Distributor of award-winning animated films GKIDS has forged an agreement with Japan’s legendary Studio Ghibli to handle U.S. and Canadian theatrical and non-theatrical distribution for Ghibli’s animated feature film library. The deal includes all 13 titles produced between 1984 and 2002, including the Oscar-winning Spirited Away, which will be distributed in both subtitled and English dubbed versions.
The first outing announced under the agreement will be 25th and 10th anniversary screenings of Castle in the Sky and Spirited Away, respectively, at the New York Film Festival. These will be followed by a touring Studio Ghibli retrospective opening a four-week run at New York’s IFC Center from December 16 to January 12, and visiting key North American markets in the first half of 2012. GKIDS is also planning limited releases of select Ghibli films—many of which have never hit U.S. theaters—beginning late next year.
“I am both excited and deeply honored to be working with Studio Ghibli to bring this amazing slate of films to theaters,” said GKIDS president Eric Beckman. “Nausicaä, Castle in the Sky, Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro are among my favorite movies of all time—and they played an important early role in my decision to launch GKIDS. I am in continual awe of the brilliance and artistry of the animation, the depth and humanity of the storytelling, and of the filmmakers’ understanding that even the youngest audiences are capable of appreciating all the subtlety and nuance that cinema has to offer. As Miyazaki has said, ‘Children understand the complexity and uncertainty of things almost with their skin. They cannot be underestimated.’”