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Yes, No, Maybe So: The Tale of Princess Kaguya

Tim here, with a peek at the new trailer for one of the year's biggest remaining animated releases. "Big" in the sense of "very, very small, but of peerless interest to animation buffs". Namely, The Tale of Princess Kaguya, the latest film by Studio Ghibli, and the second-to-last before their indefinite leave of absence. It's just a teaser, but with less than two months before GKIDS releases the film, it's probably the best we're going to get.


  • Director Isao Takahata's films aren't as widely known in the States as his colleague Hayao Miyazaki's, but they might honestly be better on a title-by-title basis. He favors simple, human-driven scenarios, which he then depicts using innovative, unconventional visual styles.
  • Like this visual style, for example:

    Whatever else it is, the colored-pencil look is going to make it the most unique animated film of 2014.
  • So dramatic! The ominous music, the non-stop momentum, the collection of mysterious locations. I have no clue what's going on, but it's obviously very serious.


  • GKIDS isn't releasing a version with the original Japanese audio to theaters, and their dub cast doesn't raise a lot of hope: Dean Cain? Mary Steenburgen? Beau Bridges? The '90s wants their B-listers back.

Maybe So

  • There's absolutely nothing here to indicate the content, so it's selling the movie entirely on two brand names, Ghibli and Takahata. Those are trustworthy brand names, but not infallible.

I'm 100% a Yes on this one. Takahata isn't infallible, but he's damn close, and the artwork, especially in movement, is eye-wateringly beautiful.

Who else is joining me in the YES column for this one?

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Reader Comments (9)


It's from the man who made the magnificent Grave of the Fireflies (for me, the best movie from the Ghibli studios and a real contender for best animated movie of all time), so I couldn't say otherwise.

Moreover, the trailer looks beautiful. Can't wait.

August 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJorge Rodrigues


August 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan

Hey, Mary Steenburgen is awesome!

This looks fucking gorgeous. I'm all YES.

August 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSad man

Like... Duh!
I LOVE watercoloring Style in animated movies and I love the tale of Princess Kaguya.
Can only be great imo.

August 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSonja

Sad man: Eh, if your budget level forces a choice between "pro voice actor pack" and "B-list film actor pack", go with the former. That one, at least, gives you more credibility with animation uber fans, where the latter choice alienates both them AND the mainstream.

August 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Volvagia: Yes, I agree with you, It seems weird for this particular movie even more so. But I just felt bad for Mary, I really like her.

August 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSad man

I'm in the minority in preferring dubbed voices for animation. It lets me concentrate on the visuals without being distracted by having to read. Beau Bridges has done GENIUS work on Masters of Sex, so he can do anything as far as I'm concerned.

August 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah Lipp

Its beautiful and the movement is incredible.

As for the voices, I'm more worried about the different accents working together than the actors behind them.

August 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

Yes! Though the animation is so jittery (though beautiful) that I fear it might give me a headache. But whatever, I'll endure it. I'm hoping I can catch this at TIFF next month so as to avoid the dubbed version when it hits theaters later in the fall.

August 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRoark

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