Gamba Anime Film Listed For Release in the U.S.

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Film's soundtrack also released digitally on Friday

American record label Varèse Sarabande announced on October 7 that it released the soundtrack for the Gamba: Gamba to Nakama-tachi (Gamba and Friends) CG-animated film digitally on October 9. The announcements states that "Shirogumi Inc. presents Gamba, in theaters in Japan on October 10 and in the United States and other territories following."

Varèse Sarabande also plans to release the soundtrack on CD. Benjamin Wallfisch (Desert Dancer, The Escapist) composed the soundtrack.

The film opened in theaters in Japan on Saturday.

Varèse Sarabande describes the film's story:

Gamba, a town mouse with a brave, adventurous spirit decides to go on an adventure to discover the ocean. On his way, he meets a troubled child mouse, Chuta. He says his family and other mice have been killed by a clan of weasels living on a nearby island. Chuta asks a group of ship mice, the bravest of their kind, for help, but when they find out that the villain behind this event is the terrifying weasel-leader Noroi, they give up on helping Chuta. However seeing the hopeless Chuta, Gamba promises him to save the island, his family and the other mice. Gamba and his friends team up to go on their adventure to defeat the evil Noroi and his clan.

Toho previously streamed a promotional video for the film in September. The video features the film's full theme song "Bokura ga Tabi ni Deru Riyū" (Why We Set Out on a Journey), performed by Chieko Baisho (Howl's Moving Castle), with lyrics and composition by Kenji Ozawa, and produced and arranged by Masakatsu Takagi (Wolf Children, The Boy and the Beast).

The previously announced voice cast includes:

  • Yuuki Kaji as Gamba
  • Sayaka Kanda as Shioji
  • Masako Nozawa as Tsuburi
  • Akio Ohtsuka as Yoisho
  • Wataru Takagi as Manpuku
  • Shuuichi Ikeda as Gakusha
  • Yasuhiro Takato as Boobo
  • Keiji Fujiwara as Ikasama
  • Akiko Yajima as Chuta
  • Mansai Nomura as Noroi

Nozawa previously played the titular role of Gamba in the 1975 Ganba no Bōken TV anime series, as well as the 1991 Gamba to Kawauso no Bōken anime film. In addition, Ohtsuka played the role of Black in the 1991 film. Akio Ohtsuka's father Chikao Ohtsuka also played the role of the villain Noroi in both the 1975 series and the 1991 film.

Shirogumi Inc., the studio behind the 3D CG anime film Stand By Me Doraemon, produced the film based on the children's novel Bōkensha-tachi Gamba to 15-Hiki no Nakama. Ryota Kosawa (live-action Always: Sunset on Third Street, Parasyte, Aibō, Legal High) wrote his first anime screenplay for the new film. Shirogumi vice-president Yōichi Ogawa served as chief director and project planner, and Yoshihiro Komori (Rule of Rose PlayStation 2 game) and Tomohiro Kawamura (Ukkari Penelope) jointly directed the film.

Marvel Studios co-founder and current Arad Productions producer Avi Arad (Spider-Man, Iron Man, X-Men, Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures) is serving as executive producer. Benjamin Wallfisch scored the music and conducted its performance by a full orchestra at London's famed Abbey Road Studios.

Atsuo Saitō's original 1972 novel also inspired the 1975 television anime Ganba no Bōken (The Adventures of Ganba).

It has been 24 years since the last Gamba film, 1991's Gamba to Kawauso no Bōken (The Adventures of Gamba and Sea Otter, pictured right). The new film has been in planning for 15 years and in production for 10 years, and it has a budget of 2 billion yen (US$16.7 million).

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