February 2008

February 29, 2008 Joint "Ponyo" Advertising Campaign, Double Hisaishi Goodness, Suzuki Interview
NTV (Nippon Television) announced a united campaign titled "NTV Super Anime Summer" for Ponyo and Mamoru Oshii's latest film The Sky Crawlers.

The producer of The Sky Crawlers is Tomohiko Ishii. He was a member of the production control (management) staff of Studio Ghibli. After Tales from Earthsea (Gedo Senki), he transferred to Production IG. The teaser trailer of The Sky Crawlers shows influences of the Studio Ghibli style. According to NTV a full trailer, new poster, and the voice cast of The Sky Crawlers will be released around the middle of April.

Mai, the singer who performs "The rondo of the house of the sunflower" on the Ponyo image album is Joe Hisaishi's daughter. She had previously sung a song in Nausicaa when she was a child.

GhibliWorld is running a summary of an interview with Toshio Suzuki from the Japanese magazine Cut in which the producer talks about the origins of Ponyo.

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

February 26, 2008 "Ghibli Asemamire" Episode 21
An English-language summary of the radio program's XXI episode is availbie at GhibliWorld

Thanks to Peter van der Lugt for the news.

February 20, 2008 "Ocean Waves" Licensed (but not in the US), Other Bits
Anime News Network reports a Variety piece that mentions the licensing company Wild Bunch has secured TV and DVD rights to Ocean Waves in France, Spain, Germany, UK, and Scandinavia.

Joe Hisaishi's official site is showing off the cover album for the Ponyo on a Cliff Image Album due for release on March 5.

GhibliWorld sends news about a new marketing partnership between the Studio Ghibli Museum Library (responsible for distributing foreign animation) and the Nisshin Seifun Group.

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

February 19, 2008 Pre-Ghibli Films on Blu-ray
AnimeOnDVD has details on Miyazaki's 1984 film 'Famous Detective Holmes' and Takahata's 1981 film 'Chie the Brat':

'Chie the Brat' (Jarinko Chie):

Theatrical Release: 1981, 110 minutes, color
Video: 1080p 16:9 MPEG-4 AVC/H264
Audio: PCM Linear Mono
Extra: 16-page booklet
Product code: BCXA-0023
Price: JPY 8190
Distributor: Bandai Visual - Honneamise

'Famous Detective Holmes' (Meitantei Horumusu):

Theatrical Release: 1984, 46 minutes, color (with Nausicaa on a double-bill)
Video: 1080p 16:9 MPEG-4 AVC/H264
Audio: PCM Linear Mono
Extra: 16-page booklet
Product code: BCXA-0024
Price: JPY 7140
Distributor: Bandai Visual - Honneamise

GhibliWorld has a few more details as well as news on the "Future Boy Conan" 30th Anniversary Memorial Box and a new Ghibli Asemamire summary.

Thanks to Paul Mayer and Peter van der Lugt for the news.

February 19, 2008 Studio Ghibli Nursery, Puss n' Boot DVD
According to a interview with Toshio Suzuki the Studio Ghibli nursery begins operation on April 1. This is a nursery for the Ghibli staff.

Suzuki mentioned that Miyazaki said to him "Suzuki-san, I want to make a real nursery. I'll never ask for anything again." According to Suzuki, in fact, they had prepared for the film of the story of a nursery, some storyboards had been completed. However, the film project turned into a real project. Miyazaki's wife asked Suzuki, too. She said, "This is his long-time dream. Please help him."

According to Suzuki, he was asked to make a film of Tomo-no-Ura by Kensuke Okoshi of "Peace With Japan" (a non-governmental organization). He answered, "Though it's impossible to make a film, we can make a staff trip". Miyazaki told to Suzuki, "I won't go to Tomo-no-Ura". However, after Miyazaki visited there, he said to Suzki "Suzuki-san, I'll live in
Tomo-no-Ura for two months!". His stay became the basis for the upcoming Ponyo on a Cliff. Suzuki says that Miyazaki is drawing all of the waves in the film by himself. Miyazaki does not want to let the other staff draw a wave.

In Takahata news his project to create a film based on "Kaguya-hime" has been cancelled and he's working on a new as yet announced project.

The Studio Ghibli Museum is featuring a Panda Kopanda exhibit.

Puss 'N Boots is now available as part of a bargain bin selection titled "Classic Fables". It'll set you back $1.00 at Wal-Mart, and it's released by Digiview Entertainment. The item number is CC6-D with a barcode of 8 42718 00106 7.

Thanks to T. Ishikawa and Dwight Politte for the news.

February 9, 2008 "Spirited Away" Theatrical Showing in San Pedro, Fujioka Fujimaki Interview
The Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro, CA holds a family film series each month and Spirited Away shows February 10 at 2:00pm. $5 adults, $2 ages 12 and under

Warner Grand Theatre
478 West 6th Street
San Pedro, CA 90731

GhibliWorld points out an English language interview with the singers of the Ponyo on a Cliff theme song in Yomiuri Shimbun.

Thanks to Harold Buchman and Peter van der Lugt for the news.

February 3, 2008 News Bits
Porco Rosso airs on Film4 in the UK on February 11 at 16:55 and February 16 at 13:00. Going by Film4's past showings they will show both versions, most likely dub first.

GhibliWorld has additional details on Toshio Suzuki's stepping down as president of Studio Ghibli including video from the press conference.

On the cover of this month's edition of Yomy
(an extra release for those subscribed to Yomiuri Shimbun) is a never before seen watercolor & pastel art piece made by Miyazaki for Ponyo.

Thanks to Tom Maughan and Peter van der Lugt for the news.

February 1, 2008 Suzuki steps down as Studio Ghibli president
Toshio Suzuki has stepped down as the president of Studio Ghibli effective February 1, but will remain as as a producer for Ghibli films and director of the board. His replacement is Koji Hoshino who was the former president of Walt Disney Japan. Hoshino started his work with Ghibli in 1996 when Disney began releasing all the Ghibli films in Japan on videotape and later DVDs, turning them into best sellers. He later served as the executive producer on "Spirited Away" and "The Cat Returns".

Suzuki also announced that Takahata and Goro's new films will be planned after the completion of "Ponyo".

Source Anime News Network, T. Ishikawa