Shimajirō Kids' Anime Gets 4th Theatrical Film

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Shimajirō to Ehon no Kuni film opens on March 11

Benesse Corporation announced on Friday that it will release the fourth film centered on its Shimajirō character on March 11. The film's title is Shimajirō to Ehon no Kuni (Shimajirō and the Country of the Picture Book).

The film's story begins when Shimajiō and his friends go to the sea and find a picture book that Shimajirō had treasured in his childhood. When they hear a voice beckoning them from the book, they are drawn into the world of the book. There, they meet Puni-tan, and find a town of sweets in the middle of a forest. Shimajirō must find a way to return to his world.

Similar to the format of the character's previous three theatrical films, the new film will incorporate a live-action, interactive part to keep children's attention and create a better theater-going experience. The live-action first half of the 60-minute show, for which theaters will only dim their lights to half brightness, will include song, dance, and a quiz. In addition, there will be a call and response component where children can respond to Shimajirō using a megaphone that will be distributed to theater-goers.

Besides Shimajirō, the films also feature characters created under the company's young child education brand Kodomo Challenge.

Isamu Hirabayashi is serving as overall director of the film project, while Hiroshi Kawamata is directing the film's anime segments at The Answer Studio. Takashi Yamada is penning the script.

The character's first film Shimajirō to Fufu no Daibōken ~Sukue! Nanairo no Hana~ (Shimajiro and Fufu's Great Adventure ~Rescue! Seven-colored Flower~) opened in 2013, and the second film Shimajirō to Kujira no Uta (Shimajirō and the Whale's Song) opened in 2014. The third film opened on March 13.

The original Shima Shima Tora no Shimajirou television anime aired in Japan from 1993 to 2008. The sequel Hakken Taiken Daisuki! Shimajirō aired from 2008 to 2010 and continued under the new title Shimajirō Hesoka from April 2010 to March 2012. The Shimajirō no Wow! anime series premiered in 2012, and was nominated in the Animation category of the International Emmy Kids Awards in October, alongside Studio Ghibli and POLYGON PICTURES' Ronia the Robber's Daughter television anime series.

Source: Anime! Anime!

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