This amazingly detailed theme park map is what Tokyo Ghibli Land would look like

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RocketNews 24:

At the Ghibli Museum in Mikata, Tokyo, in an enchanting building designed by Hayao Miyazaki himself, you can wander among sketches and storyboards, gaze up at the iconic Robot Soldier standing guard on the building’s roof, and learn about the history of animation.

What you can’t do is ride a Laputa roller coaster, a Sea of Decay log flume, or a monorail shaped like the Cat Bus, because a) Mr. Miyazaki would probably hate that and b) Ghibli is presumably doing pretty well out of its other endeavours and doesn’t feel the need to build an actual amusement park just yet.

So, alas, these beautiful plans for a full-blown theme park by Japanese artist and Studio Ghibli fan Takumi won’t be being realized any time soon. Which is a shame, because Takumi’s incredibly detailed Tokyo Ghibli Land is one theme park that we’d happily pay through the nose to visit.

Takumi posted his beautiful plans to Twitter on January 31, along with some pretty serious-sounding statements of intent.

And we are seriously impressed with the attention to detail in these plans.

At the centre of the imagined park is Calcifer as a Ghibli-style house with pipes and chimneys poking out all over the place. His lolling tongue rolls out onto Kingsbury Square, named after the fictional town in which Howl’s Moving Castle is set:

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Of course, guests to Takumi’s Ghibli Land park would need accommodation, and the artist has included Hotel Adriano (from Porco Rosso), and the Aburaya Bathhouse (Spirited Away) for guests to choose from. Leading up to the Aburaya Bathhouse is a beautiful homage to the street scenes from Spirited Away, the aptly named Buta-kui Food Court where you can (of course) eat like pigs:

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Elsewhere, there are other cool little details, like a Forest Animals attraction guarded over by Shishigami and occupied by a whole host of mythical creatures, and an Aviation Museum holding flying machines from a Flaptter (Castle in the Sky) to Jiro’s Birdplane from The Wind Rises. Snaking around the whole site, of course, is a Cat Monorail made up of five stuck-together Cat Buses.

▼ Shishigami (Princess Mononoke) and friends.

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▼ The Aviation Museum and Cat Monorail. We wanna go!

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Clockwise from top left: Hotel Adriano (Porco Rosso); Automobile Mountain (with a gun-toting Dora from Castle in the Sky); Laputa Labyrinth; Hatter hat shop (Howl’s Moving Castle); Uncle Pom’s Planetarium, Flying Flaptters and Tiger Moth Adventure 3D (Castle in the Sky); Therru’s Dragon (Tales from Earthsea).

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▼ Shishigami’s Animal Forest (Princess Mononoke); Zeniba’s Cake Factory, Aburaya Bathhouse, and Eat-Like-A-Pig Food Court (Spirited Away); Mei’s Acorn Hunt (My Neighbour Totoro); Jiro’s Bird-Plane (The Wind Rises); Atelier Antique Shop (Whisper of the Heart); Yakul Carousel (Princess Mononoke); Calcifer Talk (Howl’s Moving Castle). Centre: Irontown (Princess Mononoke).

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▼ Sea of Decay Cruise (Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind); Koriko town and Gutiokipanja (Kiki’s Delivery Service); Cat Monorail; Aviation Museum.

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▼ Arrietty’s dollhouse; the Marsh House (When Marnie Was There); Sousuke’s Pop Pop Shop (Ponyo); Susuwatari Mansion (i.e. Mei and Satsuki’s house); Safflower Picking (Only Yesterday); Princess Kaguya’s Bamboo Grove; Fujimoto’s Twenty Thousand Leagues and the Devonian Period Aquarium (Ponyo); The Cat’s Office (The Cat Returns); Manpuku-ji Temple (Pom Poko).

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Studio Ghibli’s “The Tale of Princess Kaguya” nominated for Academy Award

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RocketNews 24:

We’re just about a month away from the 87th Academy Awards presentation, and if you’re a general cinema fan, odds are you’ve been looking forward to the event. However, if the only thing that can make you take a trip to the theater is a screening of a Studio Ghibli anime, you might not have been expecting too much from the gala to be held at Los Angeles’ Dolby Theater.

Ghibli’s newest film, When Marnie Was There, hasn’t been getting the sort of rave reviews of a Spirited Away or Princess Mononoke. Six months after its Japanese release, Marnie is mostly forgotten in its home country and still unreleased in North America, making it ineligible for this year’s Oscar race.

Thanks to the time lag caused by international distribution, though, Ghibli does have one film eligible for the upcoming academy awards, and it just cleared the first hurdle with the Academy announcing The Tale of Princess Kaguya as a nominee in the Best Animated Feature Category.

Although Kaguya premiered in Japanese theatres in late 2013, it wasn’t until the following year that it arrived in North America. Helmed by Isao Takahata, the director best known for heart-rending Word War II tragedy Grave of the Fireflies, Kaguya is based on the Japanese folktale often referred to in English as The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter.

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Many of Kaguya’s elements will be familiar to viewers who’ve read or know the basic structure of the 10th century literary classic it draws from. Its visual style, though, is unprecedented, composed of subdued colors and vaguely sketched outlines that are in stark contrast to the ultra-polished look of most other Studio Ghibli films.

Also nominated for Best Animated Feature are Big Hero 6, The Boxtrolls, How to Train Your Dragon 2, and Song of the Sea. Unlike Ghibli’s last shot at winning an Oscar, when Hayao Miyazaki’s swansong The Wind Rises got steamrolled by Frozen in 2014, none of Kaguya’s competitors completely set the world on fire (despite our growing infatuation with Big Hero 6’s Baymax). As such, what’s assumed by many to be Takahata’s final film has a fighting chance, although it will still have to overcome what seems to be a growing distaste in North America for non-CG animation.

▼ Since the establishment of the Best Animated Feature in 2001, Miyazaki’s Spirited Away is the sole hand-drawn film to win the award, and one of only two winners that weren’t computer animated.

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With Hayao Miyazaki retired from theatrical animation and having already received an honorary Oscar for his body of work, Marnie’s lukewarm reception, and the possible disbanding of Studio Ghibli as we know it, this may be the last opportunity for Japan’s most respected animation house to bring home the Academy’s highest honor. We’ll find out whether or not it did at the awards ceremony on February 22.

‘The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness’, A documentary about Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli

Laughing Squid:

The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness is a documentary directed by filmmaker Mami Sunada that explores the beloved and somewhat secretive Japanese animation studio, Ghibli, most famous for its association with legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki. The film follows the creation of Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises and The Tale of The Princess Kaguya by Isao Takahata.

 

Dreams and Madness

image via GKids Films

Lego models of Ghibli characters pay tribute to Hayao Miyazaki

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RocketNews 24:

 

It’s been an emotional week for fans around the world after news broke about the possible closure of Studio Ghibli’s production department. Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki thankfully cleared up some of the misconceptions out there, and while we’re still left with many unanswered questions, his words left us with a glimmer of hope that even the great Hayao Miyazaki himself may be back to make a short animated film in the near future.

Miyazaki himself has publicly stated that last year’s The Wind Rises would be his final feature-length film, even if he continues making short films after retirement. So how do you pay tribute to a man whose career spans decades and who created some of the most beloved movies around the world? Well, one fan’s idea to build Lego models of his famous characters and a bust of the master himself seems like a good start!  

These photos recently popped up on a Japanese forum where viewers laughed about the surprisingly intricate craftsmanship of the Lego characters. Whoever built them sure has a good grasp on their finer details, right down to the curse on Ashitaka’s right arm:

 

▼Ashitaka and San, Princess Mononoke 

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Also making an appearance were some of the cast members from the Oscar-winning Spirited Away. No-Face in particular is creepily accurate to its animated design, wouldn’t you say?

 

▼Chihiro in her civilian clothes, No-Face, and Sen in her work clothes, Spirited Away

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Finally, we have Hayao Miyazaki himself, in Lego form! One viewer commented how his large nostrils made the model seem more like a cross between Miyazaki and the titular character of Porco Rosso.

 

▼The master appears to be in rare form

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▼Here’s a photo for comparison if you’re not familiar with what he looks like in real life.

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New trailer for upcoming Studio Ghibli film “When Marnie Was There”

 

Animation fans may have been discouraged when Studio Ghibli founder and filmmaking great Hayao Miyazaki announced his retirement following last year’s debut of his final feature-length The Wind Rises, but the upcoming When Marnie Was There looks set to inspire those pangs of sadness and wonder you’ve come to associate with the studio’s productions.

When Marnie Was There is the second directorial venture by Hiromasa Yonebayashi following his 2010 Ghibli release The Secret World of Arrietty and while the trailer doesn’t yet sport subtitles or dubbing, the premise is clear enough.

Like his last film, Yonebayashi has based the narrative on an old British children’s novel. This time, the story focuses on an unwell girl named Anna who meets Marnie while being treated at a seaside town.

According to an anonymous Studio Ghibli insider, When Marnie Was There could be the last film released by the studio before it shuts production and shifts to purely managing its copyrights.

This change would most likely be due to the increasing difficulty of maintaining high quality animated movies produced entirely within Japan that yield profitably on a global scale.

This doesn’t mean that Marnie will be the last we’ll hear from Ghibli, though. The company is set to make the venture into television with upcoming series The Robber’s Daughter.

A global release date for Marnie hasn’t yet been announced but based on the interim of Studio Ghibli’s recent film releases between the Japanese premiere and localization, fans will probably have to wait until 2015 to see an English version.

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Artist Profile: Richard J. Evans reimagines the Studio Ghibli universe in 8-Bit

 

Image of Richard J. Evans Reimagines the Studio Ghibli Universe in 8-Bit
Reviving the overexposed world of 8-bit art, English artist Richard J. Evans pays tribute to the iconic Japanese anime film company Studio Ghibli by reimaging some of its famous characters with the above pixilated renderings.
Evans mentioned on his Behance page that he developed this series “to celebrate the theatrical release of The Wind Rises, said to be the last animated feature from legendary (Studio Ghibli) director Hayao Miyazaki.”
Inspired by a range of films that span nearly three decades, select images from “8-bit Ghilbli” can be seen above with the full collection viewable here.
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Image of Richard J. Evans Reimagines the Studio Ghibli Universe in 8-Bit
Image of Richard J. Evans Reimagines the Studio Ghibli Universe in 8-Bit
Image of Richard J. Evans Reimagines the Studio Ghibli Universe in 8-Bit
Image of Richard J. Evans Reimagines the Studio Ghibli Universe in 8-Bit
Image of Richard J. Evans Reimagines the Studio Ghibli Universe in 8-Bit
Image of Richard J. Evans Reimagines the Studio Ghibli Universe in 8-Bit
Image of Richard J. Evans Reimagines the Studio Ghibli Universe in 8-Bit
Image of Richard J. Evans Reimagines the Studio Ghibli Universe in 8-Bit
Image of Richard J. Evans Reimagines the Studio Ghibli Universe in 8-Bit
Image of Richard J. Evans Reimagines the Studio Ghibli Universe in 8-Bit
Image of Richard J. Evans Reimagines the Studio Ghibli Universe in 8-Bit
Image of Richard J. Evans Reimagines the Studio Ghibli Universe in 8-Bit
Image of Richard J. Evans Reimagines the Studio Ghibli Universe in 8-Bit
Image of Richard J. Evans Reimagines the Studio Ghibli Universe in 8-Bit

 

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Anime news: Hayao Miyazaki Blu-ray collection to be released with special bonus content

 

RocketNews 24:

Miyazaki DVD box

We’re sure many of our readers have seen films by Hayao Miyazaki and know first-hand what it is like to be utterly drawn in to the fantastic yet convincing world he creates. Now, it’s unlikely anyone familiar with Miyazaki’s works will dispute that he is a giant in the anime industry, but a new DVD collection which has recently been announced reminds us just how much of a giant he is.

That’s right, a collection of anime films directed by Miyazaki will be released on June 18, and we have to say the list of movies it includes is impressive. What’s more, the films will all be in Blu-ray and come in a fancy package with extra bonus content! What fan wouldn’t want one of these, right?

There will be eleven movies in the collection — most of them released from Studio Ghibli, but not all — from the very first theater-released film directed by Miyazaki to his latest work, The Wind Rises. Here’s what the box will contain:

 


[11 Miyazaki films in Blu-ray]
– The Castle of Cagliostro 1979 (Miyazaki’s first theater released film)
– Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind 1984
– Castle in the Sky 1986
– My Neighbor Totoro 1988
– Kiki’s Delivery Service 1989
– Porco Rosso 1992
– Princess Mononoke 1997
– Spirited Away 2001
– Howl’s Moving Castle 2004
– Ponyo 2008
– The Wind Rises 2013

[Bonus Disc 1]
– Pilot film from Yuki’s Sun (5 min) 1972 (Pilot for a TV series, entirely storyboarded by Miyazaki himself)
– Three episodes of the TV series Akado Suzunosuke (30 min each) 1972-73  (storyboarded by Miyazaki)
– Promotional music video for the song On Your Mark by CHAGE and ASKA (7 min) 1995

[Bonus Disc 2]
– Miyazaki’s retirement press conference on September 16, 2013 (90 min, uncut)


 

How’s that for a full serving of Miyazkai anime?

And on top of all this, the collection will come in a uniquely designed box made from a special material with Miyazaki illustrations embossed on it.

 

This is what the box is expected to look like, although the actual product may end up appearing slightly different:

 

Miyazaki DVD box 2

Miyazaki DVD box 2 closeup

 

So, fans understandably have reason to be excited about this Blu-ray collection. Unfortunately, though, the collection doesn’t come cheap, at a suggested price of 64,000 yen (US$617) and marked down to 51,192 yen ($494) on Amazon Japan. Some Internet users in Japan have already commented on the steep price, saying that it would be more economical to buy the individual Blu-rays for just the movies that you really like.

Nonetheless, we have a strong feeling that there will be more than enough fans willing to pay that price to be the proud owner of this special Miyazaki Blu-ray collection. Whatever you think of the price, one thing that can definitely be said about the collection is that it’s guaranteed to provide many hours of quality entertainment. After looking at the list of movies included in the collection, we can’t help but be impressed with the volume and quality of the work Miyazaki has produced over the years. The only question we now have is, will Miyazakai remain in retirement, or is there a chance he might make a come back… again? Well, we guess we just have to wait and see on that, and maybe enjoy the movies in the Blu-ray collection in the meantime!

Source: AMAZON.JP via Yaraon (Japanese)

 

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Anime news: Hayao Miyazaki Blu-ray collection to be released with special bonus content