50th Anniversary Release of Anime Classic ‘Panda! Go Panda!’ Due on Disc June 21

GKIDS and Shout! Factory have announced the June 21 release of Panda! Go Panda!, a 1972 Japanese animated children’s film directed by Isao Takahata and written by Hayao Miyazaki.

Timed to its 50th anniversary, the film will be available in a Blu-ray Disc with DVD combo pack and will include the 1973 release Rainy Day Circus, where the story continues.

Panda! Go Panda! follows the story of a cheerful young girl named Mimiko, who is left on her own while her grandmother is away. When little Panny Panda and his father Papanda stumble into her home, Mimiko welcomes them in as her new family. Adventures ensue, as Mimiko discovers the challenges of taking care of her new friends.

Making its North American debut, the film comes with special features including the “From Mimi to Heidi, From Papanda to Totoro” interview, “Panda! Go Panda! Exhibit — The Impact of Hayao Miyazaki’s Image Boards,” a 1994 conversation with Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki, trailers, and previews.

Limited-Edition Steelbooks of Anime Films ‘Only Yesterday,’ ‘Tale of the Princess Kaguya’ Due April 19

Studio Ghibli and GKIDS on April 19 will release limited-edition Steelbooks of  Only Yesterday and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, two animated films from Academy Award-nominated director Isao Takahata.

Only Yesterday will also be available as a Blu-ray Disc and DVD combo pack, and The Tale of The Princess Kaguya as a single DVD/two-Blu-ray Disc package.

Only Yesterday follows the story of 27-year-old Taeko, who, having lived her whole life in the city, decides to visit relatives in the countryside. As she travels, memories of her youth resurface, and after meeting young farmer Toshio, she wonders if she’s been true to the dreams of her childhood.

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Bonus features include a making-of documentary, a behind-the-scenes featurette with the voice cast, an interview with the English dub team, feature-length storyboards, trailers and TV spots.

In The Tale of Princess Kaguya, a young girl who is found inside a shining stalk of bamboo by an old bamboo cutter and his wife grows into an exquisite young lady. The mysterious young princess who enthralls all who encounter her is forced to confront her fate and embark on a transformative journey.

Bonus features include a feature-length documentary, “Isao Takahata and His Tale of the Princess Kaguya,” the official announcement of the completion of the film, trailers, and TV spots.

In addition to the bonus features, the Steelbooks also include a booklet with art, as well as statements from the filmmakers.