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Isao Takahata & Ghibli's Princess Kaguya Nominated for Oscar

posted on by Egan Loo
Robert Kondo, Daisuke Tsutsumi's "The Dam Keeper" nominated for animated short film

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced on Thursday that Isao Takahata and Studio Ghibli's The Tale of the Princess Kaguya is nominated in the Animated Feature Film category. The film will compete against Big Hero 6, The Box Trolls, How to Train Your Dragon 2, and Song of the Sea. Missing from the nomination slate are The Lego Movie and Giovanni's Island, although The Lego Movie's "Everything Is Awesome" earned a nod in the Music — Original Song category.

No anime advanced to the nomination vote in the animated short film category, but the academy did nominate "The Dam Keeper" by Robert Kondo and Japanese animator Daisuke "Dice" Tsutsumi (Pixar's Toy Story 3, Monsters University). It will compete with "The Bigger Picture" by director Daisy Jacobs, producer Christopher Hees, and National Film and Television School; "Feast" by director Patrick Osborne, producer Kristina Reed and Walt Disney Animation Studios; "Me and My Moulton" by director Torill Kove and Mikrofilm in co-production with the National Film Board of Canada; and "A Single Life" by director Joris Oprins and studio Job, Joris & Marieke.

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya is based on the famous Japanese folktale Taketori Monogatari (The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter), which centers on a princess named Kaguya who was discovered as a baby inside the stalk of a glowing bamboo plant.

GKIDS played the film in North American theaters, and Universal Studios Home Entertainment will release it in a Blu-ray Disc combo pack on February 17. The official synopsis is as follows:

From Studio Ghibli, the award-winning studio that brought you Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, and The Wind Rises comes a powerful and sweeping epic that redefines animated storytelling and marks a triumphant highpoint within an extraordinary filmmaking career for director Isao Takahata. Found inside a shining stalk of bamboo by an old bamboo cutter and his wife, a tiny girl grows rapidly into an exquisite young lady. The mysterious young princess enthralls all who encounter her – but ultimately she must confront her fate, the punishment for her crime. Voiced by James Caan, Mary Steenburgen, and Chloë Grace Moretz.

The film won the Animation Film Award at the 68th Mainichi Film Awards, Best Animation from the L.A. Film Critics Awards, and Best Animated Film from the Bostom Film Critics Society. It won Best Animated Feature Film at the eighth Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA), and it is nominated for three Annie Awards. The film was screened at Cannes Film Festival's Directors' Fortnight but did not receive any awards there.

Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli's Spirited Away is the only Japanese animated feature to win an Oscar. Kunio Katō's "La Maison en Petits Cubes" won in the Best Animated Short Film category at the 81st Annual Academy Awards in 2009.

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