This is the third page of the News Archive of GhibliWorld.com. The News Archive has been made to make the main news page a bit faster to load. Although the Ghibli news posted over here is less recent, it's worth reading as it contains a lot of exclusive news! Page one of the News Archive can be found over here and page two over here.
17th of March, "TANEYAMAGAHARA NO YORU" & "GAUCHE THE CELLIST" DVD’S & GHIBLI MUSEUM SHORT 2006 “YADOSAGASHI” SPECIAL: Today more news on Studio Ghibli’s new project "Taneyamagahara no Yoru", “Gauche the Cellist” and to start off well for the weekend: the third of six dedicated specials to the Ghibli Museum Shorts!
Yesterday it was announced that Ghibli’s new project "Taneyamagahara no Yoru" will be released straight away on DVD on July 7th in honor of the 110th anniversary of Kenji Miyazawa. It will be released as a Ghibli ga Ippai Collection Special together with a new release of Takahata’s “Gauche the Cellist” which is also based on a work of Kenji Miyazawa. This new release is good news because even though the former Japanese release did have English subs, the PQ wasn’t perfect, it didn’t contain very interesting extra’s and on top of that it has been out of print for some time now. Anyway, below the cover designs of both of the two new Ghibli DVD’s which also happen to be up for pre-order now at Amazon.co.jp over here and here!
Finally, it’s time for the third of six dedicated specials to the Ghibli Museum Shorts. This one is about "Yadosagashi", a.k.a. “House Hunting”, one of the three new shorts that were released earlier this year. It’s directed by Hayao Miyazaki and has a length of approximately 12 minutes. The story describes trip of girl who looks for new house. Rich Japanese expressions such as "Zah" and "Zo Zo Zo.." show the sounds and atmosphere as these are animated on the screen as well. Though "Yadosagashi" is not my favorite of the Ghibli Museum Shorts, it is really funny and witty.
Besides Hayao Miyazaki, a lot of other famous Ghibli staff worked on this short. The job of animation director for “Yadosagashi” was fullfilled by Katsuya Kondou, who also was key animator on for example “Laputa: Castle in the Sky”, “Pom Poko” and “Mononoke Hime”. He was also animation director for “Kiki’s Delivery Service” and worked on “Howl’s Moving Castle” as animation supervisor. For “Yadosagashi” Kondou was backed up by art director Sayaka Hirahara, who’s responsible for the background art of films like “Howl’s Moving Castle”, “Spirited Away” and “Mononoke Hime”.
The color design of Yadosagashi was done by Michiyo Yasuda, a color designer who worked on almost every Ghibli movie and also was color director for “My Neigbors the Yamada’s”. The person I’d finally like to mention is Atsushi Okui who was Yadosagashi’s director of photography, a position which Atsushi Okui also fulfilled for films like “Porco Rosso”, “On Your Mark” and “Pom Poko”.
In “Yadosagashi”, the onomatopoeic sounds such as "zah" for pounding rain and "zawa-zawa" for a breeze in the forest were represented by the words themselves on the screen. Like said in Yomiuri Shimbun’s interview with Miyazaki from earlier this year “All the sound effects and incidental "music" were performed vocally by TV personality Tamori and pianist, singer and composer Akiko Yano. We can't do this sort of thing in a typical film for the cinema. Filmmaking these days is so restricted by conventions and rules. The sound effects, incidental music and dialogue are all done separately, and mixed and digitally processed later...For this reason, I wanted to give the work a live feel by requesting the two performers (Tamori and Yano) to produce oral sound effects, for example, the "zah" sound... recording the sounds in one take. I was really surprised by the talent shown by the two performers.”
FINAL NOTE: That’s it for all the background info, now it’s time for some pictures! Just as with the last Ghibli Museum Special I deliberately kept them small, because these pics are original work of Studio Ghibli. Please do not put these online anywhere else or distribute it in any other ways!!! The artwork is posted here ONLY for the purpose of encouraging interest in, and discussion about the works of Studio Ghibli! If you like "Yadosagashi" please go and see it in the Saturn Theatre of the “Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Japan! This month is your final chance and it’s worth it!
16th of March, NEW GHIBLI "TANEYAMAGAHARA NO YORU", TOSHIO SUZUKI & MORE GEDO SENKI: Thanks to my friend Takahiro there's a lot of Ghibli news straight from Japan today and it's goooood!!! Earlier this week Studio Ghibli announced a new project which will be released next to "Gedo Senki". This project is called "Taneyamagahara no Yoru" and will be the director's debut of background art master Kazuo Oga. Today more details about this project. But there's more news: Studio Ghibli have updated their website with more info about the NHK program "Professional" that will feature Toshio Suzuki and GhibliWorld has a trailer of it.
That's not all, but let's just start with the best news... Today Buena Vista Japan announced that Ghibli’s new project “Taneyamagahara no Yoru” will be released on DVD on July 7th in honor of the 110th anniversary of Kenji Miyazawa. The DVD will be released as a Ghibli ga Ippai Collection Special together with a new release of Takahata’s Gauche the Cellist which is also based on a work of Kenji Miyazawa. Here’s some specs:
Taneyamagahara no Yoru (DVD and Sound Track CD)
Running time: 27 min
Audio Track: Stereo, Dolby Digital 2.0
Subtitle: Standard Japanese, Regional dialect Japanese
Staff and Cast
Director, Dramatizer, Paint: Kazuo Oga
Voice Cast: Hatsuo Yamaya (speaks in a regional dialect)
Singing: Ensemble Planeta
Production: Studio Ghibli
Gauche the Cellist (2 disc DVD)
Audio Track: Mono
Subtitle: Japanese and English
2. "Kenji and Music and Iihatobu - The sixth symphony Kenji listened -"
4. Staff interview (80 min) with Isao Takahata, Koichi Murata, Shunji Saida, Tadao Kubota
5. Character board, Image board, Art board
DVD production: Studio Ghibli
Some other nice news is that Studio Ghibli have updated their website over here with more info about the NHK program "Professional" that will feature Toshio Suzuki on the April 6th broadcast. The filming of the show was already mentioned in Goro Miyazaki’s blog (January 10, 19) of which a translation can be found on Nausicaa.net. A three man NHK interview crew has been coming by at Studio Ghibli nearly every day. Studio Ghibli’s announcement of today also mentions that the program will have valuable footage of and info about "Gedo Senki". They advice you, by all means, not to miss the show! To give you a sneak preview of what’s to come, you can check out the trailer over here.
I’d also like to point you in the direction of an English article Studio Ghibli have just posted on their website. It is called “Waiting for the Other Wind" and talks about the making of "Gedo Senki" and is written by Masako Shimizu, the Japanese translator of the Earthsea series. You can read it over here. Finally, I’d like to remember you that one of my other Japanese Ghibli friends (Nanashi) has updated his website with more pictures he made of the Gedo Senki exhibition at the Otemachi Museum in the Otemachi Station.
13th of March, NEW GHIBLI MOVIE ANNOUNCED:
My Japanese Ghibli friend Takahiro has just let me know that Studio Ghibli has updated their website with great news! They have announced over here that Studio Ghibli background art director Kazuo Oga will be releasing his first film this summer, the 7th of July 2006 to be exact. For those who haven't heard of Kazuo Oga, Oga is famous for his background art direction and beautiful background art of movies like "Tonari no Totoro" (My Neighbor Totoro), "Heisei Tanuki Gassen Pon Poko" (PomPoko) and "Mononoke Hime" (Princess Mononoke).
This new Ghibli new project will be called "Taneyamagahara no Yoru" (Night of Taneyamagahara) and will be based on the play with the same name by Kenji Miyazawa. Miyazawa wrote this play in 1924 for his students when he was a 28 year old teacher. The first supervision work of the film was built up with a technique which could be described as a "picture story show style". Though not officially confirmed, it'll probably be released together with Goro Miyazaki's "Gedo Senki". Why? Well because of what Ghibli did in the past. Yoshifumi Kondo's first film "Whisper of the Heart" was released together with Hayao Miyazaki's "On Your Mark". Hiroyuki Morita's "The Cat Returns" was released with "Ghiblies Episode II". Chances are high "Gedo Senki" will be released together with "Taneyamagahara no Yoru".
More details about this new Ghibli will be announced bit by bit by Studio Ghibli at a later time, but if you're really curious: you can find more info about Kenji over here and some info about Taneyama over here.
12th of March, GHIBLI MUSEUM SHORTS EXHIBITION: Lawson have updated their website with a report about an exhibition which is dedicated to the three new Ghibli shorts. In terms of information it's not really special, as it only contains some basic background info which was already posted in some of the other news post on GhibliWorld.com. However, it does contain some pictures of the exhibition. You can check out the article at Lawson over here, but I'd advice you just to go and pay a visit to the Ghibli Museum itself!
8th of March, GEDO SENKI CHIRASHI: the Studio Ghibli website and Yomiuri Shimbun have announced the advance ticket sale and chirashi (Japanese leaflet) of Gedo Senki over here and here. If you want to take a better look at them, my Japanese Ghibli friend Nanashi has posted them as large pictures over here.
7th of March, GHIBLI MUSEUM SHORT 2006 “MIZUGUMO MONMON” SPECIAL: Time for the second of six dedicated specials to the Ghibli Museum Shorts. This one is about "Mizugumo Monmon", a.k.a. “Monmon the Water Spider”, one of the three new shorts that were released earlier this year. It’s directed by Hayao Miyazaki and has a length of approximately 15 minutes. The story basically is a love adventure of a water spider who drags a bubble of air underwater to make a nest and then meets a water spider. It beautifully portrays life in the pond in which they live such as enormous crawfish, fish and small water flea and these lovely images are backed up with a nice happy, folkloristic sounding soundtrack using lots of violins.
The voice work was done by Yano Akiko, a 76 years Tokyo born singer / song writer / pianist. She also did voice work of one of the other Ghibli Museum Shorts “Yadosagashi”, a.k.a. “House Hunting”, but more importantly also used her voice for Takahata Isao’s “My Neighbors the Yamadas”. Yomiuri Shimbun happened to have interviewed Yano Akiko about her work for the Ghibli Museum Shorts last February which can be read over here.
Like said in Yomiuri Shimbun’s interview with Miyazaki from earlier this year, they used 30,000 cels to make Mizugumo Monmon. The amount of cels is of such a high quantity, because it takes a lot of cels to depict bubbles and the rippling of water and unfortunately is also reflected in the costs. Making short films is definitely not commercial, but that’s where the Ghibli Museum comes in handy, as “There, we don't need to worry about the commercial aspect of a film. You can't expect to have a more enjoyable job than that”. It was said that they first wanted to make a feature of “Boro the Caterpillar” instead of Monmon, but later decided to make Monmon. Both of the characters already have a Panorama Box in the Ghibli Museum which were used as inspiration. These Panorama Boxes concists out of 7 to 10 painted glass panels that are set in rows from front to back. By adjusting the angle of lights at the top and bottom of the box, the rows of flat panels create a space that has depth. “Just as people to make pictures move, they also wished they could look inside a different world. They yearned to enter a story to travel to a faraway land. They longed to see the future and landscapes of the past. The Panorama Box with no moving parts was made much earlier than the zoetrope.” (Hayao Miyazaki).
FINAL NOTE: That’s it for all the background info, now it’s time for some pictures! Just as with the last Ghibli Museum Special I deliberately kept them small, because these pics are original work of Studio Ghibli. Please do not put these online anywhere else or distribute it in any other ways!!! The artwork is posted here ONLY for the purpose of encouraging interest in, and discussion about the works of Studio Ghibli! If you like "Mizugumo Monmon" please go and see it in the Saturn Theatre of the “Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Japan! This month is your final chance and it’s worth it!
2nd of March, GEDO SENKI CAMPAIGN, MIYAZAKI & GHIBLI MUSEUM VIDEO: More Gedo Senki news was announced today, like Nanashi letting us know via the forum of Online Ghibli that Asahi Drinks and Studio Ghibli are collaborating on a commercial for Gedo Senki and about background paintings plus Goro Miyazaki's rough sketch from the film being displayed in one of Japans subways. In addition to this I'd like to add some extra information about that. But that's not all, I've also got news about the Gedo Senki OST following with a compilation video of NHK's program "Seikatsu Hot Morning" with Miyazaki talking about his future project, the Ghibli Museum and more...
Like with all the Ghibli pictures, Yomiuri Shimbun is a also partner for Gedo Senki. This March they especially opened a Gedo Senki exhibition at the Otemachi Museum in the Otemachi Station (Toei subway Mita line). The same area was also used for "Howl’s Moving Castle" and the entire exhibition area has a surface of approximately 164 square meters. Displaying 32 large-sized pictures with a maximum size of 170cm (height) by 235cm (width) on 24 pillars and the area’s walls, it’s a really nice exhibition. Over here Yomiuri Online also lets us know that the gorgeous song which is used in the Gedo Senki Trailer, will be released as a CD single in June and that a album will follow later that summer.
Finally for today (thanks to Takahiro), a compilation of NHK's program "Seikatsu Hot Morning". This program is a 50 minutes long interview with Hayao Miyazaki and the first time that he guides the museum on TV. Nausicaa.net had announced earlier last month that it was to be aired from 8:30 AM to 9:25 AM on February 24, but it ended up being aired the 27th. In this program, Miyazaki also talks about his next film. Unfortunately, he doesn't concretely talk about it, but does say that he’s currently fighting on a notebook and has already thought about it for one year. He mentions that there are many equations in a movie. For example “something happens > it's settled > happy” and that he wants to be separated from that. Besides that he also talks about the three new Ghibli Museum shorts and the program aired some more footage of them. However, not wanting to show to much of it in public and due to copyright reasons, it is not included in this compilation. Anyway, the compilation is worth watching and you can check it out over here!
23th of February, GEDO SENKI TRAILER: This morning Studio Ghibli showed the trailer for their new feature "Gedo Senki" a.k.a. "Tales from Earthsea" on NTV's "Zoom In Super" program. This isn't strange as "Zoom In Super" also premiered previous Studio Ghibli film trailers before they're attached to other films in theaters. Thanks to my friend Takahiro you can check it out now and I’ve got two options for you... Watch the 3 minute trailer in lower resolution at Catsuka.com, who was really early with the trailer news this morning, or… for the real Ghibli fans: watch the complete 5 minute NTV "Zoom In Super" program in high resolution with the trailer included. I had a direct link online, but as it costed me too much bandwidth, it's temporarily removed. However, thanks to Petr Baudis from the The Miyazaki Mailing List, who mirrored it as a torrent over here.
No matter which version you pick, you’ll notice that it’s simply beautiful and really shows that Goro has Hayao Miyazaki’s DNA. Although he doesn't have any animation experience, he’s responsible for storyboard, screenplay, layout.....and wrote wonderful lyrics for the soundtrack of Gedo Senki (many Japanese people say "I cried with this song"). I can understand why Yasuo Otsuka said "a frog's child is a frog" and Anno said "It's really Miyazaki (Hayao) anime", when they saw the Gedo Senki storyboard.
But that’s not all… Studio Ghibli announced more info over here. The Gedo Senki trailer will be released on 2,000 screens, which will be the largest trailer release in Japanese movie history. It was already announced that the voice of Ged will be done by the famous actor Bunta Sugawara (72), who did the voice of Kamaji in Spirited Away, and the voice of Prince Arren will be done by Junichi Okada (25), who is known for being part of the singing group V6. Today there’s more information about the voice cast. Theru’s voice will be done by Aoi Teshima. She’s a new face in the industry making her grand debut and also sings the theme song and an insertion song called "A song of Theru".
The voice of Tenar will be done by Jun Fubuki. More interesting is that the voice of Witch Kumo (Spider) will be done by Yuko Tanaka (50), who also did the voice of Lady Eboshi in Princess Mononoke. The voice of Kumo's subordinate Usagi (Rabbit) is done by Teruyuki Kagawa (40). Another interesting thing is the voice actor of the King: Kaoru Kobayashi (54), who did the voice of Jikobo in Princess Mononoke. The queen will be voiced by Yui Natsukawa (37) and finally the voice of a vendor will be done by Mistuko Baisyo (59). She is the younger sister of Chieko Baisyo who did the voice of Sophie in Howl’s Moving Castle.
Finally, as some might know, director Goro Miyazaki has a special blog dedicated to the production of Gedo Senki and other related stuff. These two days his blog has been very interesting, but also a little sad. His 23rd of February entry is called “Objection of my mother” and mentions “I avoided entering the world of animation all the time, not because my father objected, but one of the big reasons why I avoided it, is that my mother objected”. Also his 22nd of February entry, called “0 points as father, full marks as director”, mentions “Hayao Miyazaki, for me, gets 0 point as father, full marks as director.” And “My mother had to resign animator for child-rearing.”
16th of February, REOPENING TOTORO HOUSE: Some of you might remember that last year a beautiful recreation of Satsuki and Mei's House (from My Neighbor Totoro) was built for the 2005 World Exposition in Aichi prefecture, Japan. It was constructed using techniques of the early Showa era and had undergone artificial aging. The furnishings were also made to reflect the movie as faithfully as possible. As beautiful as it was, many people unfortunately were unable to see it due to a bad reservation system. Yesterday however, several Japanese newspapers like the San-in Chuo Shimpo and Chugoku Shinbun posted news articles announcing Aichi prefecture will reopen the "Satsuki and Mei's House” next July. The general admission fee will be 500 Yen and 250 Yen for children. Haven’t had the chance to visit it? Now is your chance and you might as well throw in a visit to the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka as well!
15th of February, MORE GEDO SENKI & TOSHIO SUZUKI: Yesterday Studio Ghibli announced the voice cast of their new feature “Gedo Senki” which is to be released next July, together with some new pictures (see news post 14th of February below), today there’s more news! Last December Yomiuri Online had an interview with producer Toshio Suzuki about Gedo Senki (see news post 31st of December 2005). However, this interview didn’t contain everything being said; my Japanese Ghibli friend Takahiro has let me know that the entire interview (unedited!) is now published online by Studio Ghibli!
In advance "using the Internet would mean not worrying about space in terms of length of the interview and therefore would be a good medium, so we wanted the interview to be published on the internet", as been said by the interviewer of Yomiuri Online. With this thought in mind Suzuki agreed with making the article, in order to convey all the details of making Gedo Senki, abbreviating as little as possible. Before the article was published, producer Toshio Suzuki asked on the phone (with some misunderstanding because of all the preparation) "with this there is no digest?". However, almost every interview in this world "is compiled" because the person interviewed doesn’t always talk or think logically. Often things are told with a lot of side roads. The problem with compiling an interview is that sometimes parts don’t have a connection to the front and back. Therefore to avoid any possible misunderstanding, Studio Ghibli has posted the entire interview
online on their website over here. Here's a interesting part that wasn’t mentioned earlier... (I hope to post more translated parts soon).
edit update: I removed a part temporarily, because of some possible misunderstanding. Some parts are quotes and summarizing of the interview and some are personal views of my Japanese contact. I worry that some persons who read it might misunderstand so I removed it temporarily. I'll put the translated parts back as soon as possible.
14th of February, GEDO SENKI: Today Studio Ghibli announced the voice cast for Gedo Senki, via Sanspo. Gedo Senki is Ghibli's newest feature which is being directed by Hayao Miyazaki's 39 year old son Goro Miyazaki. The voice of Ged will be done by Bunta Sugawara (72). Sugawara also did the voice of Kamaji in Spirited Away and is a well known actor who for example played in Kinji Fukasaku's Yakuza Papers, a Japanese mafia drama which is often titled as the Japanese answer to the Godfather Trilogy. The voice of Prince Arren will be done by Junichi Okada (25) who is known for being part of the singing group V6. Below there's also two new Gedo Senki pictures (which isn't much, but at least it's something), followed with a picture of Sugawara together with Miyazaki, Hisaishi, etc. at a Spirited Away press conference and a picture of Junichi Okada. More info soon and thanks very much for the news to Takahiro!
11th of February, GHIBLI MUSEUM SHORT 2006 “THE DAY I HARVESTED A STAR” SPECIAL: Time for the first of six dedicated specials to the Ghibli Museum Shorts. This one is about "The Day I Harvested a Star", a.k.a. “Hoshi wo Katta Hi”. With such a lovely animation and a superb soundtrack, it’s my favourite of the three new shorts that started screening in January in the Ghibli Museum. It was directed by Ai Kagawa, who also was key animator on “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind”, “Only Yesterday”, “My Neighbors the Yamadas”, “Howl's Moving Castle” and was main animation director under Miyazaki for “Porco Rosso”.
When watching “Hoshi wo Katta Hi” you’ll probably be familiar with some of the things that appear. This is because it shows the visionary world according to artist Naohisa Inoue's original work "Iblard". Inoue is the artist who painted the backgrounds in the fantasy scenes of "Mimi wo Sumaseba" (Whisper of the Heart). I won’t bother you with a lot of more prattling, but just “bother” you with a lot of pictures. I deliberately kept them small, because these pics are original work of Studio Ghibli. Please do not put these online anywhere else or distribute it in any other ways! The artwork is posted here only for the purpose of encouraging interest in, and discussion about the works of Studio Ghibli! If you like "The Day I Harvested a Star" please go and see it in the Saturn Theatre of the “Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Japan! It’s worth it!
8th of February, GHIBLI SHORTS FOOTAGE UPDATE: Earlier this week (see the post below) I posted a link with some footage of the new Ghibli Museum shorts that NHK's "Ohayo Nippon" aired earlier that day. However, that was only a summary, so today (thanks to Takahiro and Makoto) I present you the complete version with extra footage of the shorts and the interview with Miyazaki which also shows something of one of his future projects. To watch the complete 8 minutes long item of NHK's "Ohayo Nippon" click here for the version with the highest quality (recommended!) or click here for the version of medium quality!
6th of February, NEW GHIBLI SHORTS FOOTAGE: Catsuka.com, a French anime website, presents us some footage of the new Ghibli Museum shorts that NHK's "Ohayo Nippon" aired earlier today in an interview with Miyazaki around 7:45 AM. Check their news section or click here to watch the video directly and save them some bandwith. Anyway, enjoy!
2nd of February, INTERVIEW TAKAHATA ISAO & GHIBLI MUSEUM SHORTS: Yes!!! I'm going to have a personal interview with Studio Ghibli director Isao Takahata! It's going held at the Anima 2006 in Brussels early March and I'll also be present at one of his lectures about anime over there. More info about this soon, but if there happens to be a question you've always wanted to ask Takahata-san, just send me an e-mail and if it's a good question I'll definitely ask him!
Some other good news is that today I received two big boxes and one medium box with a lot of goodies from the Ghibli Museum. So why is this good news for you as well? Well, because I've received some books, soundtracks, et cetera of the new Ghibli shorts "House-hunting", "Mon-mon the water spider" and "The Day I Harvested a Star" that started screening last January. I'll be posting a nice special with a lot of pics soon, but in the mean time I can give you a tiny sneek peek of what's to come. Check the pictures below!
26th of January 2006, PRE-GHIBLI FILM SPECIAL: Maybe I’m wrong, but I don't think many people have seen the anime classics Miyazaki and Takahata worked on in the 60's and 70's, so today it’s time for a pre-Ghibli Special about the full length feature films (a special about the Pre-Ghibli series like Future Boy Conan and Anne of the Green Gables will be done at a later point). Watching pre-Ghibli’s doesn't only let you see what Takahata and Miyazaki did in the past (way before Ghibli), but they also give you a better understanding on how Miyazaki and Takahata grew out to be the animators/directors they are today.
"Anju To Zushio Maru", a.k.a. "The Littlest Warrior", is the fourth of the feature-length anime films by Toei Animation and premiered 19 July 1961. Not only did Isao Takahata work as assistant director, but also Yasuo Otsuka (Future Boy Conan, Lupin) worked as key animator on this film. As you can see by the images below the beautiful art of this anime resembles Japanese paintings and picture scrolls. This is because this anime classic is based on "Anju to Zushio", a traditional folktale from medieval Japan and also known from the book "Sansho Dayu" by Ogai Mori. The story itself takes place in northeastern Japan (Mutsu) in the last days of the 11th century also known as the Heian period. Separated from their parents a girl named Anju and her younger brother Zushio Maru are forced to work as slave laborers under Sansho Dayu, a greedy and ruthless bailiff. The DVD is for sale over here at Amazon and at Yesasia over here.
"Wanpaku Oji no Orochi Taiji", a.k.a. "The Little Prince and the Eight-Headed Dragon", is another film Isao Takahata worked on as assistant director. It’s the sixth of the feature-length anime films by Toei Animation and premiered 24 March 1963. It’s a 85 minutes long adaptation of the story of Susanoo, a naughty little prince who goes to the underworld in order to bring back his dead mother Izanami and fights off the Eight-Headed Dragon in the Izumo Country. It comes from Japan's first work of literature, the Nihon Shoki, a geneaology written during the early imperial period to legitimize Fujiwara rule by linking the Japanese emperors to the creator gods. The Little Prince and the Eight-Headed Dragon also incorporates the well-known legend of Amaterasu, the sun goddess, who became angry and hid in a cave, casting the land into darkness, and was lured out by a racy dance. The last half of the film, however, appears to be an adaptation not of a Japanese myth, but of the Greek myth of Pegasus and the sea monster.
The DVD is for sale over here at Amazon and at Yesasia over here.
After two Takahata pre-Ghibli’s it’s time for a pre-Ghibli where Hayao Miyazaki worked on as in-between animation artist. 21 December 1963 was the release date of “Wan Wan Chushingura”, a.k.a. "Watchdog Bow Wow". It's a typical adaptation of Osamu Tezuka's version of one of the most famous works of Japanese literature from the Edo period, "Chushingura" also known as "Revenge of the Forty-Seven Ronin". The original story is about 47 ronin who avenged their offended lord and then committed ritual mass suicide, but this 81 minutes long feature length anime (the seventh anime by Toei Animation) is an all-canine adaptation. A wild dog in the woods named Rock, whose mother was killed by a tiger named Killer, and his fellow stray dogs try to fight against Killer and his followers of wild beasts for revenge. The DVD is for sale over here at Amazon and at Yesasia over here.
20 March 1965 “Gulliver no Uchuu Ryokou”, a.k.a. “ Gulliver's Space Travels: Beyond the Moon”, premiered as the eighth of the feature-length anime films by Toei Animation and is a fantasy adventure set in outer space, inspired by "Gulliver's Travels" by Jonathan Swift. It’s an 80 minutes long artistic film with highly stylized shapes and exquisite color tones about a homeless boy named Ted and an old scientist Dr. Gulliver, who take a spaceship and embarke on an adventurous journey for the Blue Planet of Hope. However, the Blue Planet has been under the occupation of robots and the people in the planet had escaped to the Purple Planet in despair. Ted and Gulliver try to bring down the rule by the robots to help the people from the Blue Planet. Miyazaki's first job as an animator was in-betweening on Wan Wan Chushingura in 1963, but the first movie in which Miyazaki showed his creative brilliance was Gulliver in 1965. All though he was still a simple in-betweener, he proposed changes in the script and animated the changed scenes. At the end of the story, Gulliver was supposed to rescue a robot princess of the Robot Country. Miyazaki changed it so that the shell of the princess cracked open, and a human princess appeared from within. This changed the whole meaning of the movie. Now, the robots were people trapped in robot bodies and they regained their humanity with Gulliver's help. The DVD is for sale over here at Amazon and at Yesasia over here.
“Taiyou no Ouji: Horusu no Daibouken”, a.k.a. “The Adventures of Hols, Prince of the Sun”, was released 21 July 1968 and is based on the play Chikisani No Ue Ni Taiyo Ga by Fukazawa Kazuo. This 82 minutes long feature film was the first film Isao Takahata ever directed. More importantly it’s the first work for “team Miyazaki-Takahata”. When watching this film you will notice that features like Conan and Laputa have been based on Horus in terms of character design. It’s a heroic, socialistic, mob, action, drama anime by the young staffs of Toei Animation at that time. Taking place in northern Europe, a boy named Horus makes a village people unite in fighting against the invasion by the devil Grunwald. This anime classic is considered as a product of leftist ideology and labor union movement in the 1960s. Miyazaki's contribution was so great that they had to create a new job title, "Scene Design", just for him. The film took more than three years to complete, way beyond the initial schedule of eight months. Although it was highly acclaimed critically and many organizations recommended it, Toei only ran it for 10 days. As a result, it was the lowest grossed anime in the Toei history. Takahata was demoted because of this, and was never again allowed to direct a movie at Toei Doga. The DVD is for sale over here at Amazon, at Yesasia over here and an English subbed version over here.
18 March 1969 “Nagagutsu wo Haita Neko”, a.k.a. “Puss ’n Boots”, another Toei production premiered and is based on a Charles Perrault's book “Le Maître Chat Ou Le Chat Botté”. It is considered a masterpiece of comedy anime in Japan for which Miyazaki did the key animation, as well as providing numerous ideas for it. The last 20 minutes of it is considered to be the prototype of Cagliostro. The story is about Pero, a cat with long boots, and a boy named Pierre, who have a try at getting the Princess Rosa out of The Satan, Lucifer. The highlight is the thrilling chase scene on the steeples of Lucifer's castle. Since it was so popular, Toei made two more sequels, but Miyazaki was not involved in them. The main character, Pero the cat, eventually became the mascot character of Toei Douga, and you can still see him on posters and other merchandise. The DVD is for sale over here at Amazon and at Yesasia over here.
“Sora Tobu Yureisen”, a.k.a. “Flying Ghost Ship”, is another Toei anime which was released 20th of July 1969 with Miyazaki as key animator. Again Miyazaki came up with creative ideas as scenes in which tanks march and shoot in the middle of Tokyo, and then animated them. He wanted to show what would happen if a military power started using its force in the middle of a town. This motif was also used in Lupin III: Farewell Beloved Lupin. The highlights of Flying Ghost Ship are of course also drawn by Miyazaki, where the giant robot Golem destroys Tokyo. Sora Tobu Yureisen can be described as a Sci-Fi horror action film and is based on the manga by Shotaro Ishinomori. A boy named Hayato Arashiyama gets involved in a fight between a mysterious ghost ship and a large corporation Kuroshio Products Company and fights with the ghost ship against Boa, a mysterious undersea life that controlled Kuroshio's conspiracy from behind. The DVD is for sale over here at Amazon and at Yesasia over here.
“Doubutsu Takarajima”, a.k.a. “Animal Treasure Island”, is a 78 minutes long Pre-Ghibli by Toei which premiered 20 March 1971. It’s an entertaining action adventure anime adapted from Robert Louis Stevenson's novel “Treasure Island”, however this time it’s an all-animal version (except for the protagonist boy and girl). Responsible for idea construction and key animation “Doubutsu Takarajima”realle shows Miyazaki’s style beginning to emerge. The film is a masterpiece of gag/action in the tradition of Puss 'n Boots, and stands possibly even higher than the latter in terms of sheer entertainment thanks to the work of the two geniuses at the helm, animation director Yasuji Mori and idea consultant Hayao Miyazaki. The story is about a boy named Jim, who and a girl named Kathy go on an adventurous journey in search of Treasure Island, fighting against pirates with the pirates are all anthropomorphized animal characters. The DVD is for sale over here at Amazon and at Yesasia over here.
“Aribaba to yonjuppiki no tozoku”, a.k.a. “Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves”, is an anime produced for Toei's 20th anniversary. It is a 55 minutes long slapstick sequel to the classic story from 1001 Nights. Released in Japan 18 July 1971, the story picks up 33 generations after the original Ali Baba tangled with the 40 thieves, and now the roles have reversed. Ali Baba's descendant is a selfish tyrant king who pits his troops against any who dare oppose him. Along comes a band of 40 unlikely characters to take up the challenge, accompanied by a genie with a severe anxiety disorder, and frenzied antics ensue. A boy who is the descendant of the leader of the thieves who met a grisly fate in the 1001 Nights bands together with 38 cats and a mouse to get back his rightful treasure from Ali Baba XXXIII, the descendent of Ali Baba who now rules the kingdom with an iron fist. This is a reversal of the good guy/bad guy roles in the original story. The DVD is for sale over here at Amazon and at Yesasia over here.
“Panda Kopanda”, a.k.a. “Panda! Go Panda!”, is a 33 minutes long film which premiered 17 December 1972. Miyazaki created the original idea, the script, the layouts, and did key animation, and Takahata directed the film. The story is about a little girl, Mimiko, who lives with her grandmother beside a bamboo grove. One day Mimiko's grandmother goes away for a while, leaving Mimiko to herself. A baby panda appears in the garden along with it's father, Papa Panda. Mimiko asks if Mr. Panda could be her father too, and he agrees. 17 March 1973 a 38 minutes long sequel called “Panda Kopanda: Amefuri Saakasu no Maki”, a.k.a. “Panda! Go Panda! & the Rainy-day Circus”, also made by Miyazaki and Takahata, continues the story. The DVD is for sale over here at Amazon and at Yesasia over here.
“Rupan Sansei - Kariosutoro no Shiro”, a.k.a. “Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro”, is a 100 minutes long anime that premiered 15 December 1979. Miyazaki was responsible for direction (for the first time!) and screenplay. Lupin the Third is a genius, gentleman burglar and adventurer who decides to go to inquire in the castle of the small principality of Cagliostro which it suspects of being the heart of a traffic of counterfeit bills. “Rupan Sansei - Kariosutoro no Shiro” has had a major influence on the universe of Lupin III in its entirety and the cinema of adventure in general; so much so that Spielberg even would not have dried up praises about Lupin. The DVD is for sale over here at Amazon and at Yesasia over here.
“Jarinko Chie, a.k.a. “Chie the Brat”, is a 111 minutes long anime directed by Takahata which can be described as a comedy full of human touches. He also did the screenplay and the movie premiered 11 April 1981. The film is based on Etsumi Haruki's popular manga “Jarinko Chie”, which serialized in weekly “Manga Action” from 1978 until 1997. Set in downtown Osaka, Chie Takemoto is an eleven-year-old girl who manages her family business, a bar-and-grill serving broiled pig innards, on behalf of her father Tetsu Takemoto, who does nothing but gambling and brawling. It was produced by Tokyo Movie Shinsha. A TV anime series was released after the movie’s release which ran from 1981 until 1983. The DVD is for sale over here at Amazon and at Yesasia over here.
“Serohiki no Goushu”, a.k.a. “Gauche the Cellist”, premiered 23 January 1982. It’s a 63 minutes long anime directed by Isao Takahata who was also responsible for the screenplay. “Serohiki no Goushu is a fantasy film based on the fairy story written by Kenji Miyazawa and was self-produced by Oh-Production, a well-established animation company. Goushu is a young awkward violoncellist within the municipal orchestra. Target of the reprimands of its leader, he wants to correct its defects and to become better musician for next the great concert of the orchestra. At night when he practices with eagerness, but without real result. Fortunately, a group of small animals made up of a cat, a cuckoo, a badger and a mouse of the fields discreetly will teach to him the virtues such as patience, the rigour and the taste of the communication. The DVD is for sale over here at Amazon and at Yesasia over here.
17th of January 2006, COMINICA: The ultimate manufacturer of Ghibli merchandise Cominica will be releasing a beautiful statue of the scene from My Neighbor Totoro with Totoro, Mei and Satsuki at the bus stop. At the moment it's only available at several Japanese stores so if you're interested and you need help ordering let me know.
12th of January 2006, MIYAZAKI INTERVIEW: Yomiuri Shimbun has put an English translation of their interview with Hayao Miyzaki online! It's about the three new Studio Ghibli features for the Ghibli museum, Gedo Senki, his son Goro and more... Be sure to read it over here!
31st of December 2005, FIRST OFFICIAL GEDO SENKI INTERVIEW AND STUDIO GHIBLI SHORT ANIMATION FEATURE SPECIAL: I've got two very nice news items today... Firstly, my Japanese Ghibli friend Nanashi has made a fan translation of the first official interview about the upcoming Ghibli feature Gedo Senki. It's an interview of Yomiuri Online with producer Toshio Suzuki. Here are the links to Nanashi's tranlation: Part 1 and Part 2. Below on the left a picture of Gedo Senki producer Toshio Suzuki and on the right a picture of director Goro Miyazaki
Secondly, it's time for an exclusive Studio Ghibli Short Animation Feature Special! Today of course is the last day of 2005 and it was a pretty good Ghibli year with at the end the official announcement of a new Studio Ghibli film: "Gedo Senki", based on Le Guin's "A Wizard of Earthsea" and to be directed by Hayao Miyazaki's son Goro Miyazaki. Anyway, Goro also used to be the managing director of the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Japan (from October 2001 – June 2005) and it so happens to be that last week Studio Ghibli also announced three new short animated features made especially for the Ghibli Museum: "House-hunting", "Mon-mon the water spider" and "The Day I Harvested a Star". In this special info about these to be released features, but also quite some pictures and info about Studio Ghibli Short Animation Features that were released earlier and you most likely haven't seen and or read anyhere else!
So what's the deal with these short animated Studio Ghibli features? Well, as stated above they're made especially for the Ghibli Museum and can't be seen anywhere else! Most of them are shown in the Ghibli Museum's own theater: The Saturn Theater. The Saturn Theater is a small theater with only about eigthy seats in the basement of the museum. Before you enter the theater itself, you enter the lobby where visitors wait for the next showing. The undulating floor is covered with stone tiles.
When the doors open you may enter the Saturn Theater itself, designed by the master Hayao Miyazaki himself. A blue sky and lot of colorful flowers are drawn on the ceiling and walls made by Sachi Takaha. When the film ends, the windows open and the sunshine comes in. You can sit on a little red bench or the back of a seat to see the big screen without being blocked. Miyazaki’s idea was that most of the visitors probably don’t know how a movie is projected. But here the projectionist’s room, which looks like a tiny train car, is transpartent, so you can see how film moves through a projector > see Miyazaki’s sketch below.
The accoustic design for the theater was done by Harayuki Kato (graduated at Musashino Art university and worked as an industrial designer at Sony and Italdesign) who was instructed by Hayao Miyazaki to establish a “natural, relaxing sound of Kato-san’s speakers for the Saturn Theater”. With DTS sound and 35 speaker units on each wall the sound system of the theater lets you hear every single detail.
Starting from January 3 2006 the Ghibli Museum's Saturn Theater will be showing 3 short films for a limited time as a commemoration of the completion of the newest anime helmed by directory Miyazaki. Visitors will be able to choose which one of the three to see (until about March 13). One of the highlights of the new works is the splendid voice casting. For "Hoshi wo katta hi" Kamaki Ryuunosuke and Suzuki Kyouko, for "Mon-mon the water spider" Yano Akiko, and for "Househunting" Ms.Yano again and Tamoro do the voice work, in a unique performance. A month's worth of museum entry tickets are currently on sale, so those with an interest should act quickly.
"House-hunting" is a story of Fuki, an energetic girl setting out on a trip to look for a new house. There's little dialog, and in an unusual twist all sound (music, sound effects, dialog) is expressed by people's voices. As you can see by the pictures below its character design is influenced by the pre-Ghibli Panda Kopanda.
"The Day I Harvested a Star" is a story of a visionary world according to artist Naohisa Inoue's original work "Iblard". Inoue is the artist who painted the backgrounds in the fantasy scenes of Mimi wo Sumaseba (Whisper of the Heart). Below the released picture for "The Day I Harvested a Star" on the left and on the right pictures of Inoue's artwork for Whisper of the Heart.
"Mon-mon" is a story about a water spider who experiences love at first sight with a lovely water strider, who skitters freely over the surface of the water. It was said that they first wanted to make a feature of “Boro the Caterpillar” instead of Mon-mon, but later decided to make Mon-mon. Both of the characters already have a Panorama Box in the Ghibli Museum which were used as inspiration. These Panorama Boxes concists out of 7 to 10 painted glass panels that are set in rows from front to back. By adjusting the angle of lights at the top and bottom of the box, the rows of flat panels create a space that has depth. “Just as people to make pictures move, they also wished they could look inside a different world. They yearned to enter a story to travel to a faraway land. They longed to see the future and landscapes of the past. The Panorama Box with no moving parts was made much earlier than the zoetrope.” (Hayao Miyazaki). Below the released picture for Mon-mon on the left and on the right a picture of the Panorama Box of Mon-mon in the Ghibli museum.
Besides these three new short animated features, the Ghibli museum has been showing exclusive features for a longer time already. The first film to be screened at the Saturn Theater was “The Whale Hunt” which is based on a story of the same title which is included in “The No-No Nursery School” written by award-winning children’s writer Rieko Nakagowa. Twelve drawings were used to animate one second in this film, and the movements of the main character Shigeru and the other children are drawn in careful detail. Then ending song “Welcome Home” comes from a song that was often sung at the nursery school where Hayao Miyazaki went to pick up his sons. Iti is based on his memory of that song.
Original story: “The No-No Nursery School (Iya Iya En)” (Fukuinkan Publishing)
Written by Rieko Nakagawa
Illustrations by Yuriko Omura
Screenplay and direction: Hayao Miyazaki
Music: Yuji Nomi
Directing Animator: Takeshi Inamura
A Studio Ghibli Production produced in cooperation with Museo d’Arte Ghibli
© 2001 Rieko Nakagawa, Yuriko, Nibariki, MG
Lenght: 15 minutes 42 seconds
Another film that has been shown in the Saturn Theater is “Koro’s Big Day Out”, the story of a puppy named Koro who gets lost and roams the Higashi Koganei area. The background artwork capturing the streets of Higashi Koganei area was done in a new style utilyzing color pencils as the main medium, in the style of illustrator Akiko Hayashi as seen in the picture book “Miki’s First Errand”.
Original story, screenplay and direction: Hayao Miyazaki
Music: Yuji Nomi
Directing Animator: Hideaki Yoshio
A Studio Ghibli Production produced in cooperation with Museo d’Arte Ghibli
© 2001 Nibariki, MG
Length: 14 minutes 30 seconds
In 2002 another very good short feature was released... “Mei and the Baby Cat Bus”. Mei becomes friends with the baby cat bus by offering it caramel, and the two go off to the forest at night where spooky ghosts gather. This film is a mini-sequel to “My Neighbor Totoro”. Many mysterious creatures appear in the world where Totoro and the Cat Bus live. Two new pieces of music were composed for this film. Besides that Hayao Miyazaki also did one of the voices (guess who? > see the first picture below).
Original story, screenplay and direction: Hayao Miyazaki
Music: Joe Hisaishi
Animation Directors: Maikiko Futaki, Sachiko Sugino, Hiromasa Yonebayashi
A Studio Ghibli Production produced in cooperation with Mamma Aiuto Co., Ltd. © 2002 Nibariki, MG
Length: 13 minutes 43 seconds
Besides the features shown in the Saturn Theater there are also some other short features worth seeing. One of them is the mini theater film “Imaginary Flying Machines”. “It was man’s dream since the ancient past to fly the great skies freely as a bird. People imagined various ways of flying, and thought up flying vehicles that moved by manpower or by powers of science. All of the manpowered planes, airballoons, and ornithopters are creating a huge traffic jam in the skies! Even with the advanced aviation technology today, the desire to fly the great skies have not ceased.” – The narator “Pig” introduces the zany flying machines in the film.
Narration: Hayao Miyazaki
Original story, screenplay and direction: Hayao Miyazaki
Music: Joe Hisaishi
Supervising Animator: Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Art Director: Mitsunori Kataama
Digital Animation Director: Mitsunori Kataama
Digital Imaging Director: Atsushi Okui
A Studio Ghibli Production produced in cooperation with Mamma Aiuto Co., Ltd. © 2002 Nibariki, MG
Length: 5 minutes 59 seconds
“The Ornithopter Story: Fly to the Sky Hiyodiro Tengu!” is one of the short features shown in one of the Film Boxes. The dream of human flight with an ornithopter is yet to be realized. For the realization of this dream, a radio controlled plane making was initiated to work on th theory and structure of ornithopters. How Tsunehisa Matsuda, leading craftsman of radio-controlled planes, built “Hiyodori Tengu”incorporating techniques and went out on his test flight, was filmed and screened as a documentary clip at the Film Box. Mr. Matsuda’s endeavors still continue this day.
Hero: Tsunehisa Matsuda
Narration: Kyoya Kimura
Structure planning and direction: Toshiyoshi Uratani
Music: Joe Hisaishi
A Studio Ghibli Production produced in cooperation with Mamma Aiuto Co., Ltd. © 2002 Nibariki, MG
Length: 3 minutes 57 seconds
The last Ghibli Museum feature I’d like to mention is “The Invention of Imaginary Machines of Destruction”. This film portrays how the new weapons invented in the world of science fiction bring about demolition and fear, leading to its destruction. It also narrates that weapons like these exist not only in the imaginary, but in the real world as well. As with “the Ornithopter Story: Fly to the Sky Hiyodori Tengu!”, this 35mm film was projected in a Film Box, in which a film projector was set inside, without the use of on a TV monitor and video player.
Narration: Toshie Taira
Film concept: Hayao Miyazaki
Original story, screenplay and direction: Hideaki Anno
Music: Joe Hisaishi
Key Animation: Akihiko Yamashita
Backgrounds: Yoji Takeshige
A Studio Ghibli Production produced in cooperation with Mamma Aiuto Co., Ltd. © 2002 Nibariki, MG
Length: 2 minutes 47 seconds
27th of December 2005: Last week the official Japanese DVD of Little Nemo was released. It’s not very well known, but much connected to Studio Ghibli. Besides that, it’s one of the biggest projects in anime history, but also one of the biggest disappointments. More about its connection to Studio Ghibli below, but first I'd like to give you some more info about the DVD release!
Running time: 95min.
Audio: English and Japanese
Extra features (38 min):
- Original pilot by Yoshifumi Kondo, one of the biggest talents of Studio Ghibli who unfortunately passed away on 21 January 1998. Also director of Whisper of the Heart, animation supervisor for Anne of Green Gables, Grave of the Fireflies, Kiki's Delivery Service, Only Yesterday, character design for Grave of the Fireflies, supervising animator Princess Mononoke, et cetera.
- Original pilot by Osamu Dezaki (director of some Lupin III specials)
- Galleries (image-boards, designs, ...)
- 2 postal-cards (Moebius sketches)
Available at Amazon.co.jp and Nippon Export.
So in what way is Little Nemo connected to Studio Ghibli??? Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata were attached to this project at first, but left due to "creative differences." It all started in 1982 before Studio Ghibli was officially founded. Producer Yutaka Fujioka's dream for years had been to make a full-animated film which would be a hit in America. In February of that year, the company TMS/Kinetographics was formed in America to produce Little Nemo, and the best staff from around the world were gathered together to begin production. From America people like Ray Bradbury (original scenario) and Gary Kurtz (Star Wars) were part of the production staff and in August a group of 14 Japanese animators including Hayao Miyazaki, Isao Takahata, Yasuo Otsuka (Horus: The Prince of the Sun, Lupin III (the first TV series), Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro, and Conan, The Boy of the Future) and Yoshifumi Kondô (Whisper of the Heart) flew to California to join the team. However, not long after this, first Hayao Miyazaki and then Isao Takahata dropped out of the project. Essentially, Miyazaki was not interested in creating an animated film where everything was a dream, and Takahata was more interested in creating a story depicting Nemo's growth as a boy (like Anne of the Green Gables). Luckily not all of the people who would later be part of Studio Ghibli left. After 6 months of work with Yoshifumi Kondo as director they completed the first pilot, a 3 ½-minute film shot entirely in 70mm, full of impressive flight sequences. Sadly also Kondo was to drop out of the film in March of 1985. In the end Little Nemo was finally finished in June of 1988.
Curious about this sort of “Ghibli influenced” animation feature? There’s a pretty long trailer of it on Lasseter-San, Arigato! and our French Ghibli friends at Buta-Connection have a movie clip of the pilot that was made by Yoshifumi Kondo (link at the bottom of this page) or just buy the DVD straight away!.
22th of December 2005: Today the Korean limited edition of Howl's Moving Castle has been released and of course I've got pictures of it straight from Korea! It's a real treat and I must say it looks better than the Japanese version. Besides that, this time the DTS 6.1 track does come with English subs. Check it out below and of course click'em to ENLARGE!
14th of December 2005: With the help of a Japanese friend I made a translation on the comments of Goro regarding his father being against it directing Gedo Senki. Read it below...
2005 December 13th
Introductory message - "My father was against this"
This may sound abrupt , but my father (Hayao Miyazaki) was against me directing Gedo Senki. However, first I would like to make something clear. To be honest I never desired to open a diary on the Internet and come out in front of everybody. If I had something that I wanted to tell with my own voice, it would be, "I want you to watch the work I have completed", that's all. My desire as a director is to "have people watch Gedo Senki with direct feelings and no idle thoughts", that's all.
However, once the promotion for Gedo Senki started, regardless to weither you like it or not, the adjective of me, the director, also being "Hayao Miyazaki's son" will be applied. In response to that, the conclusion that producer Toshio Suzuki reached was of course to "answer with the work itself", but also "in order to compete with the work itself, people should look at Goro Miyazaki as an individual person, not as "Hayao Miyazaki's son"." After considering all of these things I too agreed with that view.
In short I decided to try to experiment, even if the order is backwards, to have people watch the work Gedo Senki without preconceptions by expressing what I was thinking as a director through this diary. As for choosing to use the internet as a method to express my thoughts the foremost reason is because it is a medium that can connect with people most directly. Of course, ideas such as accepting media interviews or press conferences, as has been done before, were also considered, but I felt that in order to carry out the above-mentioned experiment, I would be able to express my ideas in a more frank manner by not working through the filter of the media.
As I stated in the beginning, I will not impetuously state the reason why my father was against me directing this film. I think I should reveal that as I describe the path which led me to work as a director and the daily production status. Lastly, there are two reasons why I took on the direction of Gedo Senki. The first one is that I felt attraction towards the story of Gedo Senki. The second one is that I noticed something in me, that it was difficult to brush away the feelings I had toward animation that I had pretended not to notice until now, for reasons including the relationship with my father.
I don't want to talk specifically about the content of the movie before it is released, but the theme that I wish to express through the movie come out clearly: "What is it to live honestly these days?" That is the way of life that I wish follow and it is also the theme of this diary.
13th of December 2005: There were already some rumours, but today it's finally officially announced... The next feature film of Studio Ghibli is to be directed by Hayao Miyazaki's son, Goro Miyazaki, and if everything goes according schedule it will be released in the Japanese theatres in July 2006. It's going to be called Gedo Senki and will be an adaptation of Ursula K Le Guin's "A Wizard of Earthsea". Because of this announcement the official Studio Ghibli website has also gotten a major update: details of the new film, like the original planning, can be found, but there are also dedicated sections of the production diary (updated everyday) and the director's diary. Besides that Goro Miyazaki has posted some comments on his father's opposition towards his work as a director. It's all in Japanese, but I hope to post a translation somewhere in the future.
6th of December 2005: So you think the Japanese DVD of Howl's Moving Castle is to expensive? No problem, because there are two other options to be released. The nicest one is the Korean DVD, which is going to be a 3-disc set and looks pretty nice so I'll be picking it up as well (even though I already have all the Japanese DVD versions of Howl's). It is said to be released the 23th of December 2005 and will be subbed. Special features will be almost the same as the ones mentioned below plus an interview with Suzuki and a Making of the Korean Dub. Also, it will come with a 20-page picture book, a original film cut, 5 post cards and a cell phone strap.
Another option is the HK disc which'll be less nice than the R3 Korean DVD, but will be even more cheaper. Again it will be released the 23th of December 2005 and some other nice info... this cheap R3 HK 2-disc DVD (second picture) is in terms of content as good as the same as the R2 Japanese 4-disc version, but this time you DO get English subs with DTS 6.1 track. Also the first pressing of the DVD includes a Limited Edition Sophie's Lenticular Notebook (first picture) and the first pressing of the VCD includes a Limited Edition Coaster Set (third picture) shown below. Here's some specs:
Picture: Letterboxed and 16x9 enhanced
Audio: Japanese and Cantonese (DTS 6.1, DD 6.1)
Subs: Chinese (Traditional), English and Japanese
Special features: Storyboard comparison, Interview with Diana Wynne Jones, Interview with Pete Docter, Hello Mr. Lasseter, Promos/Trailers and TV Spots, Explanation of CG
19th of November 2005: As most of you will be, I am a bit dissapointed with the DVD release of Howl's Moving Castle. Even though it's nice, it's far from the quality of the other Japanese limited editions of Nausicaa, Spirited Away or Laputa: Castle in the Sky. So what do you do? You just "make" your own limited edition, well kinda... From left to right (upper shelve): the Japanese art book "the Art of Howl's Moving Castle", the Howl's Moving Castle Ekonte (storyboard), the Howl's Moving Castle Flying Kayak. From left to right (lower shelve): The Howl's Moving Castle Paper Craft book with the Howl's Moving Castle Image Model Collection X in front of it, the Howl's + Short Short box set with the 1/24 film frame in front of it, the 4- disc version of Howl's Moving Castle and finally the Howl's Moving Castle Premium Collection - Castle of Sophie Hatter. Oh, and on the wall of course a mini Japanese film poster of Howl's.
15th of November 2005: Finally, tomorrow the Japanese DVD's of Howl's Moving Castle will be officially released! Of course I ordered all of the different releases and Ghibli World wouldn't be Ghibli World if it wouldn't already have pictures of it, so if you can't wait to see how it looks, check the pictures below. Click 'em and they will be enlarged! First of all some pictures of the regular DVD release following with some pictures of the 1/24 second frame that comes with the Howl's DVD release (only for those who placed their pre-order early).
Of course there's also the 4-disc release of Howl's Moving Castle!
And last, but not least some pictures of the Howl's + Ghibli ga Ippai Short Short box!
25th of October 2005: My Japanese Ghibli buddy Nanashi has made a fan translation of CM-Director Itoi Shigesato's "Making of 1/24 second" video. You can find the translation over here and for those who missed the link to the video click here.
There's some other exciting news as well. You might have missed it, but some while ago my buddy Doraneko (Jiji) from OnlineGhibli.com had posted some news that NTV is producing a live-action TV-series of Grave of the Fireflies because of the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the end of the WWII. Different from the 1988 Studio Ghibli Isao Takahata movie, the series will shift the focus to the aunt of the siblings, and how the war-time environment could change a kind lady to a cold-blooded demon. A famous Japanese celebrity, Nanako Matsushima, will act as the aunt. Anyway, the first episode is to be aired November 1st, 21:00 Japanese time.
You can watch the trailer over here and visit the original Japanese website over here.
15th of October 2005: "Hansu no Kikan" is one of Hayao Miyazaki's manga which has never gotten a good English translation. Ok, there is a nice word-for-word translated text document available by Maki Kamikura and Tom Wilkes, but I am glad to announce that I've finally made a true English translation of "Hansu no Kikan" and of course you can read it here at GhibliWorld.com! I took me a long time to edit all those pictures, but the result is very satisfying. Click here to read it now (the translation itself is at the bottom of the page)!
8th of October 2005: I've got some nice Ghibli news! It's a link to a "Making of 1/24 second" video which is over three minutes long. It's from the website of CM-Director Itoi Shigesato, who is related to many of Ghibli movie's advertising. His website is called 1101.com, "1101" is "1-10-1" which is pronounced in Japanese as "i-toe-i" which means the family name "Itoi" of CM-Director Itoi Shigesato. Click here to watch the video!!!
20th of June 2005: Nausicaa.net, the biggest Ghibli resource on the internet has posted up a link to GhibliWorld.com. Thanks to Lawrence Lin!
I'd also like to announce the winner of the "It's my birthday and win a Ghibli DVD"-contest, it's MGdutch! A short explaination of why he has won this contest... First of all I "deleted" everybody who gave a wrong answer on question number two, on which the correct answer by the way is: Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. Most people gave a correct answer on the first part of the question, but unfortunately forgot to state that Howl's Moving Castle originally is a book by Diana Wynne Jones.
The small amount of people who answered question two correctly were then again filtered by the deleting the people who didn't give a clear explaination of why their favorite animated film is their favorite. From the people who weren't deleted in this final step, I have picked MGdutch as the winner of this contest. Congratulations MGdutch! Please send me your address, so I can send you a sealed R2JP 2-disc copy of Whisper of the Heart as soon as possible. The e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
12th of June 2005: I've got some really nice new stuff, so I updated some pictures in my Complete Ghibli Collection, Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind Collection and Howl's Moving Castle Collection.
11th of June 2005: As it was my birthday yesterday I started a "It's my birthday and win a Ghibli DVD"-contest. If you want to join the contest look up the info at either the Import Forum or the Dutch dvd.nl Forums where the first question can be found. Anyway, after having a very nice party with my friends and J. Daniels and J. Walker yesterday, it's finally time for the second question. I'm keeping it easy again so that everybody (also non-Ghibli fans) have a chance to win. Here's the question: "Yesterday wasn't only my birthday, but also the day that a very good film was released for the theaters in the US. Which film is it and where does the story come from?"
4th of June 2005:
Today GhibliWorld.com website went online! It's still not finished, but I'm getting somewhere.