strong contender to win the Oscar this weekend, having already won several international awards. It faces stiff competition however from fellow nominees The Boxtrolls, Big Hero 6, How To Train Your Dragon 2 and Song Of The Sea. We have faith in Ghibli though as they don’t seem capable of putting a foot wrong.
They won the Best Animated Feature Oscar in 2001 with Spirited Away. This film directed by the legendary Hayao Miyazaki (another co-founder of Studio Ghibli) mesmerised audiences with its stunning animation and unique story, becoming one of the highest grossing films in Japanese history and appearing in the »
- Kat Smith
Last year's live action short films were a bit better than this year's crop and none of this year's films can live up to writer/director Anders Walter's Helium, which ended up winning the live action Oscar last year and Shorts HD is now presenting it for free to watch directly below. The film, for me, was essentially like watching a live action Hayao Miyazaki feature. It's extraordinarily touching and almost magical as it centers on a dying young boy (Pelle Falk Krusb?k) who finds comfort in through the stories about the titular fantasy world as told told by the hospital's janitor Enzo (Casper Crump). Like pretty much everything the Oscar shorts have to offer, this one is a bit sad, but its sadness of overwhelmed by greatness. Marijana Jankovic also stars. Watch the short below and for my thoughts on all of this year's short film contenders »
- Brad Brevet
Through his films Princess Mononoke, My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, and more, Hayao Miyazaki has constantly placed humanity at odds with nature, sometimes making us an outright antagonist and other times placing us at its mercy. It’s a theme common to his work, and none exemplify the message quite as literally as Pom Poko, which he created the story for but didn’t direct or write. Instead, the directorial and screenwriting duties went to Isao Takahata who took Miyazaki’s theme and ran with it to tell the story of a clan of tanukis (also known as Japanese raccoon dogs – not actual raccoons despite what the English dub would have you believe) who wage a fantastical war against the humans seeking to turn their beloved Tama Hills forest into a housing development. Though Pom Poko bursts with humor and the fantastical elements that Miyazaki loves, the pacing of its story stops and starts, »
- Lex Walker
Though Hayao Miyazaki made a graceful retirement from the world of hand-drawn animated features in 2013 with The Wind Rises, eschewing many of the fantastical elements that had become his signature in favor of a more realistic approach to the life and legacy of Jiro Horikoshi, many of his films are just now finding their way to Blu-ray, both in Japan and the United States. One of the recent high-definition upgrades is Porco Rosso, the film that first gave us some insight into Hayao’s love of aeronautical engineering and which, like The Wind Rises, plays down the fantastic in favor of highlighting the majesty air travel used to embody in a bygone era. Throw in some sky pirates, a protagonist cursed with the face of a pig, and some beautiful animation and you have a film worthy of addition to any Blu-ray collection.
- Lex Walker
Mamoru Hosoda’s animated tale “The Boy and the Beast,” which is repped by Gaumont, has attracted distributors across Europe.
Produced by Studio Chizu and Nippon TV, “The Boy and the Beast” has pre-sold to Studiocanal in the U.K., Lucky Red in Italy, Madman in Australia and A Contracorriente in Spain. Gaumont’s deputy head of sales Yohann Comte said the company was closing Switzerland and is sifting through offers for Germany and the U.S..
“The fact that we’ve almost closed most of Europe underscores the rising profile of Mamoru Hosoda, who is perceived by many as the heir of Hayao Miyazaki,” said Comte. “Since Miyazaki has announced he was (retiring), buyers are particularly interested in showcasing another Japanese animation talent.”
“Beast” is a coming-of-age tale about Kyuta, a lonely Japanese boy living in Shibuya, and Kumatetsu, a lonesome beast inhabiting Jutengai, an imaginary world. One day, »
- Elsa Keslassy
How much would you love to visit the worlds of Hayao Miyazaki? Who wouldn’t want to stay at the Hotel Adriano from Porco Rosso or the Aburaya Bathhouse from Spirited Away? Japanese artist Takumi has dreamed up a Studio Ghibli Theme Park we can only wish were real — its not gonna happen but imagine if […]
The post See The Studio Ghibli Theme Park We Wish Were Real appeared first on /Film. »
- Peter Sciretta
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has been under fire for the lack of racial and gender equality in Oscar nominations, but there’s one area where the org can freely boast about diversity: this year’s international contenders. There are non-u.S. nominees in 22 out of 24 categories.
The long list includes two of the five directors — Norway’s Morten Tyldum (“The Imitation Game”) and Mexico’s Alejandro G. Inarritu (“Birdman”) — as well as all five nominees in the music-score category, the first time that’s ever happened.
The roster also includes contenders in two “mainstream” categories for their foreign-language work: cinematographers Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski for Poland’s “Ida” and Marion Cotillard with a French-lingo performance in Belgium’s “Two Days, One Night.”
Academy honchos have been working hard to broaden the organization’s makeup, to better reflect the international film business. AMPAS president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, »
- Tim Gray
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