If you’re into animation, a new Studio Ghibli pic is always welcomed news. Today, GKIDS said it has picked up North American rights to When Marnie Was There. The indie distributor plans a spring theatrical release for an English-language version of the Hiromasa Yonebayashi-directed pic about friendship and discovery. Released in Japan last summer by the Hayao Miyazaki co-formed anime studio, the feature is based on Joan G. Robinson’s children’s novel from the 1980s.
The Marnie deal was put together by GKIDS founder Eric Beckman and Geoffrey Wexler from Studio Ghibli.
This, of course, is not the first time the two companies have worked together. GKIDS handles Stateside distribution for the highly valued the Studio Ghibli library. Among other projects, the two recently partnered on The Tale Of The Princess Kaguya. The first film directed by Ghibli’s other co-founder Isao Takahata in 14 years, Princess Kaguya is a favorite for snagging an Oscar nomination tomorrow in the Best Animated Feature category. Last year, Miyazaki’s publicly announced last animated feature The Wind Rises was up for the Oscar in the Best Animated category (the award went to Disney’s blockbuster Frozen).
GKIDS’ Song Of The Sea could also see a nomination tomorrow, which would mark a repeat of the 84th Academy Awards when the company had both Chico And Rita and A Cat In Paris up for noms; the Paramount-distributed Rango won that year. Last year, GKIDS got an animated Oscar nomination for the French-Belgian feature Ernest & Celestine.