Studio Ghibli, the Japanese animation studio famous for feature-length films including My Neighbor Totoro (1988), Spirited Away (2001), and Ponyo (2008) will have two films in theaters in the United States this January.
Ocean Waves (1993, dir. Tomomi Mochizuki) originally debuted as a television film, and is rarely seen outside of Japan. In it, teenage best friends Taku and Yutaka are headed back to school, but find their friendship tested by Rikako, a transfer student from Tokyo. As the school year begins and a love triangle emerges, the three friends must come to terms with their changing relationships. Ocean Waves was also the first Studio Ghibli film directed by someone other than founders Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, as Tomomi Mochizuki led a talented staff of younger employees in an adaptation of Saeko Himuro’s novel I Can Hear The Sea.
Ocean Waves will be shown in 25 cities in the United States, including Pittsburgh, PA, during a limited engagement. Visit distributor GKIDS to view the full list of dates and locations.
Princess Mononoke (1997, dir. Hayao Miyazaki) will return to theaters on January 5 and January 9 in celebration of the film’s 20th anniversary and the birthday of Hayao Miyazaki. The film tells the story of Ashitaka, an Emishi prince who becomes involved in the struggle between the gods of a forest, the humans who consume its resources, and San, the titular “Princess Mononoke.” It was the highest-grossing Japanese film of 1997, earning ¥11.3 billion in distribution receipts in 1997.
Princess Mononoke will be shown on January 5 in Japanese with English subtitles and as an English dub on January 9. Both screenings will also feature the Miyazaki-directed music video On Your Mark for Japanese rock duo Chage & Aska. It will screen at the following theaters in the Greater Philadelphia area:
– Cinemark Robinson Township and XD in Pittsburgh