Studio Ghibli Fest at Naro

Friday, May 31st through Thursday, June 6th!
 
Studio Ghibli has created beautiful and thought provoking animated films that have captivated audiences for generations through exquisite storytelling and dazzling visuals, primarily through the vision of the internationally acclaimed Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki. We are so pleased to join GKIDS for the first Studio Ghibli Fest at Naro to experience the wonder of these innovative and cherished films.
 

 

 


Spirited Away

During her family’s move to the suburbs, a sullen 10-year-old girl wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches and spirits, and where humans are changed into beasts. The film that brought Ghibli to mainstream audiences. For a Western world raised on Disney traditions, Spirited Away offered something completely different – bearing an unapologetically-anime visual style and steeped in distinctly Japanese traditions. Just look at its grandiose bathhouse setting, its vibrant array of spirits, Haku’s flying dragon form, and the complex, nuanced approach to morality that’s far more complicated than the traditional good-vs-evil binary. Spirited Away feels truly mysterious and otherworldly with all kinds of unsettling imagery (Chihiro’s transformed piggy parents, and the spectral No-Face spirit in particular), anchored by an accessible coming-of-age core. (PG, 125m)

3 Screenings Saturday, June 1st – Tuesday, June 4th – Showtimes & Tickets

See trailer

Kiki’s Delivery Service

A young witch, on her mandatory year of independent life, finds fitting into a new community difficult while she supports herself by running an air courier service. With its skybound female protagonist, sarcastic feline sidekick, and gently whimsical tone, Kiki’s Delivery Service is perhaps as important as My Neighbour Totoro in defining the Ghibli template. It’s an easygoing adventure about a youngster venturing out into the world for the first time – in this case the 13-year-old witch of the title, who leaves magic school and ventures to a European-inspired town and launches a broomstick courier service. The stakes are low, which is entirely the point – but Kiki’s world is rendered beautifully, with a soaring serenity to the flight sequences. (G, 103m)

3 Screenings Saturday, June 1st – Thursday, June 6th – Showtimes & Tickets

See trailer

Howl’s Moving Castle

When an unconfident young woman is cursed with an old body by a spiteful witch, her only chance of breaking the spell lies with a self-indulgent yet insecure young wizard and his companions in his legged, walking castle. Ghibli’s follow-up to Spirited Away proved another mainstream success – a loose adaptation of Diana Wynne Jones’ fantasy novel that acts as a launch-pad for Miyazaki’s boundless creativity. The house of the title is a magnificent thing – a clanking, wheezing, steampunk-esque creation – while the burgeoning love story between the vain Howl (a wizard and sometime-birdperson) and central hero Sophie (who spends much of the runtime trapped in the body of an old woman) is swoon-worthy, bolstered by one of Joe Hisaishi’s most magical scores. (PG, 119m)

3 Screenings Saturday, June 1st – Tuesday, June 4th – Showtimes & Tickets

See trailer

My Neighbor Totoro

When two girls move to the country to be near their ailing mother, they have adventures with the wondrous forest spirits who live nearby. There’s a reason the grand, furry, forest-dwelling Totoro ultimately became Ghibli’s mascot – Miyazaki’s ode to childhood is a thing of wonder. My Neighbour Totoro is a film without a villain, a warm and cosy remembrance of youth, a love letter to rural Japan, and a paean to the magical things that exist just out of sight. Bursting with iconic creations, from its array of fuzzy Totoros, to the googly-eyed Soot Sprites and the fantastical Catbus, the film has a pure spirit that cannot be denied. If there are hints of darkness – the illness of Satsuki and Mei’s mother, hospital-bound for the duration of the film – it remains on the fringes. Ludicrously loveable. (G, 86m)

4 Screenings Friday, May 31st – Thursday, June 6th – Showtimes & Tickets

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Princess Mononke

On a journey to find the cure for a Tatarigami’s curse, Ashitaka finds himself in the middle of a war between the forest gods and Tatara, a mining colony. This is Studio Ghibli at its most epic – a thunderous medieval fantasy akin to Lord Of The Rings in its mythological scope. It’s darker and more violent than much of the studio’s fare (prepare for exploding hogs and lopped limbs a-plenty) but the harshness is balanced out by spine-tingling imagery – try not to be transfixed by the eerie beauty of the forest spirit. Taking in warring human factions, ancient oozing curses, giant wolf tribes, and marauding demons, it’s a monumental piece of folklore, thrillingly realised by Miyazaki. Bonus: its English-language dub is brilliantly handled by none other than Neil Gaiman. Featuring the voice acting of Claire Danes, Billy Bob Thornton, Gillian Anderson, Billy Crudup, and Minnie Driver. (PG-13, 134m)

4 Screenings Friday, May 31st – Wednesday, June 5th – Showtimes & Tickets

See trailer