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GKids Hosts Complete Studio Ghibli Film Retrospective at IFC Center

New York, New York — November 14, 2011 — GKIDS, a distributor of award winning animation for both adults and family audiences, is bringing a complete retrospective of films from Japan’s renowned Studio Ghibli to the IFC Center in New York from Friday, December 16 to Thursday, January 12.  The run will include US premiere theatrical engagements for several titles.

All fifteen Studio Ghibli feature films produced between 1984 and 2008 will be presented, including Hayao Miyazaki’s Academy Award® winning Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, My Neighbor Totoro, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Castle in the Sky, Ponyo, Howl’s Moving Castle, and Kiki’s Delivery Service.  Films will be shown in both the subtitled and English dubbed versions.  (see below for complete list)

GKIDS recently entered into agreement with Studio Ghibli to handle North American theatrical distribution for their library of animated features.  As the first engagements announced under the agreement, New York Film Festival presented a 25 year anniversary screening of Castle in the Sky and 10 year anniversary screenings of Spirited Away.  LA County Museum of Art and Film Independent will be presenting these same anniversary titles in a special preview screening on November 26.

Following the IFC Center engagement, the retrospective will tour to major US and Canadian markets, including Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington DC, Toronto, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, and other cities, throughout the first half of 2012.  GKIDS is also planning limited releases of select Studio Ghibli titles, many of which have never been released theatrically in the US, beginning late 2012.

Eric Beckman, GKIDS president, said, “I am both excited and deeply honored to be working with Studio Ghibli to bring this amazing slate of films to theaters across North America. I am in continual awe of the brilliance of the animation, the depth and humanity of the storytelling, and of the filmmakers’ understanding that even the youngest audiences are capable of appreciating all the subtlety and nuance that cinema has to offer.  As Miyazaki has said ‘Children understand the complexity and uncertainty of things almost with their skin. They cannot be underestimated.’ ”


Title Director (Producer) Versions Year RT
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind Hayao Miyazaki (Isao Takahata) Subtitled and dubbed (Uma Thurman, Shia LeBouf, Edward James Olmos, Mark Hamill) 1984 116 min
Castle in the Sky Hayao Miyazaki (Isao Takahata) Subtitled only 1986 126 min
My Neighbor Totoro Hayao Miyazaki (Toru Hara) Subtitled and dubbed (Dakota Fanning, Elle Fanning, Tim Daly, Frank Welker) 1988 86 min
Kiki’s Delivery Service Hayao Miyazaki (Hayao Miyazaki) Subtitled and dubbed (Kirsten Dunst, Phil Hartman, Janeane Garofalo, Debbie Reynolds) 1989 102 min
Only Yesterday Isao Takahata (Toshio Suzuki) Subtitled only 1991 118 min
The Ocean Waves Tomomi Mochizuki (Nozomu Takahashi) Subtitled only, digital only 1993 72 min
Porco Rosso Hayao Miyazaki (Toshio Suzuki) Subtitled and dubbed (Michael Keaton, Cary Elwes, Brad Garrett, David Ogden Stiers) 1992 94 min
Pom Poko Isao Takahata (Toshio Suzuki) Subtitled and dubbed (J.K. Simmons, Brian Posehn, Tress MacNeille, John DiMaggio) 1994 119 min
Whisper of the Heart Yoshifumi Kondo (Toshio Suzuki) Subtitled and dubbed (Ashley Tisdale, Cary Elwes, Harold Gould, Brittany Snow) 1995 111 min
Princess Mononoke Hayao Miyazaki (Toshio Suzuki) Subtitled and dubbed (Billy Crudup, Claire Danes, Gillian Anderson, Minnie Driver, Billy Bob Thornton, Jada Pinkett Smith, John DiMaggio) 1997 134 min
My Neighbors the Yamadas Isao Takahata (Toshio Suzuki) Subtitled and dubbed (James Belushi, Molly Shannon, Tress MacNeille) 1999 111 min
Spirited Away Hayao Miyazaki (Toshio Suzuki) Subtitled and dubbed (Daveigh Chase, Jason Marsden, Michael Chiklis, Susan Egan) 2001 125 min
The Cat Returns Hiroyuki Morita (Toshio Suzuki) Subtitled and dubbed (Anne Hathaway, Cary Elwes, Peter Boyle, Elliott Gould, Tim Curry, Andy Richter, Kristen Bell, Avril Lavigne) 2002 75 min
Howl’s Moving Castle Hayao Miyazaki (Toshio Suzuki) Dubbed (Christian Bale, Lauren Bacall, Billy Crystal) 2004 119 min
Ponyo Hiroyuki Morita (Toshio Suzuki) Dubbed (Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Liam Neeson, Tina Fey) 2008 101 min
  • Jon Turner

    If there’s any complaint I have with this schedule, it’s the confusing decision to show PONYO, HOWL, and LAPUTA one way while the others are equally dubbed and subbed. After all, GKids HAS screen LAPUTA’s dub before to great success (in spite of how purists may feel about it), so why not show it here? (And personally, I love the dub a lot; yes, it’s different from the original in places and the leads are kinda teenage sounding, but on the whole it’s a very solid dub, especially Leachman and Hamill. It’s not a perfect dub OR a purist’s dub, but it’s not bad in the least IMO.) I’m also puzzled as to why PONYO and HOWL are being shown dubbed only and NOT subtitled? You’d think they would want to show them in that format too. I feel that the schedule seems kinda screwy.

    I just feel that fans on the other side of the fence who prefer the other versions may feel neglected.

  • Genaro Prieto

    And ‘Hotaru no Haka’ (Grave of the fireflies)? Why is Takahata’s masterpiece not considered in the retrospective?

    • Grave of the Fireflies unfortunately had to be omitted because it has always been under Toho’s control, after Studio Ghibli sold off the rights many years ago. It does not fall under our agreement with Studio Ghibli. We are still hoping to add it to future markets – it’s a fantastic film, and one of my favorites from Isao Takahata.

      • Chris Sobieniak

        I can understand that.

        It would be nice if these films will show up in my hometown one day (Toledo, OH).

      • Sara W

        That would be nice seeing how I live in Columbus, Ohio and can’t afford a trip

  • Jon Turner

    I just found out why LAPUTA’s dub is not being screened at this retrospective: it’s because the elements in the 35mm print they showed AND the DVD mix differ, and so they’re still trying to work that issue out. In other words, they are very much considering adding it to the screening; they just want to get a new print ready. That’s all.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      At least they’re not using the older English version that was around since the late 80’s.

      • Jon Turner

        Thank goodness, too; the JAL dub of LAPUTA was absolutely AWFUL. I couldn’t believe how ANYBODY could prefer it to Disney’s dub. Everybody involved sounded like they didn’t know what they were doing, the dialogue sounded stilted and choppy and even laughable, and the whole thing felt like a train wreck from the start. I can understand people preferring the Japanese dub, but this older version? No way! It was GHASTLY.

        Disney’s dub may not be without its faults, but even after watching the Japanese version and liking it, I still stand behind it as my preferred choice. It just feels like a fleshed out retelling of a great film with nice bonuses and clever casting choices for several characters. Yes, I could have done without the rewriting of Sheeta’s speech toward the end and some of the commenting on the obvious, but I’ll take it over the cringefest that is the ’80s dub any day. (And this is coming from someone who likes to give dubs a chance!)

  • Elonna Simonson

    When will they post the full tour schedule? I would like to know when it comes to the closest city near me, even if I won’t be able to go.