March 2007

March 29, 2007 Updated: Miyazaki and Queen Silvia of Sweden
As reported on 8 March, Queen Silvia of Sweden toured the Studio Ghibli Musem with Miyazaki as a guide. According to museum director Kiyofumi Nakajima, Queen Silvia stayed at the museum for 1 hour and 40 minutes.

A photo of the queen with Miyazaki in a lab coat.

In related museum news the next exhibition will be "Goldilocks and The Three Bears". Miyazaki is planning while Takahata will provide commentary. The current Aardman exhibition ends on May 6.

Thanks to Theodore Yuen and T.Ishikawa for the news.

March 27, 2007 "Ponyo" Staffing Notes
Some key positions were revealed during the "Professional" episode:

*Chief animator - Katsuya Kondo (others probable, but not annouced)
*Art director - Noboru Yoshida (probably with Youji Takeshige)
*Chief color designer - Michiyo Yasuda

Several image boards were shown during the show. Ponyo's father looks like Howl while Ponyo as a human resembles Mei from My Neighbor Totoro.

TV Japan will air the Hayao Miyazaki special episode of "Professional" at 10:00pm, April 2 and 4:00am, April 3 (Eastern time).

Thanks to T. Ishikawa for the news.

March 26, 2007 Updated: Second "Professional" Trailer Synopsis
This trailer shows:

*A Studio Ghibli animator drawing lots of characters (50 or more) that resemble Ponyo.

*Miyazaki is drawing the key animation of a boy, probably Sosuke. This boy resembles a boy on the cover of the book "Mushi-me to Ani-me" by Takeshi Youro and Hayao Miyazaki.

*Miyazaki says, "It is a big theme to get back the sea".

*Miyazaki is talking with the main staff while watching a image board. In this board, Sosuke walking on a cliff. Ships float on the sea.

*Miyazaki says "Sosuke likes Ponyo".

*Miyazaki displays a storyboard on a wall, each scene is colored in watercolors.

*Miyazaki is drawing a storyboard or image board. A ship burns?

*Miyazaki says, "Since I am not young, I feel my limit every day...."

*A small girl says to Miyazaki, "Thank you very much for the way you made Howl." Miyazaki answers, "You're welcome."

*Miyazaki says, "This is the first picture of the movie. At last I was able to draw a picture of essence."

*Miyazaki says to a brain scientist Kenichiro Mogi, "When I am tired, I feel fatigue of the right brain."

*Miyazaki stands on a sandy beach with an umbrella.

Professional is aired in US, and several European countries. TV Japan (available on DISH Network and select cable networks) airs the Miyazaki episode on March 26. JSTV broadcasts Professional in Europe.

GhibliWorld has screen captures and video clips.

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

March 24, 2007 "Ponyo" Rumors, "Tales from Earthsea" Opening in Australia
GhibliWorld recaps some rumors regarding the storyline of "Ponyo On A Cliff". The original source is 2ch so take with a large grain of NaCl.

Madman Cinema announced the theatrical screening dates for Tales from Earthsea:

The Australian premiere is April 15, 7.00pm, at Dendy George St Cinemas, Brisbane, on the closing night of Supanova.

Thanks to Peter van der Lugt and Chris Kuan for the news.

March 23, 2007 News Bits
Studio Ghibli is participating in the Tokyo International Anime Fair charity auction with what appears to be (among other items) paintings from Tales from Earthsea signed by Goro Miyazaki.

Kiyofumi Nakajima (Ghibli Museum director) filed a report about the Studio Ghibli booth at the fair. The Iblard DVD was screened on a monitor.

Kazuo Oga's large scale exhibition "Ghibli's workman Kazuo Oga: A person who painted Totoro's woods" will be held from July 21 to September 30 at Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo. Over 500 of his paintings and other works will be exhibited.

Spanish piper Carlos Nunez holds the concert "Carlos Nunez meets Gedo Senki" at NHK hall Tokyo on May 9. Performance: Carlos Nunez Band, Aoi Teshima, Tamiya Terashima
Special guest: Akiko Yano. Nunez was featured in the Tales from Earthsea soundtrack.

March 20, 2007 Additional "Ponyo" Details
Toho's page for "Ponyo" with a sample picture:

Our starter "Ponyo" page.

According to Toshio Suzuki, Hayao Miyazaki reflected seriously about his relationship with his son Goro. The elder Miyazaki thinks Goro's debut as a director is a "resistance" to him and was caused because he was busy and did not care about Goro when he was a child. So, the 5 year old Goro became the model for Sosuke. A sense of closeness between a parent and child is also a theme for the film.

As with many Miyazaki films the story is still being developed during the animation phase.

Studio Ghibli and Ghibli museum staff visited Tomo-no-Ura as part of the company tour in the fall of 2004. Miyazaki visited again in the spring of 2005 and rented a house on a cliff. He spent the next two months at the cliff-side house. When Miyazaki looked at the sea, he hit on the idea for "Ponyo".

Thanks to T. Ishikawa for the news.

March 19, 2007 "Professional" Trailer Available for Download
NHK's "Professional" website has been updated with the trailer for the Hayao Miyazaki episode.

Translation from T. Ishikawa:

"Last spring, NHK proposed coverage to Miyazaki who starts the production of the next film. It was admitted with a condition that only a director follows and filming him with a small camera. A young director went to Miyazaki's atelier [workshop] from last April to July and carried out coverage.
The center of work is drawing a picture called "Image board". To draw a scene or character design to become a key is the basis work of filmmaking. It is the first time that a camera enters the spot of creation to produce nucleuses of
a film.
The figure Miyazaki faces a movie from reality side while facing his limit, while struggling. The scene Miyazaki paints a picture, he calls it "essence of the film". A camera is present at birth of a new film. A camera also joins Miyazaki visits a preview of Miyazaki's son, Goro's "Gedo Senki" and a trip to a town of a seaside. It follows the figure of a human Hayao Miyazaki carefully.
Where 66 years old's energy overflow from. A camera approaches the brain and the real face of a genius thoroughly."

According to Kenichiro Mogi, an anchor of Professional and a brain scientist, Miyazaki gave a 3 hour long interview at his workshop.

March 19, 2007 Miyazaki's Next Film Announced
Hayao Miyazaki's next film was announced today. The title is "Gake no ue no Ponyo" (Ponyo On A Cliff) and is scheduled for release in the summer of 2008.

The plot revolves around the Princess goldfish Ponyo who wants to become human and 5 years old boy named Sosuke. Key words of the film are "father", "mother", and "a cliff".

While not announced as the location Tomo-no-Ura in Seto-naikai is the likely setting as Miyazaki spent some time there last spring.

The model for Sosuke is Goro Miyazaki (Hayao's son) when he was 5 years old.

This film is expressed in a watercolor and pastel-like freehand drawing. Studio Ghibli President Toshio Suzuki mentioned, "70 or 80% of the stage is the sea. How will we express the sea and a wave in a freehand drawing, it's the director's challenge."

Additional news and commentary from GhibliWorld.

Thanks to T.Ishikawa for the news.

March 17, 2007 3D "Flapper" Model from "Laputa"
Murat Vishnyakov let us know about his incredibly detailed tutorial on creating a 3D model of the "Flapper" aircraft from Laputa: Castle in the Sky

March 16, 2007 NHK "Professional" Trailer, Next Film Hints, Other
Last night, NHK's "Professional" aired the trailer of "Hayao Miyazaki: The secret of creation".

The trailer contained:

The full broadcast will contain details on Miyazaki's as yet unnamed film. An image board at the Studio Ghibli Museum is showing the next film but as it's casually placed among other images it's not obvious. An image board for "Howl's Moving Castle" was at the museum before that film was announced.

GhibilWorld has details on a new film involving former Ghibli key animator Kenichi Yoshida.

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

March 13, 2007 Iblard DVD/BD To Be Released
Iblard Time was announced today by Buena Vista Home Entertainment (Japan). DVD (3990 yen) and Blu-Ray (4935 yen, Studio Ghibli's first BD release) versions will be released on July 4 as part of the "Ghibli ga ippai" collection. (Sample images)

Both discs feature audio commentary from Naoshia Inoue and
music composers Kiyonori Matsuo and Kazuyuki Komuro (recorded at Studio Ghibli), 8 song soundtrack CD, and a video diary.

Additional details at GhibliWorld.

Thanks to T. Ishikawa for the news.

March 11, 2007 Nakajima Kiyofumi Interview
GhibliWorld has a translated interviewed from the Yomiuri with Nakajima Kiyofumi, the current director of the Studio Ghibli Museum (replacing Goro Miyazaki).

Thanks to Peter van der Lugt for the news.

March 10, 2007 Miyazaki Featured on NHK's "Professional"
NHK's program "Professional" features Hayao Miyazaki on its March 27 showing with a special 60 minute version. This program is usually 45 minutes.

"Professional"'s director followed Miyazaki closely for three months with a small digital camera.

Naoshisa Inoue announced that Iblard DVD demonstration editon will be screened on a HDTV at his exhibition from March 22 to 28.

Thanks to T. Ishikawa for the news.

March 8, 2007 Queen Silvia of Sweden to Visit Studio Ghibli Museum
The Embassy of Sweden's Tokyo office annouced that Queen Silvia will visit the Studio Ghibli Museum during the Swedish State Visit to Japan (March 26-29).

Thanks to Erik Yano for posting the news to the MML.

March 7, 2007 "Totoro" in Norway
Oro Film is bringing MIN NABO TOTORO to Norwegian theaters on March 30. More details (in Norwegian).

Thanks to H. Jagusch for the news.

March 3, 2007 Theaterial Showings in Denmark and Russia
My Neighbor Totoro opens in Denmark on March 30. In Copenhagen at the cinema Grand Teatret, there will be showings with the Japanese dub and Danish subtitles. A new Danish dub is also making its debut.

The premiere for Tales from Earthsea in Russia (distributed by RUSCICO) takes place on April 19. The official site will be up and running by the end of March.

Thanks to Jacob Hartmann and Alexey Burzyantsev for the news.

March 1, 2007 US News Bits
Sumi Shimamoto, best known as voice actress for Nausicaa (she also played Toki in Princess Mononoke) will be appearing at Sakura-Con in Seattle.

Howl's Moving Castle has been nominated for a Nebula Award in the Scripts category. Winners will be announced during the weekend of May 11-13.

Thanks to Theodore Hua and Daniel Zelter for the news.