Isao Takahata's new film, an animated retelling of Japanese folktale The Tale Of The Bamboo Cutter, was previously expected for release this month. It was going to sit in a double bill with Hayao Miyazaki's aerospace engineering biopic, The Wind Rises.
The idea was, I think, a repeat of 1988's "Best. Double Bill. Ever" when we were blessed by Grave of the Fireflies and My Neighbour Totoro in the Studio Ghibli double threat that Bleeding Cool still write and talk about today.
As it happens, Miyazaki's picture is being released in just a couple weeks but Takahata's Bamboo Cutter won't be along for a few months yet.
The majority of Ghibli pictures have a similar look. A handful stand out – maybe none more so than Takahata's My Neighbours the Yamadas, his last film of almost a decade and half ago. Now he's back, and he's gone off piste again for Bamboo Cutter, as you'll see in this first footage.
That baby is Kaguya-hime and she's a miracle, found growing in a stalk of bamboo by an old, childless bamboo cutter who then raises her as his own. The story is well known in Japan, and it's more of a tease than a spoiler that the film's poster promises:
A princess's crime and punishment
The painted look of the film is very striking, and may well explain the few months worth of delay. It's also reason enough to make this picture a lot more immediately, if perhaps only superficially, appealing than The Wind Rises.
Thanks to ANN for the video.