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Ghibli artwork goes on sale

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For the first time, Studio Ghibli, creators of such films as Kiki's Delivery Service and Princess Mononoke, are releasing limited edition cel art prints, taken from original artwork used in either the films themselves or the Ghibli calendar (which was drawn by Hayao Miyazaki).

Each silk screen print will be hand numbered, and will come with matching background, Studio Ghibli Seal, custom frame, and certificate of authenticity signed by Ghibli president Toshio Suzuki. The first two titles to get the treatment are My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki's Delivery Service, and Princess Mononoke cels are planned for October to coincide with the Miramax release.

Other films to be covered include Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind, Only Yesterday, Laputa - Castle in the Sky, The Crimson Pig (Porco Rosso), Defenders of the Forest (Pom Poko), and Whispers of the Heart. The Totoro and Kiki cels are on sale now at Books Kinokuniya in New York City, and will also be sold around the world, except for Asia and Japan.

This afternoon at Books Kinokuniya, both the Kiki and Totoro cels were on display, priced at $595US each. The store prefers to ship the item to prospective buyers, but did have some on hand for point-of-sale distribution. As for the cels themselves, the Kiki one features the Kiki-on-broom picture seen on CD and LD covers, while the Totoro cel features both little girls sitting on a tree branch with several different Totoro's. Both are drawn by Hayao Miyazaki himself, and are virtually indistinguishable from a real production cel.

Actual Ghibli production cels have been known to sell for several thousand dollars each.

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