Brow Beat

The Tale of Princess Kaguya Looks Like a Stunning Return to Form for Isao Takahata

Princess Kaguya.

Still from YouTube

The Tale of Princess Kaguya, Studio Ghibli’s latest film, was released in Japan last year to rave reviews. In March, independent distributor GKIDS announced that they’d bought the U.S. rights for the film, and they’ve finally released the first teaser for its stateside release. It’s a short glimpse that doesn’t reveal much plot, but what we see is haunting, beautiful, and more than enough to predict another Ghibli masterpiece.

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Perhaps the main draw is the animation—Kaguya is rendered in a gorgeous, shadow-sketched style, with blurry outlines and a muted palette. The other reason to rejoice is director Isao Takahata: the co-founder of Studio Ghibli, along with the much better-known Hayao Miyazaki, Takahata is the underrated talent whose last directorial effort was 1999’s My Neighbor the Yamadas. His work also includes Grave of the Fireflies, which is not only a hidden gem in the Ghibli back catalog but, as Roger Ebert once stated, “one of the greatest war films ever made.” Kaguya is out Oct. 17.  

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