Friday, May 24, 2013

New posters for Kaze Tachinu revealed

Studio Ghibli's international Twitter account has revealed new posters for Hayao Miyazaki's upcoming film Kaze Tachinu (working English title: The Wind Rises).

The film, Miyazaki's first in almost five years, is based on his manga of the same name published in Japanese magazine Model Graphix in 2009.  Miyazaki's inspiration for the manga came from a short story by mid-20th century Japanese writer and poet Tatsuo Hori.  The plot centers on the life of Jiro Horikoshi, a plane engineer famous for creating the Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter that flew during World War II.

Although not much else is known about the upcoming film at this point, it has been announced that Japanese animator and film director Hideaki Anno, known for his work on the Evangelion anime film series, will voice the main character Jiro Horikoshi.  Composer Joe Hisaishi, a long-time Miyazaki collaborator, will provide the film's soundtrack.
Scheduled to debut in theaters on July 20, 2013, the film will be distributed by Toho in Japan.  There has been no word yet as to whether Walt Disney Studios will distribute the film in North America, or if like the recently From Up on Poppy Hill (Kokuriko-zaka Kara), another distributor will take the theatrical reigns.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Two new Blu-rays out in North America

For Studio Ghibli fans in North America, days like today tend to only come once a year - the day the next wave of Blu-ray titles from Walt Disney Studios arrives on store shelves!

My Neighbor Totoro (Tonari no Totoro)

Now available to own are two classic films from Hayao Miyazaki, 1988's My Neighbor Totoro (Tonari no Totoro) and 2004's Howl's Moving Castle (Hauru no Ugoku Shiro).

Howl's Moving Castle (Hauru no Ugoku Shiro)

It has been almost a year to the day that Disney released the last batch of Blu-ray titles in North America.  On May 22, 2012, Castle in the Sky (Tenkū no Shiro Rapyuta), Whisper of the Heart (Mimi o Sumaseba), and The Secret World of Arrietty (Kari-gurashi no Arietti) each went on sale.

Luckily, we still have at least one more Blu-ray release to look forward to this year, From Up on Poppy Hill (Kokuriko-zaka Kara), which is currently available for pre-order and scheduled for release from GKIDS on September 3, 2013.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Porco Rosso headed to Blu-ray in Japan

This summer, Studio Ghibli fans in Japan will not only be celebrating the theatrical premiere of Hayao Miyazaki's new film Kaze Tachinu, but also the Blu-ray release of his 1992 classic Porco Rosso (Kurenai no Buta).

Japanese Blu-ray cover art

Set for a release date of July 17, 2013 in Japan, the title is currently available for pre-order on, among other online vendors.

Although typically released in pairs, Porco Rosso is, thus far, the only title announced for release this summer.  It is possible that an additional title was planned to be paired with Porco Rosso, possibly one from Isao Takahata, to coincide with the release of his next feature film Kaguya-hime no Monogatari, originally scheduled to premiere alongside Miyazaki's new film.  However, now that Kaguya-hime no Monogatari has been pushed back for a release this fall, any plans to release one of Takahata's older films on Blu-ray has probably also been delayed.

With a little luck, fans in North America can expect to see a Porco Rosso Blu-ray release from Walt Disney Studios around this time next year, possibly alongside Kiki's Delivery Service (Majo no Takkyūbin).  Disney seems to favor May as a release month for the Studio Ghibli titles, so we'll just have to wait (a year) and see!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Blu-ray and DVD sale at

In anticipation of the Blu-ray/DVD combo pack releases of My Neighbor Totoro and Howl's Moving Castle in North America next Tuesday, is having a one day sale on many previously released Studio Ghibli films on home video.

If you're Studio Ghibli Blu-ray collection is incomplete, today is the perfect opportunity to pick-up these great titles for up to 55% off:

For a complete list of titles on sale, including several films on DVD, click here. This sale ends today, May 17, 2013, so don't hesitate if you're looking to pick up any of these titles!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

From Up on Poppy Hill coming to Blu-ray

Although still in theaters in many cities across the United States, plans for a home video release of Goro Miyazaki's 2011 film From Up on Poppy Hill in North America are already underway.

According to, From Up on Poppy Hill will be released as a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack in North America on September 3, 2013, courtesy of GKIDS and New Video Group.  The film has been out on Blu-ray in Japan since June 20, 2012.
There are no additional details available concerning bonus features yet, but that information should be announced in the coming months.  For the time being, those interested can pre-order their copy today or visit GKIDS' Facebook page for an active list of theaters currently showing the film.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Two more Blu-rays coming to North America

Good news for Studio Ghibli fans in North America - your Blu-ray wait is over!  Pre-order listings have just gone up on for two classic Hayao Miyazaki films on Blu-ray, 1988's My Neighbor Totoro (Tonari no Totoro) and 2004's Howl's Moving Castle (Hauru no Ugoku Shiro).

My Neighbor Totoro (Tonari no Totoro)
Howl's Moving Castle (Hauru no Ugoku Shiro)
Both films will be released as Blu-ray/DVD combo packs from Walt Disney Studios and will arrive on store shelves May 21, 2013, almost a year to the day that that last three titles were released on the format in North America.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Hayao Miyazaki turns 72

Today marks the 72nd birthday of animator and Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki.

Born on January 5, 1941 in Bunkyo, Tokyo, Japan, Miyazaki became an artist at an early age.  Fascinated with aviation, he began drawing airplanes and started what would become a life-long obsession with flight, a theme that is heavily incorporated into many of his films.  During high school, he devoted his efforts to becoming a manga artist, but after seeing Japan's first full-length animated feature, The Tale of the White Serpent, he discovered that animation was his passion.  The rest, as all Ghibli fans are well aware, is anime history.

Although he's been in and out of retirement a few times in recent years, Miyazaki is still pushing forward at 72 and breaking new ground at Studio Ghibli.  His next feature film, Kaze Tachinu, will be released in Japanese theaters this summer as a double feature with Isao Takahata's new film Kaguya-hime no Monogatari.  This release will mark the second double feature from Miyazaki and Takahata after the pairing of Grave of the Fireflies (Hotaru no Haka) and My Neighbor Totoro (Tonari no Totoro) in 1988.

I am eagerly looking forward to Miyazaki's next film and the continuation of what has already been a long and successful career in animation.  Happy Birthday!