Studio Ghibli Announces Their New Film! ‘The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter’!

29 Sep

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September 29th,2009–

Well, this is certainly great news, although I think it would be more surprising if we heard nothing regarding Studio Ghibli, the Japanese aimation studio that has been producing quality traditional hand-drawn films for decades. Headed by Japanese animation genius Hayao Miyazaki, Ghibli is responsible for such animated masterpieces as Nausicca:Valley of the Wind, Spirited Away, the recent Ponyo and Grave of the Fireflies. So, while  it’s akin to learning that tomorrow pizza will still exist and it might taste more awesome than ever, the news that Studio Ghibli is preparing another animated release for 2010 is wonderful to hear. It’s expected , but it’s still comforting to know.

The plot of this new film? It’s the first Ghibli picture to actually be based off a specific piece of folklore; the legend of the bamboo cutter.

From Empire Online:

The classic story, dating from the tenth century, involves the mysterious golden-haired beauty Kaguya-hime (“Radiant Night Princess”), found as a baby in a glowing bamboo plant, and revealed to have come from The Capital of the Moon, either as a banishment, or as a war-refugee, depending on which version you read. She rebuffs a number of suitors, including Mikado, the Emperor of Japan (who gives up immortality for her), and eventually returns to the Moon.

I’m excited for this even though Miyazaki himself isn’t directing. While the veteran director would have no doubt found this film right up his alley–Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away drew from Japanese folklore–it’s still in the very capable hands of Isao Takahata. While I wasn’t blown away by My Neighbor the Yamadas, Pom Poko or Only Yesterday, they were still all terrific examples of strong animated features. However, it’s Takahata’s completely disarming and gut-wrenchng Grave of the Fireflies that has me really anticipating this. Fireflies has some of the most fluid and beautiful animation I’ve ever seen, and in addition it’s one of the greatest films out there about life during wartime. It isn’t an easy film to watch, but it’s rewarding beyond measure.

I hope that what Takahata dreams up is more in keeping with his stellar work on Grave than the other pictures, but I’ll still take a merely good film if a great one isn’t available. And for those wishing to see Miyazaki himself breaking out the pastels and drawing pens, don’t worry. The master has two films coming up on the Ghibli roster that he himself plans to helm.

Check out some of Takahata’s work here:

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One Response to “Studio Ghibli Announces Their New Film! ‘The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter’!”

  1. Hailey March 6, 2010 at 5:31 pm #

    Miyazaki and Takahata have been my favorite directors forever, though i like Miyazaki better. The first of their movies I’ve ever seen was spirited away. Then i saw Princess Mononoke, then My neibor totoro, then castle in the sky. And with all of them i fely emotionaly moved and Loved his movies every time i watched it.

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