Toonz, the animation software used by both Studio Ghibli (for Princess Mononoke all the way up to The Wind Rises) and Rough Draft studio (for the production of Futurama) will be made free and open source to the animation community beginning March 26, 2016.
New to anime? Looking for the highlights? Try Glass Reflection's Top 25-ish Recommended Anime. [more inside]
Toshio Suzuki, a Studio Ghibli producer and general manager, has announced on Japanese television that Studio Ghibli will be closing its animation studio. The announcement comes not long after the retirement of legendary Studio Ghibli director and animator, Hayao Miyazaki. The studio is well known for its masterpieces such as My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, and Spirited Away, and many, many others.
A 9-minute Dutch animation about a daughter who remembers her father. The Academy Award winner in 2000 for animated short films, and multiple other awards. A more detailed review here and an in-depth interview with Michael Dudok de Wit, but these are best read after watching the film first. No dialogue, sepia-tinged and with an accordion-dominated soundtrack. Possibly NSFW if your workplace minds you suddenly bursting into noisy sobs. Dudok de Wit is now working on The Red Turtle, a dialogue-less feature and the first Western project with Studio Ghibli as co-producer.
Disney Studios censors Miyazaki collection, pulls Studio Ghibli compilation. "On Your Mark" a video directed by Hiyao Miyazaki, and produced between early January and late May, 1995 by a team of over fifty animators at Studio Ghibli, in cooperation with other studios, is being censored from the upcoming 13-disc "Collected Works of Director Hayao Miyazaki" collection. Disney is also stopping shipments of a 2005 Ghibli Shorts collection, which features the video, along 22 other shorts that Studio Ghibli produced over the course of decades. The rationale?! Nineteen years after the video's release, one of the members of the band that did the music for the video has been arrested, along with a female acquaintance, after police found MDMA at his home. The musician was arrested Saturday, but has not been charged or convicted, as yet. Both he and the woman he was arrested with claim to be innocent.
Hayao Miyazaki drawn Concept sketches and storyboards for a proposed but never made 1971 Pippi Longstocking animated movie. The movie was abandoned when Astrid Lindgren didn't give her permission.
An English-subtitled trailer is now available for Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli's latest film, The Wind Rises (Kaze Tachinu), which will premiere to English-speaking audiences at this year's Toronto International Film Festival. [more inside]
Joe Hisaishi in Budokan was a series of concerts given in August 2008 to commemorate both the Japanese theatrical premiere of Ponyo and the 25 years of musical collaboration between composer Joe Hisaishi and film maker Hayao Miyazaki. This massive concert featured performances of these signature Miyazaki film scores composed by Hisaishi, conducting from the piano, and the 200-member New Japan Philharmonic World Dream Orchestra, along with six featured vocalists, the 800 combined voices of the Ippan Koubo, Ritsuyuukai and Little Singers of Tokyo choirs, plus a 160-piece marching band. Altogether there were some 1160 musicians and singers on stage, backed by images from Miyazaki's films projected on a giant screen. The almost two hour long show is on YouTube in HD, for your viewing pleasure.
Studio Ghibli presents Giant God Warrior Appears In Tokyo, a short tokusatsu film. (In Japanese, no subtitles.)
"In Japan, animation is not seen as the exclusive realm of children's and family films, but is often used for adult, science fiction and action stories, where it allows a kind of freedom impossible in real life. Some Hollywood films strain so desperately against the constraints of the possible that you wish they'd just caved in and gone with animation." -- Roger Ebert on anime, with this excerpt being related to Tokyo Godfathers. Ebert has been a fan of anime for a while, especially the works of Hayao Miyazaki. Ebert has reviewed 6 of the 18 Studio Ghibli films released to date, and even interviewed Miyazaki with a bit of fanboy glee. More reviews and videos inside. [more inside]