|"When Marnie Was There"|
With Hayao Miyazaki, the co-founder of legendary Studio Ghibli, retiring last summer, the studio is shutting down for a while. It may be longer than a while, but Toshio Suzuki, Studio Ghibli’s general manager, took to Japanese television to announce a “pause” in their operations. This is big news in Japan.
The studio will simply manage its back catalog for a while, retaining a skeleton staff and firing the feature film department. It's kind of a surprise, because it seemed as though the studio had been developing new talent. However, word is that despite its high quality output, the studio has been struggling financially for years. Studio Ghibli's animated feature films draw in good box office, but their costs are very high.
They still have a new film that hasn't been released to the U.S. market. No word on when that might happen, as the film has only been released in Japan so far. Reports are that this film isn't doing well in Japan, either.
The film is "When Marnie Was There." It is Studio Ghibli's latest (and perhaps last) animated feature film. It is based on the novel of the same name by Joan G. Robinson. The plot follows a sickly girl named Anna. She strikes up a friendship with the mysterious Marnie while she recuperates at a seaside town. It was released on July 19 in Japan. It was directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi.
The trailer is in Japanese, but it has an English theme song and there isn't much dialogue anyway.