January 18, 2007
Studio Ghibli has recently announced it would begin to release foreign animation films for the Japanese market. Alexander Petrov's film My Love will play at the Cinema Angelika in Shibuya on March 17.

Ghibli plans to release four new foreign films each year in Japan; one for each season. Coming this summer will be French director Michel Ocelot's Azur et Asmar.

In an homage to great animated works of the past, the Ghibli Museum will also release selected Western films on DVD. The first choice is Paul Grimault's The King and Mockingbird (Le Roi et l'oiseau) from 1980; the DVD will be out in April. (You can see a trailer here; keep an eye on our upcoming releases if you want your own copy.)

Fans eager to hear about the next Ghibli movie are forced to continue to speculate, as Toshio Suzuki will not announce the director and title until March.

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Splendid news! I do hope that both of these films will be released on English-subtitled DVDs eventually, though. "Le roi et l'oiseau" is one of the great classics of European animation, and "My Love" is an astounding paint-on-glass-animated film by Oscar-winning animator Aleksandr Petrov. You can see a clip from "My Love" over here:

It was released in 2006 at the Hiroshima International Animation Festival and won the "Audience Prize" and the "Special International Jury Prize". Hopefully it'll win the Oscar too, though I'm a bit puzzled about why it hasn't been shown anywhere except at Hiroshima yet. I just can't figure out why no other animation festival has shown the film - it seems extremely odd, considering Petrov's reputation and (judging by the video) the film's amazing quality.
Le Roi et l'oiseau was released as a region 1 DVD by TVA Films in 2005, however I think it is no longer in print.

It's great that these films are getting new life on DVD.
I thought it was out of print too, but it turns out that Amazon.ca still has Le Roi et l'oiseau available as a Region 1 DVD.
Yeah, it's still in print, but it has no English subtitles. I don't care about the region - I have a multi-region DVD player. But subtitles are crucial.
The Ghibli release will only have Japanese subtitles; I don't know if that'll work out for you.

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