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First Ponyo Review

An industry insider has written the very first review on Ponyo. It can be found at GhibliWorld.com.

Thanks to Peter van der Lugt for the news.

--10:54, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

New UK Book on Spirited Away

Andrew Osmond's Spirited Away: BFI Film Classics is landing in UK stores this week and should be available in the US in August.

The blurb:

Spirited Away, directed by the veteran anime film-maker Hayao Miyazaki, is Japan's most successful film, and one of the top-grossing "foreign language" films ever released. The film is a wildly imaginative fantasy, at oncepersonal and universal. It tells the story of a listless little girl who stumbles into a magical world where gods relax in a palatial bathhouse, where there are giant babies and hard-working soot sprites, and where a train runs across the sea.

Andrew Osmond's insightful study describes how Miyazaki wrote, storyboarded and directed Spirited Away with a degree of creative control undreamt of in most popular cinema, using the film's delightful, freewheeling visual ideas to explore issues ranging from personal agency and responsibility to what Miyazaki sees as the lamentable state of modern Japan. Osmond unpacks the film~Rs visual language, which many Western (and some Japanese) audiences find both beautiful and bewildering. He traces connections between Spirited Away and Miyazaki's prior body of work, arguing that Spirited Away uses the cartoon medium to create a compellingly immersive drawn world.

Andrew Osmond is a freelance film journalist based in Berkshire. He writes for a range of film publications including Sight and Sound, Empire and SFX.

--LLin 17:21, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

Official Ponyo Trailer Release

Today’s release of Ponyo’s trailer at NTV’s Zoom in Super has been given a report with imagery at GhibliWorld.com.

Thanks to Peter van der Lugt for the news.

--12:59, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

More NTV Specials

The broadcast list enlarges to include:

  • "Gake no ue no Ponyo - Four Hidden Mysteries"

July 18 @ 14:55 - 15:50

  • "Interview with Hayao Miyazaki - The hidden secret of a hint in a layout"

July 25 @ 14:55 - 15:50

Thanks to T. Ishikawa for the news.

--LLin 22:11, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Studio Ghibli Layout Exhibition - part 2

The interviews with Miyazaki, Isao Takahata and the message by Toshio Suzuki have been given a summary at GhibliWorld.com.

Thanks to Peter van der Lugt for the news.

--18:36, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Studio Ghibli Layout Exhibition

The website for the exhibition was recently updated with:

Suzuki writes, "One day, Miya-san said something like this 'I gave 15 years of my youth to Paku-san (Takahata). I want Paku-san to return my youth someday.' 15 years was his days as a layout man. Suzuki also says, "When Miya-san became a director, he said 'I need me!'"

Thanks to T. Ishikawa for the news.

--LLin 18:53, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

First Ponyo Trailer on TV, Advertising Blitz Begins

  • Studio Ghibli announced that the first trailer will begin airing on TV with the premiere on NTV. In the trailer Nozomi Ohashi's test version of the theme song is used as the background music. This version consists of only her voice and piano.

Several Ghibli-related programs begin airing on NTV in July:

  • "Hayao Miyazaki draws water" (working title)

This program will be aired during the program "Friday Roadshow"
July 4 @ 21:03, July 18 @ 21:03

The Cat Returns: July 4 @ 21:03
Tales from Earthsea: July 11 @ 21:03 (first broadcast on TV)
My Neighbor Totoro: July 18 @ 21:03

The opening animation of "Friday Roadshow" was directed by [Yoshifumi Kondo] and is included in the "Studio Ghibli Shorts" DVD

  • "Gake no ue no Ponyo special program - Hayao Miyazaki

"The genealogy of animation." (working title)
July 12 @ 10:30
The program investigates the history of Ghibli.

  • "Gake no ue no Ponyo Countdown" (working title)

-The hidden mystery of Gake no ue no Ponyo"
July 14-17th every night @ 00:29-00:44
The program looks into a mystery hidden in the film.

  • "Scenery of Ghibli -Japan which Hayao Miyazaki drew-" (working title)

BS NTV July 19 @ 19:00-21:00

Thanks to T. Ishikawa for the news

--LLin 02:45, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

Yahoo! Users Rate Animated Films

Four Studio Ghibli films landed in a recent Yahoo! poll of the top 30 animated films:

Thanks to Daniel Zelter for the news.

--LLin 02:45, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

More Details on Second Ponyo Trailer

Last Saturday the 2nd Ponyo trailer was released in countless cinemas all over Japan. Details about the content of trailer have been posted online at GhibliWorld.com.

Thanks to Peter van der Lugt for the news.

--17:14, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

First Ponyo Screening, Miyazaki "Enraged" by Layout Exhibition

  • Studio Ghibli staff will be the first viewers of Ponyo on June 23.
  • At the 10:55 mark of this clip, Suzuki talks about Miyazaki's reaction after learning about the Studio Ghibli Layout Exhibition held at the Tokyo Anime Fair. This clip is from "Gake no ue no Ponyo coming soon commemoration - Toshio Suzuki and Toshio Tsuchiya's special talk -" part 2. This is a joint program with TOKYO FM, so some contents will be broadcast on the Ghibli Asemamire radio program.

Tsuchiya: And layout exhibition...

Suzuki: It was very hard. (laughs) I asked Hayashi-san of the business station of NTV for an interview and coverage for Miyazaki. Hayashi-san hesitated, but I persuaded him. One day, Hayashi-san and I went to Miyazaki for greetings. I said, "Miya-san, this is Hayashi-san who is covering the layout exhibition, he's also here to do an interview." When Hayashi-san said "I'm Haya...", Miya-san said suddenly, "I have not heard about a layout exhibition!" I said,"What? Miya-san, you have not heard about it?". Miya-san said, "I have not heard of such a thing! Why did you do it?" I said "Why? It already is decided." Hayashi-san's face was frozen. (laughs)

T: Was it settled? (laughs)

S: It was settled two days ago. (laughs) I asked the person in charge of the layout exhibition, "You did not mention the exhibition to Miya-san?" He said "I did not...". So, we went together, and he said to Miya-san "I intend to do it." Miya-san said "Stop it! I do not recognize it!" I acted as a go-between and turned to the side. (laughs)

T: (laughs)

S: Miya-san said "You cannot easily tell about layout. A lot of rough sketches are piled up on a layout, there is no meaning even if you display only a layout. How will you display it? Because there is no meaning at all, stop this immediately!"

His name is Hashida, Hashida said, "I'm so sorry... I'm pushing forward preparations."

Miya-san said, "Do not say things like a office worker at such a time!"

Because there was no help for him, I gave him a lifeboat. I said to Hashida, "Hashida-kun, are you preparing it with Takahata-san?", because Miya-san is weak to Takahata-san. (laughs) Hashida said "Yes, I'm preparing it with Takahata-san." Miya-san said "Takahata-san?" I said to Hashida, "Will everything be displayed?" Miya-san said "Not only my work?" I said, "Pompoko, Only Yesterday and so on, all works." Miya-san replied, "There is no problem if they are." And so, it was solved. (laughs)

T: Already after putting the tickets on the market. (laughs) Everyday was filled with trouble. (laughs)

S: Yes. (laughs). So, it must be an interesting exhibition. (laughs)

Thanks to T. Ishikawa for the news.

--LLin 06:18, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

All details on the George Lucas & Suzuki Toshio talk

GhibliWorld.com brings details on the talk between George Lucas and Suzuki Toshio in their summary of Ghibli Asemamire episode 38.

Thanks to Peter van der Lugt for the news.

--20:31, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

George Lucas Talks with Suzuki, Ponyo Production Press Conference

  • The June 22 edition of Toshio Suzuki's radio program Ghibli Asemamire contains a segment with George Lucas.

Some quotes from Suzuki that weren't published in subsequent articles:

S: When we check a rush cut, all the members are tense. However, everybody laughs at the slighest thing this time. This is an unprecedented experience. Miyazaki who checks the cuts laughed too.

S: Miyazaki did a technical challenge in short film such as Yadosagashi, Water Spider Monmon, and so on. This film is made based on them. However, only from a technical perspective, the story is not tied to the short films.

Q: How is the feeling for Miyazaki's present age reflected in this film?

S: Though I do not know whether this is an answer... there is a boy who appears a little in the trailer, he is a main character and named Sosuke-kun. "How is the world seen from a 5 year old boy? The world seen from a 5 year old boy is beautiful even in any age. It is worth living."

Q: Is there a flying scene symbolizing Miyazaki?

S: I am sorry if people expect it, but characters do not fly in the sky. Instead, they move in length and breadth inexhaustibility through the sea. And, I say without fearing the misunderstanding, we are not putting the emphasis on the story, we are putting the emphasis on the characters.

Thanks to T. Ishikawa for the news.

--LLin 15:49, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

Miyazaki's Museum Film Idea, Ponyo Second Trailer Details, Additional Hisaishi Concert

Suzuki also mentioned that Miyazaki is interesting in the story of a sumo wrestling mouse. Apparently Miyazaki has been dropping hints during their daily chats. As an example Miyazaki said to him the other day, "The story of the mouse that does sumo is good, isn't it?". An old Japanese folklore tale titled Nezumi no Sumo is likely the basis for Miyazaki's idea.

  • Studio Ghibli announced that characters voices, the true character of Ponyo, a secret of Granmanmale, and the younger sisters of Ponyo will be clear in the second trailer. Ghibli says "Your impression of Gake no ue no Ponyo will change."

Thanks to T.Ishikawa for the news

--LLin 15:48, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

Princess Mononoke on Jeopardy!

The film was the $2000 question under the category We Have Met the Anime:

  • A: One of the highest-grossing films in Japanese history is the anime film about this title 14th c. princess

According to J! Archive all three contestants missed the question.

Thanks to Daniel Zelter for the news.

--LLin 14:03, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Background on Ponyo's Backgrounds, Lawson Commercial

Discerning readers may have noticed the backgrounds in Ponyo resemble the background in the short Studio Ghibli Museum film Koro's Big Day Out. In the Koro booklet Noboru Yoshida, art director for both films, mentions that the background style is influenced by Yoriko Tsutsui's picture book Hajimete no Otsukai (illustrated by Akiko Hayashi) and that the book was suggested by Miyazaki. The book is availbile in English as Miki's First Errand

Lawson has setup a Ponyo section with a streaming commercial and ticket offers. One of the bonus items is a Ponyo water gun.

Thanks to T.Ishikawa for the news.

--LLin 19:42, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Official Ponyo Cast Annouced

Toho released the official voice cast list for Ponyo. One notable presence is Rumi Hiiragi who did the voice of Chihiro in Spirited Away.

  • Run time: 101 minutes
  • Screen size: Vista size
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Surround EX, dts-ES (6.1)
  • Chain master theater: Tokyo Hibiya SCALA-ZA1

The completion announcement preview for Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle to the media were performed in SCALA-ZA1.

Toho Cinemas announced the start of reserved-seat ticket sales on June 20 to avoid congestion. Tickets for showings from July 19 to 25 will be available for pre-order.

Toho Cinemas Roppongi Hills launched both Howl's Moving Castle and Tales from Earthsea at midnight. Toshio Suzuki visited before the first screening to say hello and greet the opening night viewers. It's not clear if another midnight launch is planned for Ponyo but given the history it's likely.

Thanks to T.Ishikawa for the news.

--LLin 15:39, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Castle of Cagliostro on Film4

  • Monday, June 30 at 4:30pm
  • Friday, July 4 at 5:10pm

Both showings of the film are dubbed.

Thanks to Tom Maughan for the news.

--LLin 13:55, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

New Ponyo Chirashi

GhibliWorld.com brings news on Ponyo's new handbill which currently being spread around Japan.

Thanks to Peter van der Lugt for the news.

--07:57, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

2nd Professional Special on Miyazaki to air on NHK

GhibliWorld.com brings details on a second new Miyazaki special by NHK's Professional which is to be aired on August 5. It is said to give an unmissable behind the scene look of Miyazaki working on Ponyo over a period of 300 days and is the first time for a documentary to give such a close-up look.

Thanks to Peter van der Lugt for the news.

--13:02, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Ponyo Synopsis and Tidbits, Second Trailer Length

Studio Ghibli released a short synopsis of Ponyo:

One day, Ponyo gets on jellyfish and runs away from home. Ponyo meets Sosuke, and they become good friends. But, Ponyo is taken back in the sea by her father who was a human being once but became a resident of the sea. But, Ponyo who wishes to meet Sosuke again causes a storm using the magic of father and goes to meet Sosuke with a massive tsunami...

Variety Japan reports the second trailer's run time is 1 minute 48 seconds.

Another Variety Japan article highlights "Cumbria #1" another Miyazaki-devised contraption. Instead of the usual flying vehicle, the Cumbria is a submarine. Miyazaki wanted to include it in Castle in the Sky but explained, "[It] is a sky movie, so the sea is seen only glimpsed a little at the bottom of the screen." Shown next to the model (which is quite elaborate and has a working motor) in the photo is Kiyofumi Nakajima, superivior of the Studio Ghibli Museum.

  • Total length: 12m
  • Displacement: 71 tons
  • Crew: 4
  • Maximum speed: Underwater, 7.6 knots
  • Sailing is also possible in the sea

Thanks to T. Ishikawa for the news.

--LLin 15:56, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Ponyo Storyboards, Panda Soundtrack

The storyboards (ekonte) to Ponyo will be released in book form (552 pages, A5 size, ¥3570, Unknown ISBN) on August 12.

Panda! Go Panda! original soundtrack perfect edition (67 tracks) was released on May 25.

Thanks to T. Ishikawa for the news.

--LLin 19:03, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

Second Ponyo Trailer Details

According to the July 3 Studio Ghibli production diary, Ponyo's second trailer will be released on July 21. After seeing the trailer one staff member commented, "If 100 people see this, 105 people will see the film."

Thanks to T. Ishikawa for the news.

--LLin 02:59, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

36th Ghibli Asemamire + pictures of Toshio Suzuki meeting George Lucas

GhibliWorld.com has posted a new to summary of Toshio Suzuki's radio show Ghibli Asemamire. It contains info about Ghibli Museum's latest exhibition, called Petit Louvre, together with pictures of last week's meeting between Suzuki and George Lucas.

Thanks to Peter van der Lugt for the news.

--18:39, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

"Ocean Waves" Author Passed Away

Saeko Himuro, who wrote the novel "Umi ga Kikoeru" (Ocean Waves), passed away today due to complications from lung cancer. She was 51 years old.

Thanks to Ryoko Toyama for the news.

--LLin 13:56, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

Ponyo US Release Semi-Detailed

Toshio Suzuki announced a US release for Ponyo has been officially decided. No details on a release date or voice cast, but Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy were selected as the producers. A large scale release is planned.

Suzuki also met with George Lucas who is in Japan to promote "Indiana Jones 4". Suzuki presented Lucas with a Ponyo theme song CD and said, "We fight against Indy Jones this summer (laughs)".

Thanks to T.Ishikawa for the news.

--LLin 23:07, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

Ponyo Soundtrack Recording

The Studio Ghibli production diary on May 28 and 29 display pictures of the soundtrack recording of Ponyo that was held in Sumida Triphony Hall. They include shots of:

  • Hisaishi and Miyazaki checking a monitor
  • Miyazaki presenting food
  • Miyazaki giving Seiji Okuda (director of NTV's movie division and the model for Chihiro's father) a massage

The diary mentions, "You will certainly be sorry if you do not watch this in a theater."

Filming production finished on May 26.[1]

Thanks to T.Ishikawa for the news.

--LLin 23:36, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

Japan Post and Canada Post Create "Anne of Green Gables" Stamp

Japan Post and Canada Post are publishing a set of stamps in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of "Anne of Green Gables". They are scheduled to be released jointly in the two countries on June 20.

Stamps #1 and #2 are a common design. Stamps #3 to #10 are only Japan design. A hardback version containing all of the version will be available in Japan.

Thanks to T.Ishikawa for the news.

--LLin 14:07, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

Miyazaki's Latest Side Project

The Kanagawa Museum of Modern Literature holds a special exhibition on Yoshie Hotta from October to November 24. Miyazaki is known to be a great fan of Hotta.

The subtitle of this exhibition is "Studio Ghibli draws the chaotic times (Warlike age)". According to Studio Ghibli, in this exhibition, Hotta's world is visually expressed based on a idea of "If Studio Ghibli makes Hotta's works into an animation."

There is the special sub-site within the Ghibli's website that commemorates Hotta's books republished by Ghibli.

The site also contains a Miyazaki essay written to Hotta in 1993.

An excerpt:

Title: My homework.

To animate Yoshie Hotta's "Houjyouki-Shiki", besides, make it as a commercial film, no, can I do it? I'm rolling this impossible idea without the prospect of success in mind. Its filmization flies far over the lack of common sense. Therefore when I roll it in my imagination, I can feel good, but I occasionally think about a structure seriously. The road is long. But I cannot bring myself to part with this pleasure.

Thanks to T. Ishikawa for the news

--LLin 05:42, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

Hisaishi Concert Tickets Sold Out

Ticket to Hisaishi's special concert at Nihon Budokan were released at 10:00 am this morning. According to a Japanese blogger, when he tried to access the ticket site at 10:00, it was slow and occasionally timing out. Almost all seats were sold by 10:15, and the tickets for the second day were sold out at 10:20.

The ticket site "e+" announces that tickets are sold out.

Thanks to T. Ishikawa for the news

--LLin 16:01, 1 June 2008 (UTC)