Legendary Japanese Animation Studio Enters New Era With THE RED TURTLE
When famed filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki left Studio Ghibli after 2013’s THE WIND RISES, many wondered what would become of the beloved anime studio. Home to some of the most acclaimed and commercially successful animated films of all time, Ghibli had been commandeered for decades by the visionary Miyazaki, director of such works as MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO, SPIRITED AWAY, and KIKI’S DELIVERY SERVICE.
But while Miyazaki may have retired, leaving behind a considerable legacy in the Japanese film landscape, Studio Ghibli isn’t going anywhere. It’s just changing things up a bit.
Per Rocket News 24, the animation studio is at work on a new production, THE RED TURTLE. For TURTLE, Studio Ghibli is looking to Europe for their creative team. Dutch filmmaker Michael Dudok de Wit will be handling directing duties, while Pascale Ferran of France is writing the script.
de Wit has some big shoes to fill, following in the footsteps of Miyazaki and Isao Takahata (GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES, THE TALE OF PRINCESS KAGUYA). His hiring marks the first time a non-Japanese filmmaker has directed a Studio Ghibli work. But it won’t be de Wit’s first rodeo in the animation world – fifteen years ago, he took home an Oscar for animated short FATHER AND DAUGHTER.
Likewise, Ferran, who directed and co-wrote 2007’s critically acclaimed LADY CHATTERLY, will be both the
first woman, and the first non-Japanese talent to handle a Studio Ghibli script.
Per Rocket News 24, Takahata will return in the role of artistic producer for THE RED TURTLE, overseeing “the first time for Ghibli to produce animation for a foreign-spearheaded production.” The piece adds that “de Wit temporarily relocated to Tokyo to be closer to the Ghibli staff, with Takahata personally checking the movie’s storyboards.”
Due in September 2016, THE RED TURTLE will mark an exciting new era for Studio Ghibli, with its blend of countries and talents, voices both new to the company, and long-enshrined in its hallowed history books. Will fans challenge the inevitable turning of the tides, or embrace the changing of the guards?