Film aims to depicts realistic Hokkaido world of modern kids
Secret World of Arrietty director Hiromasa Yonebayashi will again be helming a Studio Ghibli adaptation of a British children's novel with the revered animation house planning an anime movie based on Joan G. Robinson's When Marnie Was There for July [email protected]_intl has been posting media from this first Ghibli movie made without the direct involvement of co-founders Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata.
Illustrated by Paddington Bear's Peggy Fortnum, the novel follows a girl who moves with her older foster parent to coastal Norfolk, where the lonely girl forms her first friendship with the ghostly Marnie, haunting the March House.
Ghibli producer Yoshiaki Nishimura spoke to The Asahi Shimbun about the movie and its writer/director Hiromasa Yonebayashi, nicknamed "Maro."
"Maro is working on (the movie) with a strong determination, saying 'I don't want to hear people say it is the best we can do without Takahata and Miyazaki."
Miyazaki loves the story. But he said he couldn't make it into a movie because it was too difficult for him. "Heroines in Miyazaki's movies are young girls who are idealized, but Anna is a realistic girl," Nishimura said.
It is Yonebayashi's hope that the film will resonate with children. Referring to a friend, whose son is a junior high school student, Nishimura added: "I hear that his son finds 300 text messages on his smartphone via his Line (free call and messaging app) account every morning. This is a time when you have to know how to swim with the tide, and Anna loses track of herself. This is a story about a girl who is the most straightforward in Ghibli's works."
Nishimura also notes that this will be the first Ghibli movie to be set in Japan's northernmost main island.
"In Hokkaido, you can't expect to see a clear and blue sky too often," Nishimura said. "The Ghibli world is all about the blue sky and white clouds. (The gray sky) provides a backdrop for Anna's mind, but it is also a challenge to draw a sky which is not clear and blue."