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Frozen's Directors Interview Ghibli's Isao Takahata at Oscars Headquarters

posted on by Egan Loo
Princess Kaguya director joins fellow nominees in discussion before awards ceremony

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences posted a video from the Thursday discussion with the filmmakers of this year's Oscar-nominated animated features. Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, the directors of last year's winning feature Frozen, interview The Tale of the Princess Kaguya director Isao Takahata and producer Yoshiaki Nishimura at the 1:22:05 mark below. (An excerpt of the film played without subtitles during the discussion, but an interpreter translated for the guests during the interview segments.)

The discussion ended with a roundtable interview with all the filmakers, including Takahata and Nishimura.

Takahata and Nishimura are both attending the 87th Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday. Takahata's appearance marks 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):

The Tale of Princess Kaguya is competing against Big Hero 6, The Box Trolls, How to Train Your Dragon 2, and Song of the Sea for the award.

GKIDS played the Studio Ghibli film in North American theaters, and Universal Studios Home Entertainment released 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.

Thanks to Daniel Zelter for the news tip

Oscar Nominees Luncheon photo via Deadline

Photo of Isao Takahata by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

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