Studio Ghibli is having a good day since its hand-drawn coming-of-age “Tale of the Princess Kaguya” officially became one of five films vying for the Best Animated Feature Oscar (and possibly at the expense of expected frontrunner “The Lego Movie”).
As the revered Japanese animation house starts to pull back from production in the wake of is-he-or-isn’t-he-retired figurehead Hayao Miyazaki’s turn toward manga-making, its latest “When Marnie Was There” has landed US release (Deadline reports). A summer 2014 box office hit in Japan, “Marnie” will be distributed stateside in English in Spring 2015 by GKIDS, the studio that opened “Kaguya” to the best reviews of any animated film last year.
Directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, this ghost story centered on a 12-year-old orphan’s mysterious new friendship could be the last film we see from Ghibli for awhile. It’s based on a children’s novel from the 1980s by Joan G. Robinson. Today’s Oscar news should encourage GKIDS to plan an awards push for “Marnie” next year.