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animation news Various news updates (primarily for animated film fans):

  • GKids +「思い出のマーニー」(Omoide no Mani/When Marnie Was There)

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North American distributor GKids has announced that it has added Omoide no Mani (directed by Yonebayashi Hiromasa) to its ever-growing animated film catalogue already counting several Studio Ghibli productions. The film is due out in the spring, with both dubs and subs currently being prepared (no word yet on the dubbing cast).

  • Oscars +「かぐや姫の物語」(Kaguya Hime no Monogatari/Princess Kaguya)

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has revealed its nominations for 2015, which includes Studio Ghibli’s Kaguya Hime no Monogatari in the Best Animated Feature category. It’s the fourth Studio Ghibli film to be nominated, although it’s the first time that director Takahata Isao has been recognised by the Academy. Previous nominations were all for Miyazaki Hayao films, with「千と千尋の神隠し」(Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi/Spirited Away) in 2002 (it won), 「ハウルの動く城」 (Hauru no Ugoku Shiro/Howl’s Moving Castle) in 2005 (it lost to Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit) and「風立ちぬ」(Kaze Tachinu/The Wind Rises) in 2014 (lost to Frozen). I’m not sure what chance Kaguya Hime stands, since the Academy’s “best” often seems to equate to “biggest” or “most lobbied” or “who-knows-what”. This is not to say there aren’t worthy competitors in the Best Animated Feature category this year, with the critically acclaimed Song of the Sea also having been nominated, as well as The Boxtrolls, Big Hero 6 and How to Train Your Dragon 2 (that last one having just won a Golden Globe). North American distributor GKids should be having a big party tonight, as both Kaguya Hime and Song of the Sea are under their licensing. The Kaguya Hime nomination is also good news for StudioCanal UK, which is set to release the film in UK cinemas next month – an Oscar nod never hurts for publicity!

  • International Film Festival Rotterdam + Studio Ghibli

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The International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), due to start on January 21 and running until February 1, will be screening two Studio Ghibli-related productions: the aforementioned Omoide no Mani as well the Sunada Mami’s documentary on Ghibli「夢と狂気の王国」(Yume to Kyoki no Okoku/Kingdom of Dreams and Madness). While the latter has been touring film festivals for a while, I believe this is the first time that Omoide no Mani is being shown outside of Japan (it premiered only back in July 2014). Beyond Ghibli, the line-up for the festival looks pretty stellar, with a whole host of Japanese films I would love to see as well has 19 Korean features – see Genkinahito and Modern Korean Cinema for write-ups on the Japanese and Korean entries respectively. Related posts: