Toshio Suzuki’s “The Red Turtle” receives standing ovation at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival

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RocketNews 24 (by Meg Murphy):

The Red Turtle may have no dialogue, but if that hasn’t stopped viewers from saying wonderful things about it.

Produced by Toshio Suzuki, a long-time colleague of famous Ghibli director Hayao Miyazaki, and directed by London-based Dutch animator Michaël Dudok de Wit, the film The Red Turtle (in French La Tortue Rouge and in Japanese Reddo Taatoru: Aru Shima no Monogatari) premiered at the 69th Cannes Film Festival on May 18, to much excitement from the crowd. Reports state that the excitement could be felt from viewers as soon as Studio Ghibli’s well-known Totoro logo appeared on the screen, and that the film received a huge standing ovation at its end.

I’m so happy,” said Suzuki, “Of course, I would be quite sad if there was no one left at the end of the film (laughs).”

Director Dudok de Wit commented, “There were about a thousand people in this huge theatre, and they were all so focused on the film. I don’t think I’ve felt anything so amazing before.”

The film has no dialogue, and is Studio Ghibli’s first European co-production, with German film distributor Wild Bunch. It “follows the major life stages of a castaway on a deserted tropical island populated by turtles, crabs and birds,” according to IMDb.

If you haven’t already caught it, here’s the official trailer for the film:

 

Studio Ghibli’s Hayao Miyazaki hard at work on first ever CG short

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RocketNews 24:

Hayao Miyazaki, the world-famous (supposedly retired) director and face of Studio Ghibli, is currently working on his first ever fully computer-generated movie, it has been revealed.

Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki announced earlier today that retired director Hayao Miyazaki is hard at work on a brand new short animation for the studio. What may come as a surprise to many of the veteran director’s fans, however, is that this time round the production will be entirely computer generated.

The short film, which is to be screened only at the Studio Ghibli Museum located in Tokyo’s Mitaka City, is expected to have a run-time of just 10 minutes, but in true Miyazaki style will take approximately three years to create.

It is apparently based on an idea for a feature-length film which Miyazaki had back in 1997, prior to the release of Princess Mononoke.

Little else is known about the production at this time, but Suzuki mentioned during his announcement of the project that, far from being intimidated by the new digital medium, Mr Miyazaki was positively “fired up for the challenge”.

Hayao Miyazaki working on new project, says “I’m going to continue making anime until I die”

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RocketNews 24:

 

Legendary anime director Hayao Miyazaki is in Los Angeles right now, as he’s making a rare trip to the U.S. to receive a lifetime achievement award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. While we’re sure plenty of fans are excited to see Japanese animation’s most respected figure receive such a prestigious honor, there’s something else for them to be happier about: Miyazaki’s statement that he’s not even close to done making anime.

The Studio Ghibli cofounder has been retired from the business of making full-length, commercial movies for some time now. Be that as it may, it raised peoples’ eyebrows, not to mention hopes, when veteran Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki casually mentioned that Miyazaki still spends every day at the production house he helped build.

Even though Suzuki relayed conversations he’d had with Miyazaki about the possibility of crafting an anime in some format other than a theatrical release, the director himself had remained mum on the subject in his public statements. That changed during an interview with AP reporters ahead of the Academy’s November 8 awards ceremony, in which Miyazaki said:

“I’m going to continue making anime until I die.”

In stark contrast to the complex themes of Miyazaki’s films and even personal life, the sentiments behind his declaration are as pure and straightforward as can be. “I like creating stories and drawing pictures,” he explained.

 

Unlike Totoro, Miyazaki has no time to rest.

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He went on to reveal that planning has begun for a Miyazaki-helmed short to screen at the Saturn Theater inside Tokyo’s Ghibli Museum. While Ghibli’s films have been the Japanese movie industry’s closest thing to a license to print money, Miyazaki’s cut of prior box office revenues, not to mention Ghibli’s massive merchandising arm, mean that he’s not worried about passing up the economic gains of a general release. As a matter of fact, he’d prefer to not think about money at all, stating that “Not having to worry about whether it will be a financial success or not is a big plus.”

 

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If you’re guessing that this is a way for him to get his creative juices flowing again before jumping back into full-length films, though, you’re in for a disappointment. Miyazaki reiterated that he’s done with that, saying he wants to “leave such things to the next generation of animators.”

Again, the project is only in the planning stage, and no timetable as to when it’ll be ready has even been hinted at, meaning it could be years until it’s ready to screen. Still, for many anime fans, a long wait for a Miyazaki short sounds like a pretty good deal.

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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Studio Ghibli co-founder Toshio Suzuki retires as producer

 

Legendary Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki.

RocketNews 24:

65-year-old producer Toshio Suzuki is voluntarily stepping down from his position at Studio Ghibli, although he will assume the new title of “general manager.” Yoshiaki Nishimura will instead be the studio’s producer for Ghibli’s films going forward. Director Hiromasa Yonebayashi is adapting Joan G. Robinson‘s English children’s novel classic When Marnie Was There (Omoide no Marnie) for release this summer.

Suzuki co-founded Studio Ghibli with directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, and he served as its president. Former Walt Disney Japan president Koji Hoshino succeeded Suzuki as Ghibli’s president in 2008, although Suzuki remained as producer for all of Ghibli’s feature films until last year. Thanks to Suzuki’s frequent television appearances and his Sunday radio program Suzuki Toshio no Ghibli Asemamire, the Sports Hochi newspaper describes him as the “face of Ghibli.”

Suzuki’s successor Nishimura made his debut as a producer on Takahata’s The Tale of Princess Kaguya, which opened last November. Suzuki was credited for just “project planning” on The Tale of Princess Kaguya, as he devoted himself to producing Miyazaki’s final feature film The Wind Rises.

For When Marnie Was There, Suzuki’s only roles were selecting the original work and main staff, and then deciding the budget and schedule. Nishimura is handling the actual day-to-day producing at the studio.

Miyazaki, Suzuki’s colleague for three decades, also retired from making feature films last September, although he is drawing a samurai manga on his own free time. Suzuki emphasized that his own decision to retire was not linked to Miyazaki’s. Instead, he hoped to step aside and boost the new era of Ghibli with “young strength” such as 36-year-old Nishimura and 40-year-old Yonebayashi.

Suzuki was born in Aichi Prefecture on August 19, 1948. He graduated from Keio University with a bachelor of arts degree in 1972 and then joined the publisher Tokuma Shoten. He worked at the Weekly Asahi Geinō magazine before he helped launch Animage magazine and served as its second editor-in-chief.

In fact, Suzuki was editing Animage when Miyazaki started serializing the landmark Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind manga in its pages. Suzuki served as Tokuma’s production committee member on the subsequent Nausicaä anime film, and then participated in the founding of Studio Ghibli in 1985. He officially moved from Tokuma Shoten to Studio Ghibli in 1989 to produce all of its films ever since. He began serving as the studio’s president, in addition to his other duties, in 2005.

Suzuki attended the Academy Awards ceremony last weekend on behalf of Ghibli and The Wind Rises, which had earned a Best Animated Feature Film nomination. He appeared at a symposium with the other Animated Feature nominees in a traditional Japanese happi coat. There, he said that Miyazaki wanted to make “Ponyo Part II,” but Suzuki asked the director to adapt his own manga Kaze Tachinu (The Wind Rises) instead.

Suzuki just accepted The Wind Rises Japan Academy Prize for Best Animated Feature Film on Friday. In his acceptance speech, he drily observed that he learned his lesson — his studio should not make two films in the same year.

Source: Sports Hochi via Hachima Kikō

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Studio Ghibli co-founder Toshio Suzuki retires as producer