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Talk about Totoro Forest Project

GhibliWorld.com has posted an exclusive talk with Pixar storyboard artist Enrico Casarosa about Totoro Forest Project. This special Ghibli related project is organised by people like Dice Tsutsumi, Yukino Pang, Ronnie del Carmen and Enrico Casarosa himself and, in association with Totoro no Furusato National Trust Fund, Studio Ghibli, Pixar Animation Studios and others, they brought over 200 top international artists together donating artwork created to preserve Sayama Forest (Totoro’s forest). All of it will be auctioned on September 6th at Pixar Animation Studios.

Those wanting to support this great cause and also want to give something back for all the years of wonder and magic what Miyazaki has given can make a donation over here.

Thanks to Peter van der Lugt for the news.

--21:08, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Ghibli Influences

  • Dave Filoni, director of "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" visited Japan for a promotional tour and mentioned that the design of new character Ahsoka Tano was influenced by Princess Mononoke's San.

Thanks to T. Ishikawa and Daniel Zelter for the news.

--LLin 17:31, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Ponyo and the 65th Venice Film Festival

The official Venice Film Festival website lists Ponyo and Mamoru Oshii's The Sky Crawlers as entrants in this year's competition. Hayao Miyazaki will attend and commented, "Lido is very beautiful place. I'm glad that I can walk there again."

Thanks to T. Ishikawa for the news.

--LLin 13:38, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

Latest Crop of Film4 Showings

Thanks to Tom Maughan for the news.

--LLin 17:51, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

Miyazaki Talks About His Next Film (We Think)

In an article on the Yomiuri Online website Miyazaki talks about his next feature film, but he might be kidding about the plot. When asked about his plans he said, "I feel a physical limit, but an idea appears endlessly. For example, 'Detective Ryunosuke Akutagawa VS Souseki Natsume', it's my personal hobby thing."

Thanks to T. Ishikawa for the news.

--LLin 09:17, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

English Article on Ponyo's Opening Weekend

Mark Schilling has an article on the Variety Asia site detailing Ponyo's box office performance against Spirited Away and Tales from Earthsea.

Thanks to Andrew Osmond for the news.

--LLin 03:40, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

Ponyo's Box Office, Miyazaki's Animator School

Variety Japan reports that first day box office receipts of Ponyo is 83% of Spirited Away.

The Mainichi Shinbun website shows pictures from a press conference and first day greetings.

Ghibli Channel reports on the Ponyo Nagoya campaign.

On the Ghibli Asemamire radio program Hayao Miyazaki, Toshio Suzuki and Studio Ghibli president Kouji Hoshino talked about their new project. Miyazaki will train and bring up young 20 animators in Toyota-city, Aichi prefecture. According to Miyazaki, these young animators will train with Miyazaki for two years and make a short film for the Studio Ghibli Museum without the assistance of the regular Studio Ghibli staff. Miyazaki will lecture about the practical skills of animation work once a week.

Miyazaki explains why he brings up young 20 animators all at once. He says, "Ghibli has always employed several new animators every year. But I stopped it because even if a new face enters the studio, a new wind does not blow to there. A new face cannot behave like a new face. Ghibli's body deteriorates. Ghibli needs new hands and feet." He added, "These 20 animators will train themselves like monks. For two years, they must be devoted only to work. I am convinced that their two year experience becomes the property of the later ten years."

According to Suzuki, the people being recruited range in age from 18 to 22 years old.

And according to an art school student's blog, the briefing session of this project is performed in a many university of srts and animation vocational schools. According to him, and this is unofficial information, 100 people pass by the primary examination, 50 people pass the second examination, and about 20 people pass by the third examination. All artwork for the examinations is hand-drawn, CG is not allowed.

Thanks to T.Ishikawa for the news.

--LLin 07:23, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

--LLin 07:23, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

Miyazaki Interview on Ponyo

Recently NHK’s Ohayou Nippon aired an interview with Hayao Miyazaki about Ponyo. In it he spoke about things like his wishes for children respecting nature and not wanting to waste their precious time. A summary for the Japanese impaired is brought by GhibliWorld.com.

Thanks to Peter van der Lugt for the news.

--11:01, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

News Flood

  • The theme song from Ponyo is currently the #1 download on iTunes Japan
  • In a streamed interview on the TOKYO FM website Miyazaki states, "I was mad at myself after Howl. Everyone does not understand it. Though to say "everyone" is rude. I said, 'I must make a movie for children', I have made such a movie."

According to Miyazaki, he believes he suffered from an autonomic imbalance after finishing Howl. He lived on Tomonoura alone for two months to heal the fatigue of his mind. Miyazaki says, "It is considerably restored when I live simple life alone. 'Simple life' is to eat by myself, wash, walk, eat again, read a book, sleep, and wake up again. I walked the same way many times. I could see the scenery very well at the time due to my mental condition. And I understood that best lunch for me is two bean-jam buns."

  • The website also mentions "Animator upbringing studio!? The details are announced on the radio! Serious announcement!! Birth of XXXX Ghibli!? Where? What?".
  • Want to work for Studio Ghibli? A recruitment drive is underway:
  • Duty place is Toyota City, Aichi prefecture not Tokyo.
  • Term of the contract is from April 1 2009 to March 31 2011.
  • The deadline for document submission is September 17
  • Presentation documents:
  • A resume with photograph
  • Two pieces of artwork (the subject is open)
  • Excessive documentation will be ignored by the selection committee
  • The entry works will not be returned
  • Primary selection: End of September. Notified by letter.
  • Second selection: By the end of October. Practical examination and interview at Studio Ghibli.
  • Third selection: From October 24 to November 3.
  • A training examination of 10 days. Ghibli will supply housing.

Although not states a reasonable level of Japanese language knowledge is necessary.

Thanks to T. Ishikawa for the news.

--LLin 08:19, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

Ponyo discussed in Katsuya Kondo Interview

The August edition of Tokuma-Shoten's Animage features an interview with Katsuya Kondo about Ponyo. A summary for the Japanese impaired is brought by GhibliWorld.com.

Thanks to Peter van der Lugt for the news.

--09:46, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Next Studio Ghibli Film

Nikkei Waga Maga has several interview segments with Studio Ghibli president Kouji Hoshino.

  • Episode 1: Miyazaki spends himself on a task.
  • Episode 2: Filmmaking while shortening the life (of Miyazaki).

"Director Miyazaki grumbles, 'Can't any more' and 'tough work' every time a film is completed. He drives himself and makes a film while cutting down his lifespan. He recharges for a long time after production ends then begins to make another film. He will surely keep making films as long as his body permits."

"Director Miyazaki dislikes sticking to past works. He dislikes mentioning the still popular Totoro. 'I was not able to consent and faced a time limit though I did my best with all works.' This is his actual feeling."

"The preparations for director Takahata's new film advance. I cannot yet speak about the contents, but it became considerably more concrete since a year ago. Because director Takahata is very cheerful, please expect his new film. We are preparing for director Goro Miyazaki's new work too."

According to the atmosphere of words from Hoshino, Ghibli's next feature film is likely to be Takahata's film.

Thanks to T. Ishikawa for the news.

--LLin 05:31, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Ponyo TV Commercial, Handbells

Thanks to T. Ishikawa for the news.

--LLin 04:56, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

Message from Miyazaki

  • Suzuki's radio program announced that a message from Miyazaki's to will be released Thursday (July 17) on the TokyoFM website.
  • A lengthy interview with Miyazaki's highlights the 60 minute "Ponyo public release special program" on the next radio episode.
  • Rumi Hiiragi (voice of Chihiro in Spirited Away) will make an appearance on the first day of Studio Ghibli Layout Exhibition.

Thanks to T. Ishikawa for the news.

--LLin 17:17, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

Goro Miyazaki shares some thoughts on Ponyo

Last Friday Goro Miyazaki had the TV premiere at NTV Friday Roadshow of his film Tales from Earthsea. Because of that, Goro shared some of his thoughts on Ponyo. GhibliWorld.com brings the details.

Thanks to Peter van der Lugt for the news.

--14:53, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

Ponyo Reviews

Naohisa Inoue's July 10 diary is his impression of Ponyo:

A staff member of the Ghibli museum talked to said, "Ponyo is difficult for an adult." It may be surely so for a person thinking (about a movie) by words. I did worry a little, too, and it may be surely so. However, my impression of a preview is "After all, that's great." I advise only a little for the person who seems stumbles the detail by thinking too much.

  • Mamoru Oshii's impression, "That's Miya-san's delusion movie. There are no themes. But the picture is overwhelming, so it's seen until the end."
  • Miyazaki, Suzuki, Fujioka-Fujimaki and Nozomi Ohashi visted Toho Cinemas Nagoya and did surprising greetings on July 10. The audience was surprised by the unexpected appearance and Miyazaki and company were greeted with a big applause and shouts of joy.

Thanks to T. Ishikawa and Gregory Bauer for the news.

Ponyo Interview at 7andY

The Studio Ghibli pages at the Japanese webstore 7andY have been updated with a talk between Studio Ghibli’s executive producer Suzuki Toshio and 7andY president Suzuki Yasuhiro. GhibliWorld.com presents a summary of part 1 for the Japanese impaired (part 2 will be published on July 22nd).

Thanks to Peter van der Lugt for the news.

--08:31, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

Press Conference Semi-Canceled on Account of Miyazaki

According to a Cinema Today report, Toshio Suzuki mentioned that a press conference to be attended by Hayao Miyazaki and the main voice casts was planned, but was canceled due to Miyazaki feeling tired. During Ponyo's production Miyazaki received a massage every Tuesday. Suzuki said, "I do a press conference alone because the cancellation fee of the hall is very high. (laughs)"

Another press conference with Miyazaki and the voice cast is schedule for July 19.

Thanks to T. Ishikawa for the news.

--LLin 13:38, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

The Art of Ponyo, Ponyo Keyword

Miyazaki's Ponyo will receive a "The Art of..." treatment which will be released on August 2nd. GhibliWorld.com brings details on the book, a first look at its lovely watercolor & pastel cover art and furthermore has a summary on Studio Ghibli's Ponyo Keyword.

Thanks to Peter van der Lugt for the news.

--17:58, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

Completion Preview Report

  • Variety Japan has a report from the media completion preview. Toshio Suzuki remarked, "I thought that I wanted to lay emphasis on the North American market for the first time. This feeling has become stronger." As the reason he mentioned, "Americans who watched the film had many different opinions from the Japanese. For them, it is an unbelievable movie. A main character (Sosuke) calls his mother (Lisa) by her first name, and Lisa leaves a young child in the house to go out. Such things are not possible for European and Americans. I am very interested in how Ponyo will be accepted in the US." The US release date is still unknown.

Press coverage was favorable according to Suzuki, but children's reaction was "depressed" so Miyazaki is very depressed. Suzuki said, "If he can grasp the children's reactions, it might be useful to remove his uneasiness." Miyazaki and Suzuki travel this week to Fukuoka, Osaka, Nagoya, and Sapporo to campaign for the film.

  • Miyazaki, Suzuki, and members of the voice cast will greet first day viewers. It's been 7 years since Miyazaki last worked a greeting line.
  • Ponyo will be screened at an unnamed film festival. The destination is likely the Venice International Film Festival which runs from August 27 to September 6. The film line-up will be revealed at the end of July.

Thanks to T. Ishikawa for the news.

--LLin 15:19, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Ponyo Completion Preview, Website Updates

  • The official Ponyo website received an update, the most significant revelation is that Ponyo's real name is "Brunhild", named after a character in Richard Wagner's opera Die Walküre (The Valkyrie) The website also draws parallels between Wotan and Fujimoto (Ponyo's father).

Details on the opening theme:

Thanks to T. Ishikawa for the news.

--LLin 03:03, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

More Ponyo on Japanese National Television

After last week’s release of the TV trailer of Miyazaki’s Ponyo, today NTV’s Zoom in Super brought another special report. One of its presenters, Hashima, was up to do some voice acting for Ponyo and so he visited Studio Ghibli, where he was welcomed by Miyazaki and Suzuki.

A full report can be found over at GhibliWorld.com.

Thanks to Peter van der Lugt for the news.

--19:47, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

Photos from the Staff Preview and Party, Hisaishi Concert Wants You

  • The June 25 production diary shows a picture from the first staff preview of Ponyo. Hayao Miyazaki is shaking hands with Yuria Nara who is the voice of Ponyo. To the left of Miyazaki is Hiroki Doi who did voice of Sosuke. Nara and Doi met for the first time at the preview. The production diary of June 27 shows pictures of production completion party.
  • Joe Hisaishi's concert website announced an expansion of the orchestra, it now consists of 200 orchestra members, 800 chorus members, and 100 marching band members.

300 chorus members are being recruited, conditions include:

  1. At least 13 years
  2. Can participate in all exercises and a rehearsal.
  3. Can afford the participation fee of 5000 yen. This covers the score, exercises CD, stage apparel T-shirt, meal, and rehearsal expenses

Thanks to T. Ishikawa for the news.

--LLin 03:38, 2 July 2008 (UTC)