Last year many of us enjoyed the first Studio Ghibli Fest put on by GKIDS. This was a series of 6 movies from the famed anime company that screened in theaters throughout the United States for 6 months. Well, anime fans rejoice because Studio Ghibli Fest is back and better than ever!
For 2018 GKIDS has stepped up Studio Ghibli Fest and is giving us 9 months with 9 films. Tickets can be purchased here: Ghibli Fest
Last year we did a Studio Ghibli Countdown where we reviewed all of their films. There are links to each of these reviews next to the announced film
- Ponyo– Review: (Mar 25-Mar 26, Mar 28) When Sosuke, a young boy who lives on a clifftop overlooking the sea, rescues a stranded goldfish named Ponyo, he discovers more than he bargained for. Ponyo is a curious, energetic young creature who yearns to be human, but even as she causes chaos around the house, her father, a powerful sorcerer, schemes to return Ponyo to the sea. Miyazaki’s breathtaking, imaginative world is brought to life with an all-star cast
- The Cat Returns- Review: (Apr 22, Apr 23, Apr 25) Haru is walking home after a dreary day of school when she spies a cat with a small gift box in its mouth crossing a busy street, and she jumps in front of traffic to save the cat from an oncoming truck. To her amazement, the cat gets up on its hind legs, brushes itself off, and thanks her very politely. But things take an even stranger turn when later than night, the King of Cats shows up at her doorstep in a feline motorcade. He showers Haru with gifts, and decrees that she shall marry the Prince and come live in the Kingdom of Cats!
- Porco Rosso– Review: (May 20, May 21, May 23) Porco Rosso is a world weary flying ace-turned-bounty-hunter, whose face has been transformed into that of a pig by a mysterious spell. When he infuriates a band of sky pirates with his heroics, the pirates hire Curtis, a hotshot American rival, to get rid of him. But with the help of the teenage girl Fio, an aspiring airplane designer, and sultry lounge singer named Gina, Porco takes to the skies for what may be his final high-flying showdown.
- Pom Poko– Review: (Jun 17, Jun 18, Jun 20) The tanuki (raccoon dogs) of Tama Hills find their fun-loving community under attack when their quiet woodlands are threatened by encroaching developers looking to create still more houses and shopping malls. Desperate to survive, the tanuki band together and learn the ancient art of transformation, shape-shifting into a comical variety of humans and spirits as they undertake a last-ditch plan to scare away the humans and save their home, in this deeply-affecting, funny and heartfelt look at what it means to live in the modern world.
- Princess Mononoke- Review (Jul 22, Jul 23, Jul 25) Inflicted with a deadly curse, the young warrior Ashitaka heads west in search of a cure. There, he stumbles into bitter conflict between Lady Eboshi, the proud people of Iron Town, and the enigmatic Princess Mononoke, a young girl raised by wolves, who will stop at nothing to prevent the humans from destroying her home and the forest spirits and animal gods who live there.
- Grave of the Fireflies– Review (Aug 12, Aug 13, Aug 15) As the Empire of the Sun crumbles upon itself and a rain of firebombs falls upon Japan, the final death march of a nation is echoed in millions of smaller tragedies. This is the story of Seita and his younger sister Setsuko, two children forced to fend for themselves in the aftermath of fires that swept entire cities from the face of the earth. Their struggle is a tribute to the human spirit. Presented in its digitally remastered and restored format, Grave of the Fireflies is one of the rare films that truly deserves to be called a masterpiece.
- My Neighbor Totoro– Review (Sep 30, Oct 1, Oct 3) When Satsuki and her sister Mei move with their father to a new home in the countryside, they find country life is not as simple as it seems. They soon discover that the house and nearby woods are full of strange and delightful creatures, including a gigantic but gentle forest spirit called Totoro, who can only be seen by children. Totoro and his friends introduce the girls to a series of adventures, including a ride aboard the extraordinary Cat Bus, in this all-ages animated masterpiece.
- Spirited Away- Review (Oct 28, Oct 29, Oct 30) Chihiro’s family is moving to a new house, but when they stop on the way to explore an abandoned village, her parents undergo a mysterious transformation and Chihiro is whisked into a world of fantastical spirits ruled over by the sorceress Yubaba. Put to work in a magical bathhouse for spirits and demons, Chihiro must use all her wits to survive in this strange new place, find a way to free her parents and return to the normal world. Overflowing with imaginative creatures and thrilling storytelling, Spirited Away became a worldwide smash hit, and is one the most critically acclaimed films of all time.
- Castle in the Sky- Review (Nov 18, Nov 19, Nov 20) This high-flying adventure begins when Pazu, an engineer’s apprentice, spies a young girl, Sheeta, floating down from the sky, held aloft by a glowing pendant. Both Sheeta and Pazu are searching for the legendary floating castle, Laputa, and they vow to travel there together to unravel the mystery of the luminous crystal. But their quest won’t be easy, as soon they are being pursued by greedy air pirates, the military, and secret government agents, who all seek the power Sheeta alone can control.
So, there are the 9 films. Are you planning on attending Studio Ghibli Fest? What films are you excited to see? We’d love to hear in the comments section!