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Ghibli's When Marnie Was There Anime Nominated for Oscar

posted on by Egan Loo
Competes with Anomalisa, Boy & the World, Inside Out, Shaun the Sheep for Best Animated Feature

Directors Guillermo del Toro and Ang Lee announced on Thursday that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has nominated Studio Ghibli's When Marnie Was There for the Animated Feature Film category of the 88th Academy Awards. It is competing against Anomalisa, Boy and the World, Inside Out, and Shaun the Sheep Movie.

Mamoru Hosoda's The Boy and The Beast and the religious anime film The Laws of the Universe Part 0 were also eligible for the Animated Feature Film category, but neither received a nomination. When Marnie Was There's theme song "Fine on the Outside" was eligible for the Original Song category, but it did not earn a nomination.

The awards ceremony will be held on February 28.

GKIDS, the North American distributor for When Marnie Was There, describes the film's story:

Sent from her foster home in the city one summer to a sleepy town by the sea in Hokkaido, Anna dreams her days away among the marshes. She believes she's outside the invisible magic circle to which most people belong – and shuts herself off from everyone around her, wearing her “ordinary face.” Anna never expected to meet a friend like Marnie, who does not judge Anna for being just what she is. But no sooner has Anna learned the loveliness of friendship than she begins to wonder about her newfound friend...

When Marnie Was There adapts Joan G. Robinson's classic English children's novel of the same name. In his second film, director Hiromasa Yonebayashi (2010's The Secret World of Arrietty) has shifted the setting from the novel's Great Britain to a Japanese village on the shores of Hokkaido. Yonebayashi wrote the screenplay with Keiko Niwa (The Secret World of Arrietty) and Masashi Ando (A Letter to Momo, Spirited Away and Paprika). Ando also handled the character designs and animation direction. Takatsugu Muramatsu composed the film's soundtrack.

The film premiered in Japan in July 2014, and it then premiered in North America at The New York International Children's Film Festival (NYICFF) in February. The film shipped on home video in North America on October 6. The Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) nominated the film for the Best Animated Feature Film category, alongside Keiichi Hara's Miss Hokusai.

Mizuho Nishikubo and Production I.G's Giovanni's Island and Isao Takahata and Studio Ghibli's The Tale of the Princess Kaguya were submitted for the nominations last year, but only The Tale of the Princess Kaguya was nominated. Big Hero 6 eventually won the award.

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