Anime Film ‘Weathering With You’ Arrives in 4K Ultra HD Collector’s Edition Nov. 17

GKIDS and Shout! Factory are following up their initial home release of Weathering With You with a special collector’s edition that becomes available Nov. 17.

The four-disc set includes the film on both 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray Disc, along with the feature-length documentary “The Making of Weathering With You.” Priced at $79.98, the collector’s edition also includes the film’s soundtrack CD, a 104-page perfect-bound book, a mini poster, and a decal, all in a hard limited-edition case.

The set also comes with all the bonus features included on the earlier home releases.  Weathering With You first becomes available for home audiences on Aug. 4 as a digital download. A standard DVD and Blu-ray Disc, as well as a Steelbook, will be released Sept. 15.

A new film from director Makoto Shinkai and produced by Genki Kawamura, Weathering With You follows the story of a boy named Hodaka, who runs away from his remote island home in Tokyo the summer of his high school freshman year. He quickly finds himself pushed to his financial and personal limits, and notices the weather is unusually rainy and gloomy every day (a sign of his troubled future). He lives his days in isolation, finally finding his place as a writer for a mysterious occult magazine. One day, he meets a bright and strong-willed girl named Hina, who possesses a strange but wonderful ability: the power to stop the rain and clear the sky.

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Japan’s official submission for the Best International Feature at the 92nd Academy Awards, and a Toronto International Film Festival official selection, the film is backed by an all-star voice cast, including Lee Pace (Guardians of the Galaxy, “The Hobbit Trilogy”), Alison Brie (Glow, the “Lego” movie franchise), and Riz Ahmed (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Venom).

Japan’s official submission for the Best International Feature at the 92nd Academy Awards, and a Toronto International Film Festival official selection, the film is backed by an all-star voice cast, including Lee Pace (Guardians of the Galaxy, “The Hobbit” Trilogy), Alison Brie (Glow, the “Lego” move franchise), and Riz Ahmed (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Venom).

Two Acclaimed Anime Films Get Steelbook Treatment in October from Shout! Factory

Studio Ghibli and GKIDS, with distribution by Shout! Factory, in October will re-release My Neighbor Totoro (1988) and Princess Mononoke (1997), two Japanese animated films from Academy Award-winning director Hayao Miyazaki.

The films will be available Oct. 20 in a limited-edition Steelbook that includes a Blu-ray Disc and DVD combo pack, along with hours of bonus features and a booklet with art and statements from the filmmakers.

My Neighbor Totoro tells the story of a professor and his two young daughters, Satsuki and Mei, who move into a new home in the countryside, only to find life is not as simple there 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.

Bonus features include feature-length storyboards, theatrical trailers, “Behind the Microphone”; textless opening and end credits; the featurettes “Creating My Neighbor Totoro,” “Creating the Characters,” “The Totoro Experience,” and “The Locations of My Neighbor Totoro”; a making-of featurette, “Producer’s Perspective: Creating Ghibli”; and an eight-page booklet with statements from the producer and director.

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Set in the late Muromachi period (1336-1573) in Japan, Princess Mononoke follows young warrior Ashitaka as he heads west in search of a cure for a deadly curse he’s been inflicted with. He stumbles into a 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 that live there.

Bonus features include feature-length storyboards, theatrical trailers, TV spots, a “Behind the Microphone” featurette; and an eight-page booklet with statements from the producer and director.

Shout! Factory to Re-release 2013 Japananese Drama ‘The Wind Rises’

Studio Ghibli and GKIDS, with distribution by Shout! Factory, in September will re-release The Wind Rises, a 2013 Japanese animated historical drama film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki.

The film will first be available for digital download and on demand Sept. 1, with the Blu-ray + DVD combo pack and standalone DVD version coming Sept. 22.

A fictionalized biopic of Jiro Horikoshi, the designer of the Mitsubishi A5M fighter and A6M Zero aircraft, the film begins when he moves to Tokyo in 1923 to fulfill his dream of becoming a highly accomplished airplane designer. He had always been fascinated by aviation but was unable to become a pilot due to a medical condition. As rumors of war escalate, Horikoshi reunites with a young woman he met shortly after his big move. The two fall deeply in love, just as the young woman falls ill with tuberculosis. Horikoshi becomes inspired by visions of Italian aeronaut Caproni, and he realizes he must confront the mounting tragedies with dignity.

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Special features will include an exclusive booklet, a feature-length storyboard, the documentary episode “10 Years with Hayao Miyazaki,” “Behind the Microphone,” a film completion press conference, original theatrical trailers, and more.

The Wind Rises was the highest-grossing Japanese film in Japan in 2013, and received 13 nominations and 17 awards, including one Academy Award nomination. Hayao Miyazaki won the award for “Writing in an Animated Feature Production” at the 41st Annie Awards, and the film’s musical composer, Joe Hisaishi, was awarded the Japan Academy Prize in the category of Best Music Score.

The Wind Rises was also selected as “Audience Favorite – Animation” at Mill Valley Film Festival.

Shout! Factory, GKIDS Set Aug. 4 Home Release Date for ‘Weathering With You’

GKIDS and Shout! Factory have announced the Aug. 4 release date of Weathering With You, a  new film from director Makoto Shinkai and produced by Genki Kawamura.

Initially available for digital download, the film will be available on Blu-ray Disc and DVD, including a Steelbook, on Sept. 15. Then, in November, Shout! Factory will release a limited-edition collector’s set.

Weathering With You follows the story of a boy named Hodaka, who runs away from his remote island home in Tokyo the summer of his high school freshman year. He quickly finds himself pushed to his financial and personal limits, and notices the weather is unusually rainy and gloomy every day (a sign of his troubled future).

He lives his days in isolation, finally finding his place as a writer for a mysterious occult magazine. One day, he meets a bright and strong-willed girl named Hina, who possesses a strange but wonderful ability: the power to stop the rain and clear the sky.

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Japan’s official submission for the Best International Feature at the 92nd Academy Awards, and a Toronto International Film Festival official selection, the film is backed by an all-star voice cast, including Lee Pace (Guardians of the Galaxy, “The Hobbit” Trilogy), Alison Brie (Glow, the “Lego” move franchise), and Riz Ahmed (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Venom).

Bonus features to be included on disc editions include the featurette “Weather Front,” “Exploring Makoto Shinkai’s Filmography,” and the theatrical trailers and movie spots. The Blu-ray and SteelBook copies will also include a talk show interview with Shinkai.

GKIDS, Shout! Factory Set Home Dates for Anime Film ‘Ride Your Wave’

GKIDS and Shout! Factory have set an Aug. 4 home release date for Ride Your Wave, the latest film by anime amateur Masaaki Yuasa, who is known for  Night Is Short, Walk on Girl.

The film will be available for digital download, on demand, in a Blu-ray Disc-and-DVD combo pack, or as a standalone DVD.

Winner of the 2019 Best Animated Feature award at the Fantasia, Sitges, and Shanghai International film festivals, Ride Your Wave follows a surf-loving college student named Hinako who has just moved to a small seaside town. When a fire breaks out in her apartment, she is rescued by Minato, a handsome firefighter with whom she eventually falls in love. Just as they become inseparable, Minato loses his life in an accident at sea, which leaves Hinako so distraught that she can’t even look at the ocean. One day, as she is singing a song that reminded her of their time together, he appears on the water and she realizes she can summon him on any watery surface as soon as she sings the song.

Featuring an all-star Japanese voice cast that includes Ryôta Katayose and Rina Kawaei, Ride Your Wave also has a hit theme song in “Brand New Story,” performed by Generations From Exile Tribe. The home entertainment release also includes an all-new English-language version of the film, featuring the voices of Joey Richter (A Very Potter Musical) as Minato, Merit Leighton (“She-Ra and the Princesses of Power”) as Hinako, Sarah Williams (Kill la Kill, Puella Magi Madoka Magica) as Yoko, and Michael Johnston (Teen Wolf) as Wasabi.

Additional bonus features include an interview with producer Eunyoung Choi, animated storyboards, a character still gallery, trailers and TV spots, as well as an exclusive 12-page booklet with a statement from Masaaki Yuasa and other art.

Anime Classic ‘Tokyo Godfathers’ Gets Home Release from Shout! Factory

Shout! Factory and GKIDS on March 30 announced the upcoming release to home audiences of Tokyo Godfathers, which will be available for digital download on May 19 and on Blu-ray Disc and DVD on June 2.

The release of the 2003 family anime film has been restored and remastered from a 4K transfer, and marks the first time the film is available with an English dub in addition to the original Japanese audio track.

From acclaimed director Satoshi Kon (Paprika, Perfect Blue), and co-written by Keiko Nobumoto (Cowboy Bebop), Tokyo Godfathers features a tale of hope and redemption in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.

Set in modern-day Tokyo, the film centers on three homeless people whose lives are changed forever when they discover a baby girl at a garbage dump on Christmas Eve.

As the New Year approaches, the three forgotten members of society band together to solve the mystery of the abandoned child and the fate of her parents. Along the way, encounters with seemingly unrelated events and people force them to confront their own haunted pasts — teaching them to face their future.

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Bonus features include an interview with actress Shakina Nayfack, the featurettes “The Process of Animation,” “The Unexpected Tours,” and “Making of Tokyo Godfathers”; a film introduction by K.F. Watanabe, deputy director of film for the Japan Society of New York City; Ohayo, a short film by Satoshi Kon; and an art gallery.

Japanese Animated Classics ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’, ‘Ponyo’ Heading Home on Blu-ray Disc, DVD on May 12

Studio Ghibli and GKIDS, with distribution by Shout! Factory, have set a May 12 home release date for a pair of Japanese animated fantasies, Howl’s Moving Castle and Ponyo.

Both titles will be released as a limited-edition Steelbook Blu-ray Disc and DVD set.

Howl’s Moving Castle grossed $235 million at the global box office, while Ponyo took in $203 million. Both films are from Academy Award-winning director Hayao Miyazaki. Howl’s Moving Castle was made with CGI; Ponyo, in contrast, was hand-drawn.

Howl’s Moving Castle features a quiet girl named Sophie who works in a hat shop, who finds her life thrown into a turmoil when she is swept off her feet by a handsome but mysterious wizard named Howl. The vengeful Witch of the Waste grows jealous of their friendship, and puts a curse on Sophie that turns her into a 90-year-old woman.  As Sophie embarks on a quest to break the spell, she finds herself fighting to protect them both from a dangerous war of sorcery that threatens the world.

Animation World Network says Howl’s Moving Castle “is perhaps Miyazaki’s most phantasmagorical film yet, surpassing even Spirited Away in its astonishing imagery and supernatural logic. In the film’s first few minutes, blobby tar baby demons wearing straw hats bubble out from beneath paving stones and retreat en masse into a tiny teapot; a wizard rescues a damsel in distress by taking her for a stroll in mid-air; the eponymous construction, a haphazard heap of cottages, turrets and decrepit machinery, is glimpsed through misty clouds, striding on a quartet of gigantic mechanical bird legs; and a goiter-necked witch transforms a young girl into a wizened old woman.”

Bonus features include feature-length storyboards, TV spots, an interview with Diana Wynne Jones, and mini-documentaries on Miyazaki’s visit to Pixar, CGI, and the creation of the film’s soundtrack. The disc package also comes with an eight-page booklet.

Ponyo follows the story of a young boy who lives on a clifftop overlooking the sea, who discovers more than he bargained for after rescuing a stranded goldfish named Ponyo. A young, curious, and energetic creature, Ponyo yearns to be human. Even as she causes chaos around the house, her father, a powerful sorcerer, schemes to return her to the sea.

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Bonus features include feature-length storyboards, TV spots, and several documentaries: “The Five Geniuses Who Created Ponyo,” “Press Conference: Theme Song Announcement,” a featurette on the opening event at Hibiya Scala-Za Theatre, an interview with both  Miyazaki and producer (and former Studio Ghibli president) Toshio Suzuki, and more.

 

Animated ‘Aya of Yop City’ Heads Home

Kino Lorber and GKIDS have set a Nov. 26 home release date of Aya of Yop City, a film directed by Marguerite Abouet and Clément Oubrerie.

The film will be available on Blu-ray Disc and DVD at suggested retail prices of $34.95 and $29.95, respectively.

Aya of Yop City is an adaption of the bestselling series of graphic novels by co-director Marguerite Abouet, set in the 1970s on the Ivory Coast. Aya is 19, and loves her neighborhood of Yop City in Abidjan – a small city in which everyone knows each other. Her mom is the neighborhoods most trusted healer, and her dad is a sales rep for a brewery. While Aya has dreams of becoming a doctor, her two best friends just like to hang out and spend their evenings dancing, drinking, and flirting with boys.

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The animated drama was nominated as Best Animated Feature Film at the French Cesar Awards in 2014.

The film grossed $314,000 internationally, and stars Aissa Maiga, Tatiana Rojo, Tella Kpomahou, Jacky Ido, Emil Abossolo-Mbo, and Eriq Ebouaney.

Animated Drama ‘Funan’ on Blu-ray Dec. 3 from Shout! Factory

Shout! Factory and GKIDS will release the animated drama Funan as a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack Dec. 3.

Winner of the top prizes at the Annecy Animation Festival and the Animation is Film Festival, Funan is based on the true story of the family of director Denis Do and their harrowing experience under the Khmer Rouge.

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Set in Cambodia in April 1975, the film tells the story of Chou, a young woman whose everyday world is suddenly upended by the arrival of the Khmer Rouge regime. During the chaos of the forced exile from their home, Chou and her husband are separated from their 4-year-old son, who has been sent to an unknown location. As she navigates her new reality, working in the fields day and night under the careful watch of soldiers, and surviving the small indignities and harrowing realities of the increasingly grim work camps, Chou remains steadfast in her determination to reunite her family – even if it means risking everything.

Featuring the voices of Bérénice Bejo (The Artist) and Louis Garrel (The Dreamers), as well as a new English-language version, the Blu-ray also includes an interview with Do, storyboards and concept art as bonus features.

Deluxe ‘Spirited Away’ Blu-ray Collector’s Set Due Nov. 12.

GKIDS and Shout! Factory Nov. 12 will release a limited-edition Blu-ray boxed set of the Studio Ghibli anime feature Spirited Away. The film from director Hayao Miyazaki won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature for 2002.

The limited-edition set comes housed in a deluxe slipcase with a new 40-page book with art and essays essays by film critic Kenneth Turan and critic/film historian Leonard Maltin, and statements by Toshio Suzuki and Hayao Miyazaki. The Blu-ray of the film will include hours of special features, and the box will also include the film’s soundtrack on CD.

The film tells the story of Chihiro, whose 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 fantastic 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.

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The American voice cast includes Daveigh Chase, Suzanne Pleshette, Michael Chiklis, David Ogden Stiers and Susan Egan,

Extras include feature-length storyboards, original theatrical trailers, TV spots and a “Behind the Microphone” featurette.

The set is available for pre-order at ghiblicollection.com.