Showing posts with label studio ghibli. Show all posts
Showing posts with label studio ghibli. Show all posts

20 November 2013

Studio Ghibli's The Wind Rises U.S Trailer Flies Online, Is it Miyazaki's Swan Song?

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When a new trailer for the latest Studio Ghibli film lands online it's always a ray of excitement brings a smile to anyone's face but it seems this one has extra reason to enjoy. The Wind Rises is been tipped as the farewell movie for Hayao Miyazaki who will retire but the question is will it be? Enjoy the American trailer...

The Wind Rises is inspired by Miyazaki's own personal dreams, the film centres around Jiro a young man inspired to become a aeronautical engineer. The Wind Rises is  the epic tale of love, perseverance, and the challenges of living and making choices in a turbulent world.The film is set in the first half of the 20th Century and will chronicle major events of his life from falling in love right upto Japan entering World War 2 a pivotal event in Jiro's career.

Despite been the U.S trailer there is no dialogue possibly that the American voice cast has not been chosen or the dub is finish.Visually you don't voice cast to release the trailer, visuals are nothing less but beautiful shame we don't get a sample tease of the sound design as early reviews praise it to the rafters. Will it get Studio Ghibli it's second Oscar? The talk is The Wind Rises will be in the nominations but id this film is the last Hayao Miyazaki film what better way to go out with a little gold statue!

No word on the UK release date we expect Studiocanal UK to do the honours releasing the film probably sometime in summer 2014, for USA release is 21st February 2014.


In “The Wind Rises,” Jiro—inspired by the famous Italian aeronautical designer Caproni—dreams of flying and designing beautiful airplanes. Nearsighted from a young age and thus unable to become a pilot, Jiro joins the aircraft division of a major Japanese engineering company in 1927. His genius is soon recognized, and he grows to become one of the world’s most accomplished airplane designers. The film chronicles much of his life, and depicts key historical events that deeply affected the course of Jiro’s life, including the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, the Great Depression, the tuberculosis epidemic and Japan’s plunge into war. He meets and falls in love with Nahoko, and grows and cherishes his friendship with his colleague Honjo. A tremendous innovator, Jiro leads the aviation world into the future. Miyazaki pays tribute to engineer Jiro Horikoshi and author Tatsuo Hori in his creation of the fictional character Jiro—the center of the epic tale of love, perseverance, and the challenges of living and making choices in a turbulent world.


20 September 2013

From Up on Poppy Hill Double Play Review

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Studiocanal UK
DVD/BD Release Date:
23rd September 2013 (UK)
Goro Miyazaki
Jun'ichi Okada,Masami Nagasawa,Keiko Takeshita, Sarah Bolger, Chris Noth, Anton Yelchin
Buy From Upon Poppy Hill:

Teenagers in love Post World War Japan is the setting for the latest  Studio Ghibli home release. With Hayao Miyazaki-San ready to handover the reigns of Japan's greatest ever to younger hands is Goro Miyazaki's From Upon Poppy Hill a worthy application for his fathers crown?

Set in 1963 Yokohama, From Upon Poppy Hill is an coming of age story that centre's around Umi and Shun a friendship that's blossoming into young love. As Tokyo starts to prepare for Olympics the young lovebirds are brought together to save their schools old ramshackle clubhouse from demolition to make way for the upcoming games.

From Upon Poppy Hill is a far superior film from Miyazaki Jnr's  debut Tales From The Earthsea which I'll be honest wasn't as bad as some critics made it out to be. Poppy Hill is evidence he has made progress but enough to call it a vintage Studio Ghibli.This film is not set in the fantasy realms of such Ghibli greats as Spirited Away but more at home with Whisper of The Heart grounded in reality. The film captures the post World War 2 era perfectly capturing a nation rebuilding as old traditions clash with the young. You get glimpses into the clashes from the village Umi & Shun live in from the quaint traditional houses to the small dirty roads and vibrant, colourful but simple lifestyles. Compared to Tokyo's sprawling crowed metropolis, with its new skyscraper buildings and a lifestyle that gives you no time to saviour anything. If there was ever going to be an animated version of Ozu film, Poppy Hill could give some indication what it may look like . Tonally as well as the narrative is rich in homage to one of Japan's true masters of cinema.

At times the film lets itself down by descending into melodramatics even suggesting the film even delves into some dark provocative sub text you wouldn't expect from the studio, convulsing into a  tragic  romance of incest. Thankfully at the last minute things are saved but it could have been helped by a back story that hasn't been constructed with great thought.

From Upon Poppy Hill may not be in the mould of the studios classic but there's enough in the film for Ghibli purists to enjoy immensely, so if your looking for great creatures or mythical spirit you'll a tad bored of this.The craftmanship, the visual storytelling is essential Ghibli but what this film does do is remind us all that the traditional hand drawn methods of animation are still alive and well been used in one of the world's greatest animation studios. The attention to detail is sublime rendered masterfully  which you can see in the scenes in the school clubhouse (which deliver some of the best scenes as well as keep a balance in the plot too) to preparing a mealat Umi's house. Even the smallest of details are given the respect they deserve.

From Upon Poppy Hill maybe lightweight for some folks but life is one big fantasy, an adventure of discovery we all must take. A slice of life delivered in a warm, charming and intimate way that only Ghibli know how to do with great precision.


Paul Devine

2 July 2013

Kiki's Delivery Service (1989) Blu-Ray Review

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Rating: U
BD Release Date:
1st July 2013 (UK)

CastKirsten DunstPhil HartmanMatthew LawrenceJaneane Garofalo
Buy Kiki's Deliver Service:
Double Play (Blu-ray + DVD)
Win Kiki's Deliver Service/Grave Of The FirefliesEnter Here

Whilst many have attempted and failed to deliver a coming of age story with sincerity as well as charm it seems the masters of animation Studio Ghibli seem to have found that winning formula. Once again they show the world how it's done with broomsticks, talking cats, deliveries, growing pains and been independent, step forward Kiki's Delivery Service (1989) the latest Studio Ghibli animation to be adapted to Blu Ray (in a double play with The Grave Of The Fireflies).Proving Hayao Miyzaki's animation is an timeless classic in animation legacy that would make the so called big boys of animation jealous with envy.

Based on Eiko Kadano's 1985 novel we meet Kiki a 13 year old teen witch determined to make it own her own despite been second rate at spells and poor at making potions. She moves to a new town with the aide of her broom she sets herself up as a courier service delivery, delivering everything from bread to pets.At first her only company is her sarcastic talking cat Jiji se soon discovers she has more friends than she ever thought on her long road of self discovery.

Whilst Kiki's Delivery Service may not have the array of mythical creatures or kindred spirits like in Spirited Away in the studio's film nor is there an villainous character, if anything life itself is Kiki's only enemy. With magic and everyday life living in unison this make's Kiki a more grounded realistic animation (1950's Sweden) that is vibrant, electric and it's probably the only Ghibli animation that resembles a Disney animationminus the over indulgent songs. If you are looking for fantasy elements Kiki herself been a witch, her potions, her talking cat provide that substance without forgetting this film is purely a coming of age tale.

Whilst the premise maybe light hearted giving the animation a nicely pace episodic feel breaking down each part of Kiki's tribulations into nice equally entertaining parts. Miyazaki does continue his use of  strong positive Female protagonists however with  Kiki we do learn she is not picture perfect which opens the door for older, wiser stronger character , strong female role model such as Ursula (voice by Janine Garofalo) to guide Kiki. Some critics say Ursula brings an feminist element to the story and it's probably why Kiki's Delivery Service finds itself paired with The Grave Of The Fireflies both roughly similar targeted age groups both with an message that may not appeal to younger pre-teen audience but never looses the magic we associate with Studio Ghibli. As for Kiki been a feminist film, every child boy or girl needs a good strong positive role model and what Kiki does addresses some of that imbalance of lack of female role models in film.

It's taken myself over a year to finally appreciate the power of bluray, the colour, the crisp detail are second to none. You really getting a real true feel of the film's detail when we see Kiki flying her broomstick in and around the her town, all thanks to Miyazaki's passion for flying bringing more depth to the feature. I always say watch the film as it was meant to be watched in its original language but I know not everyone likes subtitles so this release comes with a dubbed version too. Kiki is voiced by then a unknown young Kirsten Dunst, the late Phil Hartmann (Troy McClure of The Simpsons fame) voicing the sardonic Jiji, Debbie Reynolds, Jeanine Garofalo, Matthew Lawrence too.

Kiki's Delivery Service might provide and unique take on the coming of age tale but at no time does it lose track of what makes it essential Studio Ghibli. It's a warm, sweet entertaining tale that still holds well against today's modern Kids films which is credit to the films as it's amazing 24 years old!


Paul Devine

24 May 2013

Studio Ghibli's Kiki's Delivery Service / Grave Of Fireflies To be Released on Doubleplay July

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Studiocanal have announced this July will see them release Studio Ghibli's latest Double Play on Blu Ray, Kiki's Delivery Service and Grave Of The Fireflies

The re-releases of the classic animes is to coincide with upgrading the great films to blu ray and you can add this upcoming release from 1st July.

KIKI'S DELIVERY SERVICE out on Double Play on July 1st
It’s witch meets world, as teenage Kiki chooses to live on her own in a new town, using her magical powers to get by. But Kiki is poor with potions and second-rate at spells- instead, she sets up a courier service, using her broomstick to deliver everything from pies to pets. At first with only her sarcastic cat Jiji for company, she soon discovers that she has more friends than she ever thought possible.

Adapted by Hayao Miyazaki from the children’s book by Eiko Kadono, KIKI’S DELIVERY SERVICE is one of the best-loved animated features in Japan and elsewhere.

Featuring the voices of Kirsten Dunst, Janeane Garofalo and Debbie Reynolds, Kiki’s Delivery Service is superb entertainment from start to finish.

Extras: Complete Feature Length Storyboards / Ursula’s Painting / Creating Kiki’s Delivery Service (new!) / Kiki & Jiji (new!) / Flying with Kiki & Beyond (new!) / Producer’s Perspective: Collaborating with Miyazaki (new!) / The Locations of Kiki (new!) / Beyond the Microphone (new!) / Original Japanese Theatrical Trailers / Studio Ghibli Trailer Reel

GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES out on Double Play on July 1st
Set in Japan during World War II, the film focuses on Seita and his little sister Setsuko. After their mother is killed in an air raid and with their father serving in the navy, they are forced to fight for survival in the devastated Japanese countryside. Food and shelter are scarce, and even their own relatives are too concerned with their own survival. Allthey have is each other and their belief that life must carry on.
Takahata and his team, including character animator Yoshifumi Kondo (who has subsequently worked on other acclaimed Ghibli films from director Hayao Miyazaki) have created a visually stunning and emotionally powerful film and that meditates on the devastating consequences of war and has rightly earned a reputation as an anime classic.

Featuring the voices of J Robert Spencer, Rhoda Chrosite, Veronica Taylor and Amy Jones.

Extras: Interview with Director Isao Takahata / Japanese Release Promo Featuring Interview with Director Isao Takahata and Writer Akiyuki Nosaka / Deleted Scenes Storyboards (some new!) / Interview with Film Critic Roger Ebert / Historical Perspective Documentary / Trailers

We will be reviewing the films closer to the time, stay tuned for that review

17 May 2013

My Neighbor Totoro and Grave of the Fireflies to get a 25th anniversary cinema release

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In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the release of Studio Ghibli’s acclaimed masterpieces GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES and MY NEIGHBOUR TOTORO, STUDIOCANAL are delighted to announce a nationwide theatrical release with a chance to experience a recreation of the original Japanese double-bill feature that first launched these anime classics. An arresting combination from Studio Ghibli’s founding fathers: Hayao Miyazaki’s MY NEIGHBOUR TOTORO, a lyrical fantasy about benevolent forest spirits and Isao Takahata’s GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES, the heartbreaking tale of two children’s struggle to survive their firebombed city in World War 2, were launched together in 1988, showcasing the breadth of the anime powerhouse’s range of vision. Seemingly almost polar opposites in subject matter, Miyazaki’s gentle fable and Takahata’s grittier wartime adaptation both perfectly encapsulate the studio’s signature motif: its evocation of the wonder and innocence of childhood with their leading young protagonists, and showcase perfectly its defining style impressionistic imagery.

Set in Japan during World War II, GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES focuses on Seita and his little sister Setsuko. After their mother I skilled in an air raid, and with their father serving in the navy, they are forced to fight for survival in the devastated Japanese countryside. Food and shelter are scarce, and even their own relatives are too concerned with their own survival. All they have is each other and their belief that life must carry on. Takahata and his team, including character animator Yoshifumi Kondo, have created a visually stunning and emotionally powerful meditation on the devastating consequences of war.

MY NEIGHBOUR TOTORO [read our blu-ray review]
While their mother recovers from an illness, Satsuki and her little sister Mei get away from it all in an idyllic rural retreat. Far from the bustle of the city, they discover a mysterious place of spirits and magic, and the friendship of the Totoro woodland creatures. Conceived as a family film devoid of conflict and suffused with the joy of country living, MY NEIGHBOUR TOTOR is a masterpiece for the whole family, uniting the unique vision of Hayao Miyazaki with a feel-good tale of childlike wonder and true originality

Grave Of The Fireflies and My Neighbour Totoro will be released in UK cinemas from next Friday 24th May.

5 February 2013

GFF 2013 - Watch The American Trailer For Studio Ghibli's From Up on Poppy Hill

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It maybe still doing the festival circuit rounds but 2013 finally looks the year Studio Ghibli's From Up On Poppy Hill will finally be released in English as tonight we have the US Trailer.

Based on a Manga of the same name , From Up on Poppy Hill is an coming of age story  set in the 1960s  2 teenagers who fall in love in the wake of preventing an old clubhouse at the school their both at in Yokohama.

The film marks a return to directing from Goro Miyazaki with his father the legendary Hayao Miyazaki on scripting , the film on the animation equivalent of an Oscar back in 2011, the Japan Academy Prize for Animation. From Up On Poppy Hill certainly keeps the charm, beauty and even innocence we expect from Studio Ghibli, our only concern with this, is its not one of Studio Ghibli's 'fantasies' which are a easy sell however the source of this film should be enough to sell this one.

This a dubbed version of the film, we don't know yet if they'll be an UK voice cast like Arriety, if not Chris Noth, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ron Howard, Bruce Dern and Aubrey Plaza will provide the cast. GK Kids are the new American distributor taken over from Disney, Here in The UK we're still expecting Studiocanal to release this for now next UK screening is at Glasgow Youth Film Festival 10th February, USA Release will be 15th March .


The latest Studio Ghibli masterpiece is scripted by Hayao Miyazaki and directed by his son Goro. Set just before the 1964 Olympics, this anime features Umi, a hardworking teen looking after her family while her mother is abroad. One day she comes across a poem in the school newspaper, apparently written about her. A little while later she meets Shun, a daring young man who is part of a school movement to help save the local clubhouse from demolition. Umi joins the movement and she and Shun grow closer, until they are suddenly torn apart by a shocking secret…


12 November 2012

My Neighbour Totoro Blu-Ray Review

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When you look at the history and worldwide reputation it's had over the years, it's hard to believe Studio Ghibli having a film open so badly in it's native Japan.Hayao Miyazaki's My Neighbour Totoro did suffer that poor opening but like a certain famous high street chain store ' this is no ordinary animation, this is a Studio Ghibli animation'. Like all good things, they mature as they get older, Totoro is that fine wine you will enjoy second time around that's of course you didn't enjoy it the first time around as it has a kind of magic very few filmmakers can achieve.

My Neighbour Totoro is a charming tale about 10 year old Satsuki and her inquisitive younger sister Mei (voiced by real life actress sisters Dakota and Elle Fanning) who move to a new home with their father into the country to be closer to their mother who is in hospital nearby. Far from the hustle and bustle of the big city, the sisters discover a mysterious place of spirits and magic and the friendship of the big fluffy woodland creature Totoro. This is a family suffused in the joys of country living with an elegy of two fading miracles: the fairytale world of childhood and the disappearing countryside.

My Neighbour Totoro is a beautifully constructed film. Unlike many of the other Studio Ghibli films, Totoro is not set in any war feuding countries or has villains hell bent in destroying the environment or the natural beauty of the location. The film is totally grounded in the real the world  with a story that is told from a child's point of view, enticing the children to be imaginative and creative essentially enjoy childhood. The simplicity of the story helps the film flow naturally  helping the children be characteristically children even if they are of the animated, this is something Disney have forgotten about recently and surround them with unnatural fantasy surroundings.

The film does have one typical Ghibli trait, fantasy and a giant mythical spirit, the Totoro who is like the (giant) imaginary friend children sometimes have  hence why the girls do not fear as to them he's like that first cuddly toy a child gets. Totoro isn't actually on the screen too much but enough to become the face of the studio like the way Mickey Mouse does it for Disney. Every Studio Ghibli film his logo is seen at the start of the film and no matter where you are in the world when you see the Totoro you know what your getting and he's become that recognizable he even got a cameo in the last Toy Story film!

The girls parents nor many adults actually have much screen time either but this doesn't mean to say they are not well developed characters either. We do see the girl's mother(Lea Salonga) a few time but thanks to letters written by Satsuki we do cover some of the ground but not the reason why she's in hospital as this isn't important as this is all from a child's view on life, they know your ill but telling them what is wrong they would be lost forever. Their father (Tim Daly) is so busy working  even at home, to make ends meet it's also a reminder of how tranquil and safe the countryside was in the 1950's (the era the film is set) and the trust they had for neighbours like Nanny (Pat Carroll) who was like a surrogate parent to the girls.

I'm a newbie when it comes to blu-ray, so out of the films I already own or watched via the format, My Neighbour Totoro is the first film I can say I've experienced the true power of the format. The bu-ray transfer has been nothing but fantastic,the picture is clear, crisp, colours so vibrant the hand drawn style animation really shines through giving the feel a organic natural feel. The best scene to show blu-ray's power is the bus stop scene when the Totoro joins at the stop you see the improved lighting, sounds crisp and the we meet the Cheshire Cat bus which is like something straight out of Alice In Wonderland, the scene also delivers some depth and atmosphere to the film.

When you talk about films be them live action or animated in the status of been categorized as classic, legendary even cult My Neighbour Totoro is all 3 categories.The quality of Totoro (and Studio Ghibli) is nothing but sublime, as what we get could easily be regarded as one of if not the studios finest film. To highlight the sheer brilliance of the film it was one of the very few animated films (highest entry) to make the recent BFI poll of 250 greatest films ever made, a testament to how highly regarded the film is with fans and critics,Miyazaki actually has the privilage of 2 films as Spirited Away is also in the list too. Scorsese, Kubrick, Hitchcock, Tarkvosky, and Miyazaki habe all got one thing in common they are all master storytellers, My Neighbour Totoro is a perfect example of why animation is not just for kids just lovers of film in all its beautiful forms

Paul Devine


UK BD Release Date: 12th November 2012
Directed By:Hayao Miyazaki
Cast:Pat CarrollTim DalyDakota FanningElle Fanning,
Buy My Neighbour Totoro: Blu-ray (+ DVD) [1988]

29 July 2012

Destructive Teaser Trailer For Studio Ghibli's Live Action Short 'God Warrior'

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Studio Ghibli probably the most recognisable Japanese Animation studio in the world, they need no introduction their films are adored worldwide. The studio have joined forces with the creators of Evagelion to create God Warrior Appears In Tokyo (Kyoshinhei Tokyo ni Arawaru), the iconic studio's first foray into live action and a trailer has appeared online , we have to say we're impressed!

Evangelion director Hideko Anno is directing with Studio Ghibli producing the short film (running just under 10 minutes mark) has been created for an animation exhibition focussing on special effects at  the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo. The design of the Warrior is inspired by Nausicaa The Valley of The Wind (Anno was a key animator)with the film created using no CGI which is unusual in this day and age especially considering the film's genre usually known for its heavy usage of CGI. They have used a technique called Tokusatsu which basically means they used miniature models in the way they used to do in the old school creature feature/sci-fi films like Godzilla.

No word if the film will be shown online,but if your fortunate to be able to visit Tokyo the film will be playing at the exhibition it was created for. Enjoy the impressive trailer and tell me wouldn't it be great if this became a feature live or animated?

巨神兵 Published via

 source: Anime News Network