October 2007

October 29, 2007 Ghibli Asemamire Episode 4, Happy Birthday to Takahata
GhibliWorld has an English summary for yesterday's fourth episode.

Happy 72nd birthday to Isao Takahata!

Thanks to Peter van der Lugt for the news.

October 22, 2007 Ghibli Asemamire Episode 3
GhibliWorld brings an English summary from Toshio Suzuki's weekly radio broadcast.

Thanks to Peter van der Lugt for the news

October 22, 2007 Where's the "Ponyo" Details?
In an interview on the Ghibli Channel, Toshio Suzuki mentioned the reason why "Ponyo" material hasn't been publicized.
For example, trailers for Ghibli films have been traditionally released about a year before the release date. For "Ponyo" however, only a single promotional picture has been released. According to Suzuki, after "Ponyo" was announced, and especially after NHK's "Professional" series featured Miyazaki, Studio Ghibli received a lot of flak along the lines of, "Why do you announce the contents of the film so early?"
Suzuki says, "I think that it is advertising to think about the feeling of the audience. However, because it is not a service to announce nothing, I'm thinking of advertising that uses sound. So, we released the theme song early."

Thanks to T. Ishikawa for the news.

October 21, 2007 News Blast
Late night viewers of WGN in Chicago can enjoy a showing of Kiki's Delivery Service Monday morning at 3:00am. While not stated, it's undoubtedly the English dub.

Sweden sees a theatrical release of Kikis expressbud (Kiki's express delivery service) on November 23. The SF Bio network is showing both dubbed and subbed version. Sonet Film is the distributor, gaining the rights after the demise of the original licensee Triangelfilm. A partially translated press release from of August 10:

Joint with Cinema Mondo in Finland and CCV in Norway, Sonet Film and PAN Vision is entering
into a collaboration around purchasing of Scandinavian rights to foreign quality cinema.

Initially this means a collaboration around the following titles, all to be launched in Sweden
during 2007-2009:

- Hayao Miyazaki's popular and critically acclaimed animated films "Kiki's Delivery Service", "Porco Rosso", "Nausicaa Valley of the Wind", "Laputa: Castle in the Sky" and "Whisper of the Heart". These are films in the same genre such as "Spirited Away", "Howl's Moving Castle" and "My Neighbor Totoro".

- The Japanese blockbuster "Tales from Earthsea".

My Neighbor Totoro receives a DVD release in Sweden October 24. Published by Pan Vision it features the original Japanese audio track and a new Swedish dub.

Thanks to Daniel, Henrik, Per Andersson for the news.

October 14, 2007 "Snow Queen" Details, "Tales from Earthsea" in Italy, New Name for Radio Show,
"Snow Queen", a 1957 Russian animated film, was released in Japan on DVD by the Studio Ghibli Museum Library. The official website just launched with an Miyazaki interview, GhibliWorld has an English-translation.

"Tales from Earthsea" arrives on Italian DVD November 7 in standard and deluxe edition.

Toshio Suzuki's weekly radio program has chosen an official name: "Ghibli Asemamire".

FujiokaFujimaki were the special guests on episode 2. The "Ponyo On A Cliff" theme song was aired but is not included in the mp3 archive.

Thanks to Peter van der Lugt, Marco Bellano, and T. Ishikawa for the news.

October 10, 2007 Takahata and the Kobe Animation Awards
Isao Takahata has taken the "special prize" at the Kobe Animation Awards. The prize winners are selected by anime magazine editors in Japan and will be given out November 4.

Thanks to Ben Applegate for the news.

October 10, 2007 German Ghibli News
On November 26 Whisper of the Heart will be released in Germany on DVD by ufa. The German title is Stimme des Herzens.

Tales from Earthsea opens in German theaters on November 8 under the title Die Chroniken von Erdsee. Trailers and other information.

Thanks to Bjorn Kunow for the news.

October 10, 2007 Interview with Suzuki about "Ponyo"
An interview with Suzuki from the Ghibli Channel. This interview was recorded in July.

Suzuki: 60 minutes of storyboards (for Ponyo) were completed by the end of last year. I felt relieved, because that's the earliest it's been done compared to previous films. However, not even one page was not completed in the last half year.

Q: Still 60 minutes?

Suzuki: 10 additional minutes have been completed. 70 minutes in total.

Q: Has the production already begun?

Suzuki: The production had already begun, but staff who had no work to complete began to appear. Miya-san added the 10 minutes of storyboards in a hurry.
Miya-san said that he planned a film of 1000 cuts/90 minutes at first. His previous films used a cut length of about 5 second, so 1000 cuts become around 90 to 100 minutes.
However, he used 750 cuts for 60 minutes. So, I said to Miya-san, "Miya-san, you said 1000 cuts/90 minutes, didn't you?" He becomes displeased and said, "I understand, I understand. The story is over in no time." Miya-san drew the additional 10 minutes of storyboards in a hurry. I was surprised when I saw it. A new story began. (laugh)

Q: It is not over in 250 cuts. (laugh)

Suzuki: Then, because I'm a producer, I said to Miya-san,
"Miya-san, this is....". He assumed a defiant attitude and said, "Yes, because the movie is a creature, I do not understand where the last of the story goes to." (laugh)
When he assumes a defiant attitude, I must spend lonely days

Q: Lonely days?

Suzuki: Because his words means the running time of the film is prolonged. It will be completed by next summer if it is around 100 minutes. However, anything over 100 minutes is impossible. I must say "Sorry". (laugh)
He uses the tricks. The average of a cut for the first 60 minutes was 5 seconds, but average length of the latest 10 minutes is 10 seconds. (laugh)

Q: The number of the cuts does not change, but running time changes.(laugh)

Suzuki: That's right. (laugh)

Thanks to T.Ishikawa for the news

October 8, 2007 Radio Ghibli, "Ponyo" Theme Song
The first episode of "Radio Ghibli" aired on October 7 and GhibliWorld has an English summary for the non-Japanese capable. Direct MP3 download.

In an unusual move, the theme song to Ponyo on A Cliff will be released on December 5. This is more than 6 months before the film's scheduled release date.

Miyazaki requested Hisaishi to, "please make a happy-go-lucky song." It was completed in July and Miyazaki likes this song and listens to it repeatedly while working on the film. The staff of distributer Toho requested the early release telling producer (and Studio Ghibli President) Toshio Suzuki, "We want to tell children this song, so please release it early to be in time as a Christmas present."

The singers are music producer Takaaki Fujiaoka (55), Naoya Fujimaki (55) of an advertising agency of Ghibli, and Nozomi Ohashi (8) who belongs to a children's theatrical company. They were suppose to be temporary stand-ins for a demo tape, but a "Cinderella" unit was born because the result was so splendid.

Song title: Gake no ue no Ponyo
Singer: FujiokaFujimaki and Nozomi Ohashi
Lyrics: Katsuya Kondo
Additional Lyrics: Hayao Miyazaki
Composition and arrangement: Joe Hisaishi
Sales agency: Yamaha Music Communications

"FujiokaFujimaki" is the band name of Fujioka and Fujimaki.

Ponyo's theme song will be played on the October 14 episode of "Radio Ghibli".

A trailer is expected during Golden Week in May.

Thanks to Peter van der Lugt and T.Ishikawa for the news.