GKIDS has picked up North American distribution rights to the beautifully animated Japanese sci-fi fantasy Napping Princess, which first bowed in home soil cinemas in March. Having just opened in the UK, Napping Princess will make its US debut in New York (Village East Cinema) and Los Angeles (Laemmle Monica Film Center) on September 8, followed by a national expansion.
Formerly known as Ancien and the Magic Tablet, this is the latest film from writer-director Kenji Kamiyama (East of Eden, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex) and produced by Signal.MD — the three year old sister studio of Production I.G. The 2D animated feature screened in the official selection at this year’s Annecy animation fest — as Ancien — and recently won the Best Animated Feature Gold award at Fantasia (see all the animation winners here). GKIDS will release Napping Princess both in the original Japanese and as a new English dub.
“We fell in love with Kenji Kamiyama’s unique vision in Napping Princess,” said David Jesteadt, President of GKIDS. “His blend of near-future science-fiction, family drama, and detective story results in a high-octane, thought-provoking adventure that all ages can enjoy.”
Synopsis: The year is 2020, three days before the opening of the Tokyo Olympics. While she should be studying for her exams, Kokone Morikawa is often dozing off, stuck between reality and a dream-world full of fantastic motorized contraptions. But after her father, a talented but mysterious mechanic, is kidnapped for stealing technology from a powerful corporation, it’s up to Kokone and her childhood friend Morio to save him.
Together they realize that Kokone’s dream-world holds the answers to the mystery behind the stolen tech, and they embark on a journey that traverses dreams and reality, city and country, and past and present. Their mission uncovers a trail of clues to her father’s disappearance and ultimately a surprising revelation about Kokone’s family.