Thursday, March 13, 2014

"The Tale of Princess Kaguya" Is Coming to the US This Fall - Yay! (In the Meantime, Enjoy the 'Art Of' Book)

Kaguya Hime by doll artist Wakatsuki Mariko* (who adores fairy tales from all over the world)
Distribution for this reportedly gorgeous animated film of Japan's oldest fairy tale, The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter (aka The Moon Princess), has been picked up by GKIDS. (You may want to take note of the name since they'll also be bringing us Cartoon Saloon's Song of the Sea when it's ready.)

From Cartoon Brew:
Studio Ghibli is producing an English-language version of the film... 
Kaguya, which is based on the folktake “Tale of the Bamboo Cutter,” has been a modest success in its home country of Japan, grossing $22.7 million to date (or less than a fifth of the box office gross of Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises). The film will be released in the U.S. this fall and will be submitted for Oscar qualification.
With the US distribution happening later in the year, it's likely other English speaking countries will see it soon after as well. (Here's hoping, anyway...) 
I know more than a few animation buffs who are well primed for this and, knowing the ending isn't all sugar and sweetness but is more true to the original tale, I can't wait to see how the film resolves as well. I'm really glad we'll be getting the chance to see it in theaters. Here's a quick write-up of the artistic achievement by director Takahata on this film:
The visual expressions of director Isao Takahata’s “The Tale of Princess Kaguya” were groundbreaking. Up until that point, animations had been made with separate drawing styles for background and cell images, but Takahata paved the way for a new animation, telling a story that existed on a single page. This exhibition presents several illustrations unique to Takahata’s style of lightly colored animation, while also introducing Japanese art in the forms of folding screens, hanging scrolls, and picture scrolls.

In the meantime, for those net savvy international buyer people, there is a new book: The Art of The Tale of Princess Kaguya (images in this post are from the book). While the text is Japanese (as it has been for other Ghibli "art of" books) most of the presentation is visual, so it will still be a good addition to your Art Of library.
There is also a storyboard art book as well, which you can find HERE. You can see more artwork, some merchandising and a theater pamphlet HERE.
 Wakatsuki Mariko may be Japanese, but her work is quite similar to that of Western artists. She opened her studio, Atelier La Lune, in Japan in 1989 and has produced lines of porcelain fairy dolls in large editions. She also exhibits one-of-a-kind or small-edition porcelain dolls at solo exhibitions. Before studying dollmaking at Ecole de Simon, Mariko did not have any experience with dolls. She was inspired by Pre-Raphaelite and Symbolism paintings, and she decided she would create works in three dimensions, rather than two. She believed dolls to be somehow similar to paintings because they express the world through imagination. Mariko is a bibliophile, and books are the root of her creations, so she seeks literary essence in her dolls. She is especially fond of Danish author Hans Christian Andersen and Japanese author Ogawa Mimei. Through their tales, she learned about good will and the meaning of happiness. Through her dolls, Mariko hopes to deliver love, dreams and hope to all who enjoy them. (From Dolls Magazine)

1 comment:

  1. Looking forward to seeing this--thanks for the update.