UK based Whole Hog Theatre's stage production of Princess Mononoke is playing at AiiA Theater Tokyo, from April 29 to May 6, 2013. Studio Ghibli has embraced the production, with a go-ahead from the anime movie's director Hayao Miyazaki and an adapted version of Joe Hisaishi's score. Former Ghibli president and producer Toshio Suzuki recently explained how beloved claymation series Wallace & Gromit's creator Nick Park facilitated the connection, clearing the way for the first time Ghibli has accepted a proposal for a theatrical Princess Mononoke adaptation.
Park contacted Suzuki and sent a promotion video of WHT and a clip of their stage dramatization idea for Princess Mononoke.
“As we trusted Nick and have had a close relationship,” Suzuki said, “I called Miyazaki to come and watch the video with me. After a couple of seconds, he just said: ‘Let’s do this!’ Previously, we had offers from Hollywood and big theater companies in Japan and elsewhere, but he’d never given his consent.
“So that was the moment this project began because, of course, we liked the promotion video, which showed their imaginative dance scenes — but we also liked WHT’s straightforward attitude.”
More on the connection between Whole Hog Theatre and Studio Ghibli can be read on Japan Time's account of the project's Japanese press conference.