Animation distributor GKids has acquired the North American rights to "The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness," a new documentary about the powerhouse Japanese animation shop "Studio Ghibli."
Director Mami Sunada, whose 2011 documentary "Death of a Japanese Salesman" told the story of the illness and death of her father, was granted unprecedented access into the usually-insular Studio Ghibli. During her time at Ghibli, she followed three of the studio's most important men: legendary director Hayao Miyazaki, producer Toshio Suzuki and Isao Takahata, the studio's "other director" who has been the driving force behind many of Ghibli's non-Miyazaki hits.
Sunada filmed for a year as Studio Ghibli raced to finish Miyazaki's "The Wind Rises" (Anne Thompson's interview with Miyazaki here, Studio Ghibli exec Jeffrey Wexler here) as well as Takahata's "The Tale of Princess Kaguya," both of which were released in Japan in 2013.
As a distributor, GKids also currently holds the North American theatrical rights to the entire Ghibli library. It will release "Princess Kaguya" in the U.S. this fall for awards consideration.
Check out an extended look at "The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness" below.