Studio Ghibli Encore
April 18-July 2

Following 2012’s hugely popular series “Castles in the Sky: Miyazaki, Takahata and the Masters of Studio Ghibli,” this selection of Studio Ghibli favorites returns to AFI Silver for an encore presentation, now also including a new 35mm print of GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES, unavailable in 2012, and Hayao Miyazaki’s latest and declared-final masterpiece, THE WIND RISES.

AFI Member passes will be accepted at all screenings.


KIKI'S DELIVERY SERVICE 魔女の宅急便

A young witch-in-training named Kiki sets out to seek her fortune, aided by her flying broom and her faithful black cat Jiji. Settling in a picturesque seaside village, Kiki takes a job as a delivery girl for a bakery, later starting her own business, a flying-broom-powered delivery service. In a moment of self-doubt, Kiki loses her magic; now she must persevere and innovate using all the power of her imagination and self-reliance.

English-dubbed version featuring voices by Kirsten Dunst, Phil Hartman and Janeane Garofalo.

DIR/SCR/PROD Hayao Miyazaki; SCR from the novel by Eiko Kadono. Japan, 1989, color, 102 min, 35mm. Dubbed in English. RATED G

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Fri, Apr 18, 5:15; Sat, Apr 19, 11:00 a.m.; Sun, Apr 20, 11:00 a.m.;
Mon, Apr 21, 5:15

GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES 火垂るの墓

When the U.S. firebombing of Kobe leaves siblings Setsuko and Seita orphans, they are forced to fend for themselves amid the chaos of the final days of WWII. They first take shelter with an aunt, but her cold reception and reluctance to help forces them back out on the street. They next set up camp in a cave, relying on fireflies for light. At first their adventure is full of excitement and wonder, but the harsh deprivations of war soon become too real to ignore, culminating in a devastating finale. Based on a semi-autobiographical novel, Roger Ebert considered this delicate and devastating story one of the greatest war films ever made.

In Japanese with English subtitles.

DIR/SCR Isao Takahata; SCR from the novel by Akiyuki Nosaka; PROD Toru Hara. Japan, 1988, color, 89 min, DCP. In Japanese with English subtitles. NOT RATED

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Fri, Apr 18, 9:45; Sat, Apr 19, 5:00; Tue, Apr 22, 5:15;
Wed, Apr 23, 9:00

(All screenings subtitled in English.)

MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO となりのトトロ

Roger Ebert has called this "one of the five best movies" ever made for children. Two sisters move with their father to a new house in the countryside to be closer to their hospitalized mother. They soon discover that the surrounding forest is home to a family of totoros—giant, magical bunny-like creatures who live in a camphor tree and can only be seen by children. Befriending the totoros, the girls embark on a series of adventures, exploring the forest high and low. Beneath the film's playfulness and narrative simplicity lie depths of wisdom—as with much of Hayao Miyazaki's work, at its core this film is about humankind's relationship to the earth. (Note courtesy of IFC Center.)

English-dubbed version featuring voices by Dakota and Elle Fanning.

DIR/SCR Hayao Miyazaki; PROD Toru Hara. Japan, 1988, color, 86 min, DCP. Dubbed in English. RATED G

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Fri, Apr 25, 5:15; Sat, Apr 26, 11:10 a.m.; Sun, Apr 27, 11:10 a.m.;
Mon, Apr 28, 5:15; Tue, Apr 29, 5:15

PONYO 崖の上のポニョ

Legendary storyteller Hayao Miyazaki dives into the sea to explore the magical world of Ponyo, a goldfish princess who forms a friendship with the land-dwelling boy Sosuke. Enchanted by her new friend, Ponyo transforms into a little girl in order to spend more time with Sosuke on land. But will her migration throw off the delicate balance between sea and land? A beautiful tale of friendship, attuned to the sensibility of younger viewers but containing much wisdom about caring for the environment and respect for nature.

English-dubbed version featuring voices by Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Tina Fey, Liam Neeson, Betty White, Lily Tomlin and Cloris Leachman.

DIR/SCR Hayao Miyazaki; PROD Steve Alpert, Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall, Toshio Suzuki. Japan, 2008, color, 101 min, 35mm. Dubbed in English. RATED G

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Sat, May 3, 11:05 a.m.; Sun, May 4, 11:05 a.m.; Mon, May 5, 5:15

THE SECRET WORLD OF ARRIETTY 借りぐらしのアリエッティ

Based on the award-winning children’s book “The Borrowers” by Mary Norton, this animated adaption marks the feature directorial debut of Hiromasa Yonebayashi, a longtime Ghibli animator. Arrietty has recently turned 14 and is about four inches tall. She and her parents are members of a mouse-sized race of tiny people who live in the shadows of humans’ homes. Living under the floorboards, they remain out of sight, except for the occasional trip to “borrow” a cube of sugar or other necessities. But on her first big trip above the floorboards, Arrietty gets spotted by the homeowners’ 12-year-old son Shawn, and while they become quick friends, the delicate balance between the two worlds threatens to come crashing down if they are discovered.

English-dubbed version featuring voices by Saoirse Ronan, Amy Poehler, Will Arnett, Carol Burnett, Bette Midler and Mark Strong.

DIR Hiromasa Yonebayashi; SCR Hayao Miyazaki, Keiko Niwa, from “The Borrowers” by Mary Norton; PROD Toshio Suzuki. Japan, 2010, color, 94 min, 35mm. Dubbed in English. RATED G

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Fri, May 9, 5:15; Sat, May 10, 11:05 a.m.; Sun, May 11, 11:05 a.m.;
Mon, May 12, 5:15

NAUSICAÄ OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND 風の谷のナウシカ

Set in a devastated future world decimated by atmospheric poisons and swarming with gigantic insects, this is the story of a young princess, both brave and innocent, whose love for all living things and passionate determination to understand the processes of nature lead her into terrible danger, sacrifice and eventual triumph. Like most Studio Ghibli films, there is neither good nor evil, but conflicting viewpoints, weaknesses and power struggles. This debut film from Hayao Miyazaki is considered by many to be his masterwork—and there are few films, animated or otherwise, of such sweeping scope and grandeur. (Note courtesy of IFC Center.)

English-dubbed version featuring voices by Uma Thurman, Patrick Stewart and Shia LaBeouf.

DIR/SCR Hayao Miyazaki; PROD Rick Dempsey, Isao Takahata. Japan, 1984, color, 116 min, 35mm. Dubbed in English. RATED PG

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Fri, May 16, 5:00, 9:40—just added!; Sat, May 17, 11:05 a.m.;
Sun, May 18, 11:05 a.m.; Mon, May 19, 5:00

PRINCESS MONONOKE もののけ姫

This epic fable on ecology and spirituality set a new benchmark in philosophical and artistic sophistication for anime, and catapulted Hayao Miyazaki to international renown. A pack of wolf-gods and their titular warrior princess, a girl they raised from a foundling, defend their forest home from the encroachment of humans and the malefaction of marauding demons. "A landmark feat of Japanese animation from the acknowledged master of the genre." –Janet Maslin, The New York Times.

English-dubbed version featuring voices by Claire Danes, Billy Crudup, Gillian Anderson, Minnie Driver and Billy Bob Thornton; the English script adaptation is by acclaimed author Neil Gaiman.

Japanese language version with English subtitles screens May 29.

DIR/SCR Hayao Miyazaki; PROD Toshio Suzuki. Japan, 1997, color, 134 min, DCP. RATED PG-13

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Fri, May 23, 12:20; Sat, May 24, 11:00 a.m.; Mon, May 26, 11:05 a.m.; Thu, May 29, 9:15 (Subtitled in English)

THE CAT RETURNS 猫の恩返し

Walking home from school one day, schoolgirl Haru sees an odd-looking cat caught in the middle of the road as a truck speeds toward it. Thinking fast and moving even faster, she dashes into the road and scoops the cat to safety. To her surprise, the cat proceeds to rise up on his two hind feet, dust itself off, and thank her for her bravery. So begins Haru's strange adventure with the Cat Prince in the secret Kingdom of Cats.

English-dubbed version featuring voices by Anne Hathaway, Kristen Bell, Tim Curry and Andy Richter.

DIR Hiroyuki Morita; SCR Reiko Yoshida, from the comic book by Aoi Hiiragi; PROD Ned Lott, Toshio Suzuki, Nozomu Takahashi. Japan, 2002, color, 75 min, 35mm. Dubbed in English. RATED G

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Fri, May 23, 5:20; Sun, May 25, 11:00 a.m.; Tue, May 27, 5:20

CASTLE IN THE SKY 天空の城ラピュタ

Fantastic realms, magic, the joy of flight and the palpable love of nature: Studio Ghibli's inaugural production has all the elements that make Hayao Miyazaki's films beloved around the world. When a girl mysteriously falls from the sky and directly into his arms, a boy becomes involved in a wild adventure involving a secret floating city, pirates, giant robots and amazing flying contraptions. "A modernistic sci-fi fable with a subtle ecological message." –Richard Harrington, The Washington Post.

English-dubbed version featuring voices by Anna Paquin, James Van Der Beek, Cloris Leachman and Mark Hamill.

DIR/SCR Hayao Miyazaki; PROD Isao Takahata. Japan, 1986, color, 124 min, 35mm. Dubbed in English. RATED PG

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Fri, May 30, 4:30; Sun, Jun 1, 11:00 a.m.; Mon, Jun 2, 5:15

PORCO ROSSO 紅の豚

The title character of this "enthralling, endearing and mesmerizing piece of animation cinema" (Tom Mes, "The Midnight Eye Guide to New Japanese Film") is a swashbuckling tough guy aviator who just happens to be a pig. Taking off from his island hideaway, he pilots his bright red plane to do battle with pirates and other evildoers. In this eccentric adventure set in 1920s Italy, Hayao Miyazaki gives free reign to his well-known obsession with airplanes by creating numerous amazing scenes of aerial derring-do.

English-dubbed version featuring voices by Michael Keaton and Cary Elwes.

DIR/SCR Hayao Miyazaki; PROD Rick Dempsey, Toshio Suzuki. Japan, 1992, color, 94 min, 35mm. Dubbed in English. RATED PG

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Sat, May 31, 11:05 a.m.; Mon, Jun 2, 2:45; Wed, Jun 4, 2:45

FROM UP ON POPPY HILL コクリコ坂から

In the sunny seaside town of Yokohama, 16-year-old Umi begins a budding romance with fellow student and editor of the high-school newspaper, Shun. A charming period piece set in 1963, the film depicts Japan struggling to break free from its troubled past and looking forward to a promising future. This film marks the first feature collaboration between Studio Ghibli founder Hayao Miyazaki, who wrote the script, and his son, Gorō Miyazaki, who directed the film. “FROM UP ON POPPY HILL pays homage not just to pre-CGI animation at its finest but also to an entire material culture, in scenes as carefully composed as anything found in the domestic dramas of Yasujiro Ozu.” –Ann Hornaday, Washington Post.

In Japanese with English subtitles.

DIR Gorō Miyazaki; SCR Hayao Miyazaki, Keiko Niwa, from the comic by Chizuru Takahashi and Tetsurô Sayama; PROD Toshio Suzuki, Chizuru Takahashi, Tetsurô Sayama, Geoffrey Wexler. Japan, 2011, color, 91 min, DCP. In Japanese with English subtitles. RATED PG

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Fri, Jun 6, 5:15; Sat, Jun 7, 11:05 a.m.; Sun, Jun 8, 11:05 a.m.;
Mon, Jun 9, 5:30; Tue, Jun 10, 7:15; Wed, Jun 11, 3:00

(All screenings subtitled in English.)

WHISPER OF THE HEART

This masterpiece was the first and only full-length feature by Hayao Miyazaki's protégé Yoshifumi Kondô before his death at age 47. Shizuku spends her summer vacation before high school reading and translating foreign music into Japanese. Perusing the eclectic selection of books she has checked out from the library, she notices the name Seiji before hers on the checkout card of each one. Through a series of curious and magical incidents, she meets and establishes a connection to Seiji—who dreams of becoming a famous violinmaker in Italy, while she aspires to become a writer. As their goals pull them in different directions, the two are determined to remain true to their feelings for one another. (Note courtesy of IFC Center.)

English-dubbed version featuring voices by Cary Elwes, Brittany Snow and Ashley Tisdale.

DIR Yoshifumi Kondô; SCR Hayao Miyazaki, from the comic by Aoi Hiiragi; PROD Ned Lott, Toshio Suzuki. Japan, 1995, color, 111 min, 35mm. Dubbed in English. RATED G

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Fri, Jun 13, 5:00; Sat, Jun 14, 10:30 a.m.; Mon, Jun 16, 5:00

SPIRITED AWAY 千と千尋の神隠し

Teeming with mythical beasts and complex characters, Miyazaki's masterpiece won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, the Oscar for Best Animated Feature and remains the highest-grossing film in Japan's history. While out exploring, a young girl strays from her parents and stumbles into the spirit world, and is conscripted into working in a fabulous bathhouse where all manner of magical creatures come to relax. Now she must work hard and live by her wits to navigate the perils of her weird workplace and find her way home. "An out-and-out charmer. It's almost impossible to do justice in words either to the visual richness of the movie…or to the character-filled storyline." –Derek Elley, Variety.

English-dubbed version featuring voices by Daveigh Chase, Michael Chiklis, Lauren Holly and David Ogden Stiers.

Japanese language version with English subtitles screens Jun 27.

DIR/SCR Hayao Miyazaki; PROD Toshio Suzuki. Japan, 2002, color, 125 min, DCP. RATED PG

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Tue, Jun 24, 2:30; Wed, Jun 25, 2:30; Thu, Jun 26, 2:30;
Fri, Jun 27, 10:00 (Subtitled in English); Sat, Jun 28, 11:00 a.m.;
Mon, Jun 30, 2:30; Tue, Jul 1, 2:30; Wed, Jul 2, 2:30

HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE ハウルの動く城

A teenager named Sophie has her life turned upside-down when she meets a dashing young wizard named Howl and becomes caught up in a magicians' feud. Although Howl and Sophie have only just met, the jealous Witch of the Waste curses the innocent Sophie and turns her into a 90-year-old woman. Now the prematurely gray and wrinkled youngster must undertake a quest to reverse the curse, climbing aboard Howl's magical moving castle and traveling to mystical realms. 2006 Oscar Nominee, Best Animated Feature.

English-dubbed version featuring voices by Christian Bale, Emily Mortimer, Lauren Bacall, Jean Simmons and Billy Crystal.

Japanese language version with English subtitles screens Jun 26.

DIR/SCR Hayao Miyazaki, from the novel by Diana Wynne Jones; PROD Rick Dempsey, Ned Lott, Toshio Suzuki. Japan, 2004, color, 119 min, DCP. RATED PG

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Thu, Jun 26, 9:15 (Subtitled in English); Fri, Jun 27, 5:00;
Sun, Jun 29, 11:05 a.m.; Mon, Jun 30, 5:00

THE WIND RISES 風立ちぬ

The swan song of animation master Hayao Miyazaki, who has proclaimed this his final feature. This film is a fictionalized biographical portrait of Jiro Horikoshi, a gifted Japanese engineer whose greatest achievement was designing the Zero fighter planes used by Japan to wage war in Asia and the Pacific during World War II—eventually including kamikaze flights. Amid the ruins of a demolished and burning Tokyo, with Japan on the cusp of surrender, the aged Horikoshi looks back over his life and work in flashback and dream sequences. With gentle but devastating irony, Miyazaki depicts how the passion, hard work and ingenuity of an individual can be co-opted and corrupted—whether by individual hubris or the demands of society—resulting in disaster, not unlike the Greek myth of Icarus flying too close to the sun. 2014 Oscar nominee for Best Animated Feature.

In Japanese, German, Italian and French with English subtitles.

DIR/SCR Hayao Miyazaki; PROD Toshio Suzuki. Japan, 2013, color, 126 min, 35mm. In Japanese, German, Italian and French with English subtitles. RATED PG-13

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Fri, Jun 27, 7:30; Sun, Jun 29, 9:15

(All screenings subtitled in English.)