January 2005

January 27, 2005 Wave Two R1 DVD Reviews
In anticipation of the next three R1 Studio Ghibli DVDs IGN.com has created a master review page listing all of their reviews except for The Cat Returns, that review is here.

Thanks to Scott Hall and Patrick Phutthavong for the news.

January 25, 2005 Where's the R1 "Totoro" DVD?
QUESTION: Why was My Neighbor Totoro replaced by The Cat Returns in the February 22nd release line up that includes Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind and Porco Rosso?
ANSWER: The DVD for My Neighbor Totoro was replaced by The Cat Returns, due to technical problems with the DVD transfer. BVHE wanted to make certain to put out the best quality product, so delaying Totoro made the most sense.

QUESTION: When will My Neighbor Totoro be released by Disney?
ANSWER: No Date set yet, but soon.

Our thanks to Rick Rhoades of Disney for providing the answers.

January 23, 2005 Possible "Howl's Moving Castle" US Release Date
Box Office Mojo is now reporting a June 10, 2005 release date for Howl's Moving Castle.

We are trying to confirm this date with Disney and stress that it should be considered preliminary at best.

Thanks to Heather Ward for the heads up.

January 23, 2005 "Howl" at Rotterdam Film Festival
Howl's Moving Castle has been selected as the closing film for the International Film Festival Rotterdam (5 February at 2000 and 2300).

Miyazaki has had several films displayed at the IFFR; Princess Mononoke ran in 2000 and Porco Rosso appeared in 1995.

Thanks to the numerous people who sent in the news.

January 19, 2005 New R1 DVD Menus
Screenshots of the DVD menus have been posted by UltimateDisney.com.

Nausicaa, Porco Rosso, and The Cat Returns arrive in stores on February 22.

January 19, 2005 "Howl's Moving Castle" Tops the French Box Office
"Le Chateau Ambulant" (The Noving Castle) took the number one spot in its opening week with 345,633 viewers on 374 prints; ahead of both Oliver Stone's "Alexander" and a French production. The number of viewers is a new record for a Studio Ghibli film in France.

Thanks to Martin Metz for the news.

January 19, 2005 Miyazaki's Next Project
Studio Ghibli is currently making three short films for the Ghibli Museum. Miyazaki-san did e-konte (storyboards) for all of three; we're not sure if he is directing the films, but the probability is high.

According to Naohisa INOUE (background painter for Whisper of the Heart), one of them is called "Hoshi wo Katta Hi," based on his "Iblard" story. The title could mean "The Day I Bought (Hunted, or Cropped) A Star." Sample of the e-konte.

Also, according to Inoue, one of other two short films is called "Mizugumo Monmon" (Mizugumo means Water Spider). Another one is about a girl who is looking for a place to live. Miyazaki-San is wiring yet another story, which is about a river, when ships were used to transport goods. So, there are at least four short films coming.

Thanks to Ryoko Toyama for posting the news to the MML.

January 16, 2005 "The Cat Returns" Showing in Dallas
The new English dub of "The Cat Returns" will be shown during the KidFilm Festival in Dallas on Sunday, January 23 at 2:30 PM. For information about the location and ticket prices go here.

If you do plan to attend, please note that this is being shown in a small theater that seats less than 150 people. Tickets go on sale that morning at 11:30 at the theater and are expected to sell out quickly.

January 14, 2005 Howl's Moving. . . . Circus?
From a 15 January Chinese news article:

Impressed by the success of the movie "
Howl's Moving Castle", Studio Ghibli decided to make a "sequel": but this is no ordinary sequel. It will be a "Big Circus Show", with a story that begins with Sophie and Howl's thought of forming a circus together.

The "Big Circus Show" will be started in late April (27 April) and will last for about 100 days (till 21 August). Howl, Sophie, Witch of the Waste and all other important characters will jump out of the screen as actors and let the audience to experience a fantastic voyage of circus.

The nature of a "sequel" and a "circus" seem to be fundamentally different. What made Ghibli to come up with such an idea? Producer Suzuki explained, "Outwardly there seems to be no correlation between the 'sequel' and the original story. In the 'sequel', the characters will make you feel that they have feelings of isolation. But when we examine the outward appearances and the inner hearts of the characters again, you can find that it is related to the original story."

There will also be a gigantic "Howl's City" in the site of the show. All the characters in the story will be displayed as puppets. In the middle of the site, an old-style "tent house" will be built. There will be even more surprises waiting for the people. It will be a new record of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Tokyo that a movie-related show can occupy the museum for 100 days.

According to the the people in the movie industry, probably Director Miyazaki was influenced by the idea "Circus is the source of movies" which made Ghibli to come up with the decision of making a circus show. Producer Suzuki said, "we don't want to be limited to animation which is just a narrow form of creation. We hope that through the circus show, people can grasp the new charms of 'Howl's Moving Castle'."

Official Site

Thanks to Doraneko for the translation and posting the news to the MML.

January 11, 2005 CONduit 15 with Susan Napier
CONduit 15 is the annual science fiction and fantasy convention in Salt Lake City, Utah. The dates are May 27-29, 2005, and it will be held at the Prime Hotel in downtown Salt Lake. More details here: http://conduit.sfcon.org/

Susan Napier (author of "Anime from Akira to Princess Mononoke") is the Anime Guest of Honor.

January 10, 2005 Miyazaki Article in the New Yorker Magazine
There is an article about Miyazaki in this week's New Yorker (cover date January 17, 2005) written by Margaret Talbot. The article is not availible
on-line, you'll have beg/borrow/buy a copy. This week's table of contents.

The article is listed about halfway down the page and is titled "The Auteur of Anime".

An interview with with Ms. Talbot about writing the article is availible, a sample:

Q: Miyazaki famously doesn't grant interviews, but he spoke with you. Why doesn't he like to do interviews, and how did you manage that?

A: It's true that Miyazaki does not like to give interviews, even in Japan, where he is really famous and beloved. I think one reason is that, while he certainly feels that he makes good movies, he feels some ambivalence about contributing to the sort of animation glut in Japan, and so is reluctant to go into promotional mode. But probably the bigger reason is that he is an intense workaholic, and resents anything that takes him away from his work. His producer and friend Toshio Suzuki told me that in the early days of their studio, Studio Ghibli, Miyazaki would work from 9 a.m. to 4:30 a.m., and that in recent years he has mellowed somewhat and goes home at midnight.

Yasuo Ohtsuka, an animator who has worked with him on several projects, said that he always figured that Miyazaki thought he would die if he stopped working. And Miyazaki himself told me that his idea of a vacation was a nap. I think it was sheer luck that I got the interview--I happened to visit the studio on the very day that he had finished his latest film, "Howl's Moving Castle" (which came out in Japan in November and will be out in the U.S. next year), and he was showing the completed version to his wife and some of the staff.

He was feeling relaxed and expansive, it seemed, and was willing to talk. I don't think he would have left the studio to talk to me--but there I was in his lair, where he is most comfortable. And I don't think he would have talked to me if I'd come the next day. He would already have been on to the next project.

Thanks to Marc Hairston and Doraneko for the news.