When Marnie Was There - GKids Scores US Rights, Spring 2015 Release

GKids Films today announced that they have acquired the US distribution rights to Studio Ghibli's 2014 feature film, When Marnie Was There, directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi (Arrietty). The movie is currently planned for a Spring 2015 release, with the eventual migration to home video.

Here is one of the Japanese movie posters for Marnie. It's a terrific design a masterpiece of pop art, bold lines and vibrant color, as all the Studio Ghibli posters are. I still haven't seen this film, but I have watched the final trailer, and what I saw was sublime. I don't believe this will be the final Ghibli feature film, but if it was, then they're going out on a very high note.

I'm really looking forward to this one. Will this be your final chance to see a "new" Ghibli movie on the big screen? Better score your tickets ASAP for the last ride.


Anonymous said...

I wonder why Disney passed on this movie?

Daniel Thomas MacInnes said...

Disney's involvement with Studio Ghibli appears to be on its way out. Apart from Hayao Miyazaki, they have little interest in the studio. GKids Films now holds theatrical rights to the studio catalog, and they have handled the recent films The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, From Up on Poppy Hill, and now When Marnie Was Here.

For Disney, the "Miyazaki Experiment" is more or less finished. Despite the appeal of a couple titles like My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away, the Ghibli films are too strange and scary for American audiences. These movies don't sell. And what's the use in hustling like mad for movies that can't earn more than $15-$20 million at the box office? Disney doesn't even have merchandising rights. They can't sell Catbus toys or make direct-to-video Totoro sequels.

Again, only my pet theory. Disney has always dragged their heels over Ghibli. I don't think they ever forgave Miyazaki for dropping Princess Mononoke on their heads (they expected a children's movie and got sucker-punched by a Kurosawa epic). Ah, well. Thank God for John Lasseter, as always. If it weren't for him, nothing would ever have been released.

Anonymous said...

Now if only Disney will do the right thing and sublicense Only Yesterday to Gkids. I think the reason why Disney didn't want The Tale of the Princess Kaguya and From Up on Poppy Hill is because both movies had oppai in them. You are also right about Disney not caring because they don't have the merchandising rights. They would love to sell Totoro happy meals and tissue paper.

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