Ghibli Founder Isao Takahata Plans to Attend Oscars Ceremony
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya director Isao Takahata and producer Yoshiaki Nishimura will both attend the 87th Academy Awards ceremony on February 22. Takahata's appearance will mark the first time a Japanese director is in attendance for a film nominated in the Animated Feature Film category.
Takahata, who was a co-founder of Studio Ghibli, and Nishimura also attended the Oscar Nominees Luncheon on February 2. Both men can be seen in the below photo from the luncheon on the far right in the second standing row (click on the image below to see an enlarged version):
Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki did not attend the 75th annual Academy Award Ceremony in 2003 when his Spirited Away animated film was nominated and won Best Animated Film. Miyazaki said he "didn't want to visit a country that was bombing Iraq." The Academy also invited Miyazaki to join its ranks in June 2014. Miyazaki received at least three earlier invitations, but he declined each time.
GKIDS played the Studio Ghibli 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 was nominated for three Annie Awards, although it did not win any of the 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.
Oscar Nominees Luncheon photo via Deadline
Photo of Isao Takahata by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images