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GKids Acquires Rights to Studio Ghibli Doc 'The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness'

Photo of Jacob Combs By Jacob Combs | Thompson on Hollywood June 12, 2014 at 1:25PM

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."
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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.

"Kingdom" is screening today at the Annecy Festival in France and will screen this weekend at the Sydney Film Festival.  It's due out this fall in theaters--in Japan at least.

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.

This article is related to: Hayao Miyazaki, Documentary, The Wind Rises, GKIDS, Studio Ghibli


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.