Ronja the Robber's Daughter on Blu-Ray & DVD (UK)
Ronja the Robber's Daughter, the television anime series directed by Goro Miyazaki, animated by Polygon Pictures, and co-produced by Studio Ghibli, will be released on separate 4-disc Blu-Ray and DVD sets this December in the UK. Studio Canal is the publisher, known for their support of the Studio Ghibli films and many anime titles in recent years.
In the United States, Ronja is currently airing exclusively on Amazon Prime, and no announcements have yet been made regarding a home video release. It is expected that negotiations will be made with an American distributor for a BD/DVD release. For obvious reasons, GKIDS is the most likely choice, although to repeat once again, no official statements have been made at this time.
Ronja the Robber's Daughter is based on the children's book by Astrid Lindgren, the author most famous for Pippi Longstockings. Ghibli Freaks will remember that Isao Takahata, Hayao Miyazaki and Yoichi Kotabe famously attempted to create an anime series based on Pippi in 1971, but was personally blocked by Lindgren, who refused to approve the project. No doubt the idea of animating Ronja was pursued by Miyazaki, who brought his son Goro to direct.
The series employs CGI animation, painted in the style of hand-drawn animation. Its 2D/3D hybrid is somewhat unique but has also divided fans who would prefer the series to be drawn in the traditional style. Nonetheless, Ronja has received warm reviews from critics and makes a fine addition to the greater Ghibli canon. Does it reach the heights of the legendary Heidi, Girl of the Alps, the 1974 anime masterpiece created by Takahata, Miyazaki and Kotabe? Such comparisons, naturally, are unfair, and somewhat unnecessary. This is an entertaining series in its own right, deserving of success on its own terms. And young Goro-san has endured enough life underneath his father's long shadow.
Let us hope that a home video release for Ronja arrives in the US.