Madman Entertainment Acquires Studio Ghibli's When Marnie Was There

posted on by Jon Hayward
Madman Entertainment are the first company outside of Japan to license the latest Studio Ghibli film;

Madman Entertainment made the announcement on and Madman's facebook page stating that When Marnie Was There will be released at some stage in the future. There are no details stating if Madman plans a theatrical run or if When Marnie Was There will be released straight to home video.

Madman Entertainment are, at the time of writing this article, the first company outside of Japan to license When Marnie Was There.

On a related side note, Geoffery Wexler (English dub producer on From Up On Poppy Hill) revealed in August that he is the English dub and subtitle producer from When Marnie Was There. However no further information on the potential dub is currently available.

When Marnie Was There

Sent from her foster home in the city one summer to a sleepy town by the sea in Hokkaido, Anna dreams her days away among the marshes. She believes she's outside the invisible magic circle to which most people belong – and shuts herself off from everyone around her, wearing her “ordinary face”. Anna never expected to meet a friend like Marnie, who does not judge Anna for being just what she is. But no sooner has Anna learned the loveliness of friendship than she begins to wonder about her newfound friend…

- Synopsis by Madman

When Marnie Was There adapts Joan G. Robinson's classic English children's novel of the same name. In his second film, director Hiromasa Yonebayashi (2010's The Secret World of Arrietty) has shifted the setting from the novel's Great Britain to a Japanese village on the shores of Hokkaido. The screenplay was written by Yonebayashi with Keiko Niwa (Secret World of Arrietty) and Masashi Ando (A Letter to Momo, Spirited Away and Paprika), who also handled the character designs and animation direction. The film's soundtrack was composed by Takatsugu Muramatsu.

You can view the official theatrical trailer (unsubtitled) below;

The cast includes 16-year-old actress Sara Takatsuki (Black President, Otomen, GTO, Daily Lives of High School Boys, Haganai) as Anna and 21-year-old actress Kasumi Arimura (Amachan, Hagane no Onna, Clover, Judge) as Marnie. As a result this is the first Studio Ghibli title with dual lead heroines and the film is the first animated feature that Sara and Kasumi have acted in.

About 300 candidates auditioned for the roles of the heroines at the end of 2013. The film opened in Japan on the 19th of July. Disney happened to have just released Frozen, its first animated feature with dual lead heroines (one of which was named Anna). Marnie producer Yoshiaki Nishimura said there was a time in film history where "the flawless hero saves the woman," followed by a time for films where "the woman supports the troubled hero." Now, he said, 2014 is the time when "the man doesn't have to save the woman."

American musical artist Priscilla Ahn contributed "Fine on the Outside," a song she wrote when she was in high school, as the film's theme song. It is Ghibli's first theme song entirely in English. (Only Yesterday used a Japanese version of "The Rose," while Whisper of the Heart used both the original English version of "Take Me Home, Country Roads" and a Japanese translation.) The film is also Ghibli's first anime feature after Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki retired.

When Marnie Was There opened at #3 in Japanese theatres, earning 378,790,697 yen (AUD$4,031,711) on 461 screens. By September in it's 10th week the film had taken in a total of 3,604,758,813 yen (AUD$38,362,978) and fell to #12 place.

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