March 2005

March 29, 2005 Late March News and Reviews Roundup
Ultimate Disney reported in their March 25 update that Pom Poko has received a PG rating for "violence, scary images, and thematic elements."

Howl's Moving Castle took the top spot at the Hong Kong box office last weekend (English news article).

Studio Ghibli producer Toshio SUZUKI is publishing a book on April 1st. Eiga Douraku (Cinema Mania) is a collection of essays about films and film making at Studio Ghibli. To commemorate the publishing of the book, Suzuki is going to do a book signing at Tokyo International Anime Fair 2005 on April 2nd, 15:30-16:30.

Shigesato ITOI, the voice actor of Dad in "Totoro" has movies of Satsuki and Mei's House in Aichi Expo at his site. Just scroll down and click on each image, and you can see a movie of each part of the house. You can see Mr. Suzuki of Studio Ghibli and Mr. Itoi in the movies. and Strange Horizons have posted reviews of the recent R1 DVD releases.

Thanks to Ben, Patrick Phutthavong, James Schellenberg, Sara Allen, and Mutsumi Ohta for the news.

March 22, 2005 Pictures of Mei and Satsuki's House
An article (in Japanese) with a bunch of photos from the Expo 2005 exhibit.

Direct links:

The second-to-last photo shows Shigesato ITOI who voiced the Dad in "Totoro". The last photo is of Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki wearing a "Toy Story 2" jacket.

Thanks to Brian Ruh for posting the news to the MML.

March 17, 2005 "Howl's Moving Castle" English Cast Announced
According to Sports Houchi Newspaper (in Japanese), the English cast for Howl's Moving Castle is:

Howl: Christian Bale
Old Sophie: Jean Simmons
Young Sophie: Emily Mortimer
Witch of the Waste: Lauren Bacall
Calcifer: Billy Crystal
Madam Suliman: Blythe Danner

Unlike the Japanese version, Sophie will be played by two actresses, young and old. According to the article the voice for young Sophie has not yet been decided.

The film will open in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco on June 10th, and in 60 other cities on 17th. The article claims that it will be released on 700-800 screens.

A less detailed English article from Yahoo! Asia News (spotted at is also available.

March 8, 2005 Small-scale "Nausicaa" US Theatrical Release This Summer
The English dub of Nausicaa will receive a small-scale theatrical release this summer according to sources close to Disney. This will be the first opportunity for US viewers to see the film on the big screen outside of the occasional film festival.

We'll post additional details as they become available.

March 7, 2005 First "Howl" DVD Details is listing July 31 as the release date for the region 3 version. Details are sparse but audio tracks (Cantonese, Japanese) and subtitles (Traditional Chinese, English) are listed. This information should be considered preliminary as no information on the R2 (Japan) release has been spotted.

Thanks to Madison for the news.

March 4, 2005 "Howl" Exhibit in Taiwan (with pics)
The Shinkong Mitsukoshi department store in Taipei held an exhibit featuring characters and sets from Howl's Moving Castle. 33 photos from the show which ran from January 29 to February 28 are available thanks to Bing.

Photos and commentary in Chinese about the film's Taiwanese release and press conference held by producer Toshio Suzuki can be found on Jessup's Blog.

March 3, 2005 "Howl" Tops "Mononoke" at the Box Office
On March 2nd, Toho announced that the number of attendees for Howl's Moving Castle had passed that of Princess Mononoke (14.2 million) with 14,226,082 total attendance. It is now the second most attended Japanese film after Spirited Away (23.5 million) (in Japanese) (in Japanese)

Brian Ruh spotted a Screen Daily article (registration required) that notes "Howl" may soon pass "Spirited Away"'s $245 million (USD) international gross.

March 1, 2005 More R1 DVD Reviews and News Bits
Some copies of the DVDs are missing the "Buy 3 Get 1 Free" insert. Call Walt Disney Home Entertainment's help line at 1-800-723-4763 to request a form. A copy of the form is located at though there's a "Reproduction, purchase, sale or trade of this mail-in certificate or proof-of-purchase tabs is prohibited" notice on the form. Your mileage may vary.

In depth reviews of all three DVD releases are in the latest issue of the on-line animation magazine "fps." The issue is downloadable as an Acrobat (PDF) file.

Destroy All Monsters has posted reviews of Porco Rosso and The Cat Returns. A complete list of their Studio Ghibli-related reviews.

UK TV station "Channel 4" held a public poll to determine the "100 Greatest Cartoons" and two Studio Ghibli films made the list. "Princess Mononoke" landed at #22 and "Spirited Away" earned the #8 spot. The complete results.

Satsuki and Mei's House is reproduced at Expo 2005 in Aichi, Japan. Photos and illustrations. Goro Miyazaki (son of Hayao Miyazaki) produced the house. The same reservation system used for the Studio Ghibli Museum is in place, visit Lawson Plus for more details.

Yomiuri Online is reporting that Studio Ghibli's separation from parent company Tokuma will take place on March 31.

Thanks to Ian Emmons, A.T., Doraneko, Tim Kirk, Sharon Westfall, and Gregory Harris for the news.