In an odd new twist for the Studio Ghibli film library, Daily Variety is reporting that U.S. distributor GKids (The Secret of Kells) has acquired the U.S. theatrical and non-theatrical rights to thirteen Ghibli films – including Hayao Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke, My Neighbor Totoro, Castle in the Sky and Spirited Away. Disney will retain the home video rights. Gkids is planning to distribute a series of Miyazaki film festivals to theatres nationwide.

Disney must have felt they no longer needed the theatrical rights. It’ll interesting to see how GKids will fare with these films – that company is certainly emerging as a leader in distributing worthy international animated features.

Meanwhile, I just caught up with these incredible Lego sculptures by Iain Heath. Heath’s tribute to the master animator Hayao Miyazaki was unveiled last year at Seattle’s BrickCon where it received the “Big in Japan – Best Overall” award. Check out his entire Miyazakitopia on Flickr. These two (below) are my favorites:

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Jerry Beck

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