If peak anime and peak television had a baby, her name would be “Ronja, The Robber’s Daughter.”
Later this month, Amazon Prime will host the legendary Japanese animation house’s “epic 26-part story” based on the eponymous Astrid Lindgren novel. “Ronja” is the latest in a long line of adaptations for the Swedish Pippi Longstocking scribe, whose work inspired the likes of Lasse Hallström (“What’s Eating Gilbert Grape,” “Chocolat”).
The only Studio Ghibli television series will be available to American viewers for the first time on January 27. “Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter” is directed by Goro Miyazaki, the son of Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki.
The story centers around a ten-year-old girl named Ronja, who lives in a mountain fort with her parents and their band of merry robbers. She spends her days playing in the forest with strange creatures, and befriends Birk, the son of her father’s arch rival. Familial bonds are tested as Ronja must choose between honoring her father’s wishes or honoring her own.
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In the trailer, the Japanese has been dubbed by British actors. A cheerful narration spins the yarn: “During a storm she was born. Beloved by everyone. He taught her — and she taught us. But it was her thirst for adventure that changed all our lives.”
Proper romantic adventure music plays as Ronja and Dirk prance about the lush forest, climbing trees and saving horses from whatever predicaments horses need help with. The cherubic Ronja, glancing out at her dominion, chirps: “The forest gives me nothing but joy.”
Check out the trailer below: