Since many of you seem to be Hayao Miyazaki fans, here are some news I just learned about yesterday. From Asian Movie Pulse:
Isao Takahata, Studio Ghibli co-founder and director (Grave of the Fireflies, Only Yesterday, My Neighbors The Yamadas) has made the very exciting announcement that he will be directing a new feature-length film. Takahata is the “other” half of Studio Ghibli, and one of Japan’s most famous anime directors. With this new film, Takahata will be breaking a 10-year hiatus (his last feature film, My Neighbors the Yamadas, was released in 1999). His new film, Taketori Monogatari (The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter), is a movie adaption of the classic 10th century folktale (also popularly known as Kaguya Hime no Monogatari (The Tale of Princess Kaguya)).
Taketori Monogatari has directly and indirectly inspired many Japanese manga and anime, such as Sailormoon and Inuyasha. This beloved story is considered to be the oldest surviving example of Japanese narrative, and every Japanese person knows this story. A little baby is found inside the stalk of a glowing plant by a bamboo cutter. He takes her home, and raises her with his wife as their own daughter, and they give her the name Kaguya-Hime (radiant-night princess). She grows into a beautiful adult woman, with many suitors, even the Emperor of Japan – and she rebuffs them all. Then, things become even more complicated as her true lineage becomes revealed, and her special relationship with the moon. But let’s not go into that – if you don’t already know how this famous tale turns out, don’t find out! Save it for the movie!
This would be Studio Ghibli’s first foray into remaking a classic folktale (unlike Disney, which is famous for such remakes – Cinderella, Snow White, etc.). Taketori Monogatari has been made into live-action and animation remakes many times, and while it has not been announced whether Takahata intends to faithfully follow the original story, it is more likely that he will surprise us. For one thing, a faithful rendition of this story has been done many times, and it might not be interesting for Japanese locals; for another, he is well-known in Japan for his originality and creativity. So it is certainly a treat to look forward to.
And just to really whet your Ghibli appetite: It has also been reported in the official Studio Ghibli blog that Hayao Miyazaki is in discussions with studio staff to make two more feature-length films in the next 3 years. With the release of Ponyo only a year ago, and potentially three Ghibli movies to look forward to, this is certainly an exciting time for Ghibli’s many fans in Japan and worldwide!
Sounds good to me!=)