GKIDS Acquires 1991 Isao Takahata Anime Classic “Only Yesterday” – Plans 2016 Theatrical Release

GKIDS Acquires 1991 Isao Takahata Anime Classic "Only Yesterday" - Plans 2016 Theatrical Release

GKIDS has announced that it has entered a distribution agreement with Studio Ghibli for the North American rights to Only Yesterday, from studio co-founder and Academy Award nominee Isao Takahata (The Tale of The Princess Kaguya). Long considered an unseen masterpiece by critics and fans, the film has never before been released in North America. GKIDS plans a theatrical release in early 2016, coinciding with the film’s 25th anniversary.

The deal was negotiated by Eric Beckman from GKIDS and Geoffrey Wexler from Studio Ghibli, with GKIDS taking all theatrical, non-theatrical, home video and television rights in North America. An English-language version is being produced by Studio Ghibli with cast to include Daisy Ridley (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire, Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), Ashley Eckstein (HerUniverse, Star Wars Rebels) and Alison Fernandez (Orange is the New Black).

“With this 25th anniversary release, a broad new audience will now be able to discover what passionate supporters have known for years,” said David Jesteadt, GKIDS’ SVP of Distribution. “Only Yesterday is a groundbreaking classic, and further demonstration of Isao Takahata’s incredible legacy as a filmmaker.”

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Steven Charlson

Stop using ‘anime’ as though it specifies country of origin. O.K. maybe it does here and now but at the end of the day using ‘anime’ for any other purpose other than to shorten the word ‘animation’ is toxic.

Don’t fall into this stupid societal norm, Animation Scoop. Same goes with using ‘manga’ as a country-of-origin-specifying word. Stop it!
It ain’t right…


This is one of Ghibli’s greatest films and easily one of the two or three finest animated dramas ever made. The film really got shafted when TCM aired it about nine years ago and saw fit to have Ben Mankiewicz and John Lasseter introduce it only to have Lasseter prattle on about how much Hayao Miyazaki liked TOY STORY and they didn’t say a single word about ONLY YESTERDAY, a film that, at that point, was completely unknown to the overwhelming majority of the viewing audience. It would have been appropriate to give the viewers at least a few words about the film and why they should watch it. I’m still angry about it.


I too have longed to see this frustratingly elusive title. I hope GKIDS will continue its recent tradition of releasing it theatrically with the original Japanese track as well as the dubbed one.

Kevin Martinez

Does this mean that a DVD/Blu release is imminent?

This was part of the package Disney licensed from Ghibli, but for the decade-plus they had it, they effectively put it on the shelf to join "Song of the South". Literally the only thing they saw fit to do with it was give it to Turner Classic Movies for a single airing.

A long-in-wating home video release is what this film deserves.

Cameron Ward

Must….see it! NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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