It prompted a six minute standing ovation on its premiere at the Venice Film Festival, it's by the guy who brought us no less than five of the films in our Essentials list... To say that we would offer limbs to see Hayao Miyazaki's latest film - Howl's Moving Castle - is no understatement. Based on a popular children's fantasy novel by Welsh author Diana Wynne-Jones, Howl's Moving Castle has drawn plaudits from critics across the globe, and we will be amongst the first in line when it hits UK cinema screens in the last quarter of 2005.
Howl's Moving Castle isn't the only Ghibli title
Optimum will be bringing our way in 2005 though, we will also be treated to the Cinema and DVD
release of The Cat Returns. Although not directed by either Hayao
Miyazaki or Isao Takahata, The Cat Returns is great fun and will most
likely prove popular with family audiences. No details of other titles
have been announced as yet, but we would not be surprised to see some more high
quality films - perhaps further Ghibli releases.
Although only two anime titles were released on the Optimum
Asia label in 2004, and only two more are currently announced for this year,
we are looking forward to big things in 2005. Optimum are in the
great position of not being entirely focused on anime and having a bit of money,
this means they are under no pressure to release a set number of titles per
month and spread their budget around needlessly. We have been informed
that Optimum are looking at a number of, as yet, unnamed anime titles for
potential release, but the focus is firmly on quality over quantity. This
attitude is something that excites us, the potential is here for a release
schedule of unrivalled quality and we will most definitely be keeping a close
eye on their releases in the next twelve months.
New Titles Confirmed For Release in 2005
Howl's Moving Castle (September TBC - Cinema)
The Cat Returns (March - Cinema; TBC - DVD)
Millennium Actress - Unusual psychological drama