Studio Ghibli and GKIDS, the producer and distributor of several Best Animated Feature Oscar nominees – second only to Disney — has lined up another impressive English voice cast for their next outing: When Marnie Was There (Omoide no Marnie). Hailee Steinfeld, John C. Reilly, Vanessa Williams, Geena Davis, Kathy Bates, Ellen Burstyn and Catherine O’Hara join Kiernan Shipka, Grey Griffin, Ava Acres and Raini Roodriguez in the story about a girl who arrives at her foster home on the Japanese island of Hokkaido and meets an unusual friend named Marnie.
The film, based on the British novel by Joan G. Robinson, will be released May 22 in New York and Los Angeles, with expansion to all major markets in the following weeks. Released in Japan last summer, it was acquired by GKIDS in January.
It marks the second feature film by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, director of The Secret World of Arrietty which received critical acclaim and marked the highest-grossing Ghibli film to date in North America. The English-language version of Marnie is produced by Studio Ghibli and Geoffrey Wexler.
GKIDS and Studio Ghibli previously partnered on The Tale Of The Princess Kaguya, an Oscar nominee this for Best Animated Feature. Other recent collaborations include the 2014 documentary The Kingdom of Dreams And Madness, and the celebrated 2013 animated feature From Up On Poppy Hill. GKIDS also handles North American theatrical distribution for the Studio Ghibli library of films with titles including Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, My Neighbor Totoro, and Princess Mononoke.
GKIDS has garnered six Best Animated Feature Oscar nominations with The Secret oOf Kells in 2010, A Cat In Paris and Chico & Rita in 2012, Ernest & Celestine in 2014, and this year’s Princess Kaguya from Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata, and Song Of The Sea from Tomm Moore.