February 2003

February 28, 2003 "Spirited Away" European Releases
"A Viagem de Chihiro" opens this weekend in Portugal with a Portuguese dub. Some theaters will show the original Japanese version with subtitles. More information at this page.

The release date for the "El viaje de Chihiro" DVD in Spain is set for April 2. There are two editions (standard and special) and both Spanish and Catalan dubs are included. Other details (Japanese audio?) still in the works.

Thanks to David Tafulo Jorge and Gemma Vilardag for the news.

February 26, 2003 UK DVD Details
From Joe Curzon at Anime Digital:

For those who can't hold their breath we have the provisional release dates. Please note that since they are provisional they could shift by a week or two.

Due on 18/08/03:
Castle in the Sky
Pom Poko
Kiki's Delivery Service
While On 22/09/03:
Porco Rosso
Whisper of the Heart
Only Yesterday

Currently we do not have any technical details regarding the DVDs.

We are pleased to announce that Buena Vista intend to release My Neighbour Totoro and Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind sometime in 2004!

February 25, 2003 News Rollup
Howl's Moving Castle: News from AICN (which received the news from countingdown.net) about a mock-up model of the title castle:


Thanks to the many people who wrote in with the news.

Call for Article: The Waterloo Festival for Animated Cinema is seeking articles on Studio Ghibli for inclusion with the festival program and/or website. More details here.

Spirited Away Still in Theaters: The film continues to play in select locations, usually for a few days. Check the Theater Listing for up-to-the-day information. It plays at Stanford and Georgia Tech in March, university film clubs should have no problems obtaining a print.

Kirikou and the Sorceress: Studio Ghibli has acquired the distribution rights for the French animated film. Takahata is leading the subtitling effort.

UK Studio Ghibli DVDs: www.uk-anime.net is reporting that several films are scheduled for release this fall on DVD.

February 21, 2003 "Spirited Away" Wins at the Cinemarati Awards
"Spirited Away" added to its awards haul by coming out on top in the "Best Animated Feature" category at the 2003 Cinemarati Awards.

The winners in each category are determined in a head-to-head battle with another film. "Spirited Away" came in with the number 1 seed and whipped "Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron" in round 1, bounced "Lilo and Stitch" in round 2, and stuffed "The Powerpuff Girls" in the final round.

Thanks to MaryAnn Johanson for the news.

February 15, 2003 No Red Tint on "Spirited Away" VHS
Team Ghiblink has received VHS copies of "Spirited Away", "Castle in the Sky", and "Kiki's Delivery Service". Of most interest is that the "Spirited Away" VHS lacks the red tint noted in other home video versions of the film released in Asia and France.

February 13, 2003 Updated: "A Viagem de Chihiro" Poster and Release Details
"A Viagem de Chihiro" is scheduled for release in Brazil in March/April 2003.

While the film's official site isn't ready, the distributor's website is open.

[Brazil Poster]

Click on the picture for a full-size image.

Thanks to Roger for the news and image.



My name is Renato Siqueira

I am one of the Brazilian journalists responsible for helping in the promotion of the movie "A viagem de Chihiro" (Spirited Away) in Brazil.

The film will be really release between March and April, taking advantage of all this Oscar's merchandising.

This release is very important to brazilian fans, because it will be the first Hayao Miyazaki's movie to arrive at Brazilian Movie Theaters. This can be the beginning of a new level of Japanese animation in the Brazilian theaters. The last Japanese animation to come to Brazil at cinemas was the "fast Food" Pokemon. Nothing really original and interesting.

As Buena Vista/Walt Disney Company didn't want the rights for this film distribution in Brazil, Europa Filmes get the rights.

Me and Manga Xplosion's team (http://www.mangax.com.br), as journalists and fans of Hayao Miyazaki, decided to offer help in this release of the film here in Brazil. The official site will be ready in some weeks. The web site is being elaborated by the Manga Xplosion's team with the general coordination of the Web Designer Edson Ishigami, with reporter Edicarlos Rodrigues and me as editor.

The film "A Viagem de Chihiro" will be released in Brazil with subtitles and dubbed versions. The dubbing is being made in Rio de Janeiro.

February 13, 2003 R1 DVD Promotional Material
A semi-anonymous source passed along a one-sheet retailer's preview. Nothing new, except perhaps the DVD disc covers.

Disney's official pages for the DVDs are also availiable:

February 11, 2003 "Spirited Away" nominated for Best Animated Film
"Spirited Away" has been nominated for the category of "Best Animated Feature Film" for the 75th Annual Academy Awards. The other nominees were "Ice Age," "Lilo and Stitch," "Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron," and "Treasure Planet."

Thanks to many who submitted the news.

February 11, 2003 Studio Ghibli Creates Bank Mascot
If you guessed something along the lines of Totoro, guess again:

In the latest development, Asahi Bank Ltd. of Resona Holdings Inc. is cutting its contract with Miffy, a popular rabbit character here with dot eyes and a mouth in the shape of an X, ahead of the bank's March merger with Daiwa Bank Ltd. to create Resona Bank Ltd.

After axing Miffy, Resona will be represented by characters created
especially for the bank by the noted animation firm Studio Ghibli, which created films such as "Spirited Away" - Japan's highest-grossing
movie ever.

But instead of a mythical warrior-princess or friendly monster, the ad campaign features a family and a 28-year-old Resona banker. No lean, ruthless loan-collector, the cartoon banker, Sho Hanashima, is a portly, contented-looking fellow who loves people.

Thanks to Robert Brooks and C.J. Scott for the news.

February 7, 2003 New York Times on Disney and "Spirited Away"
Dave Kehr of the New York Times had an extended discussion of Disney's distribution of "Spirited Away," and its Oscar chances, in his column today:

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/02/07/movies/07FLIC.html?8mu (free registration required)

The opening paragraph, to tickle your curiosity:

Is the Walt Disney organization deliberately squelching the Oscar chances of "Spirited Away," the Japanese animated feature that it is distributing in the United States, in favor of "Lilo and Stitch," Disney's in-house production?

He's neutral on the subject, but has lots of quotes from both Disney and Steven Alpert of Studio Ghibli. Disney's claim they will re release it if it wins the Oscar is repeated.

February 2, 2003 "Spirited Away" Wins Four Annie Awards
"Spirited Away" picked up the following at the 2002 Annie Awards presented on February 1:

Thanks to Richard Durn for the news.