Studio Ghibli announces new projects

An illustration from Ponyo Above a Cliff revealed on Japanese TV recently

Studio Ghibli, the anime studio you have no excuse for having not heard of, recently announced two new projects that they have underway: a DVD and Blu-Ray release set for July this year, and Hayao Miyazaki's next turn in the director's chair.

Miyazaki's film, which is on course for a theatrical release in summer 2008, is entitled "Gaku no Ue no Ponyo", or "Ponyo Above a Cliff". Speaking on the Japanese news programme NNN News Real Time, Miyazaki revealed that the story will centre on a five-year-old boy named Sousuke and his pet goldfish Ponyo, who is in fact a goldfish princess and wishes to become human. Location scouting apparently began last summer, with production kicking off in October 2006. One illustration was also shown, which depicts Sousuke holding a bucket containing Ponyo. It's far too early to speculate on international release dates, of course, but 2009 is probably a reasonable estimate. Of course, rights issues are also holding Goro Miyazaki's Earthsea film back until 2009, so could we possibly see two Miyazaki projects in one year? Now there's a fun thought.

Studio Ghibli's second project is called Iblard Time and is a collaboration with artist Naohisa Inoue, who provided several pieces of background and reference art for Ghibli's 1995 film Whisper of the Heart. The film will depict the fantasy world of Iblard, which Inoue created for his paintings, and will consist of a combination of CGI and 2D animated characters. It's set for release on 4 July this year, on DVD and Blu-Ray, as part of Studio Ghibli's "Ghibli ga Ippai Collection", which will also come bundled with a soundtrack CD. You can check out Inoue's artwork on his official website, Iblard.com (site is available in Japanese, English, French and Chinese).

Source: Anime News Network