Ponyo Cupcakes

Yep, that’s right – more amazing looking cupcakes courtesy of my girlfriend as a sequel to her epic Pac-Man and and Totoro ones. And damn tasty they were too. Apparently she’s got something even more special planned for her next batch. In the meantime enjoy these pics. Just putting them up here has made me so hungry.

Ponyo on a Boat (2009)

Genius…I’m speechless.

UPDATED: Displaying a staggering sense of humour fail, Ghibli have told Youtube to pull the video. Shame. Seems some people still don’t get this whole internet marketing thing yet. Ah well.

UPDATED AGAIN: And it is back – thanks to NoDeath below in the comments, who has found the video hosted elsewhere. Good work man!

UPDATED: Ponyo hits DVD in Japan in July – with English subs

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According to on-line store CD Japan, Miyazaki’s latest Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea is being released on DVD (and VHS, charmingly) on July 3rd, with the DVD also including an English subtitle track. Excellent news for European importers, and those in the US with region-free players.

Ponyo finally gets US release date

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..and it’s August 14. And yes, it is just Ponyo. Miyazaki’s latest Japanese box office record smashing movie Ponyo on the cliff by the Sea has had it’s name truncated for foreign audiences, which is fair enough. I’m not going to moan. I just want to know what the UK release date is. Or at least when the Japanese Blu-ray is coming out…

More details when, as always, I get them.

Ponyo reviews start to emerge

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As it sits proudly at the top of the Japanese box office, the first English language reviews of the latest Studio Ghibli offering Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea have started to appear on the net. I’ve had a quick read of a bunch of them, and they’re all pretty positive. Which is kind of a relief, after the disappointment of Miyazaki junior‘s Tales from Earthsea last year. But while the Ghibli family soap opera plays out in the most subtle and Japanese of ways in the background, Dad is back at the controls once again, and did any of us really doubt he still had it in him?

Ponyo on a Cliff by the Sea (2008): First Footage

Headline says it all really…the first footage from the new Ghibli movie have been shown on Japanese TV and thus are now all over the Grid.

Still no news on a US or European release date…

Apparently, after he’s finished this, Miyazaki‘s next movie is going to be about sumo wrestling mice. Which doesn’t sound mind-blowing, but this is a Ghibli film we’re talking about….not Kung Fu Panda

Panda! Go Panda! (1972): Review

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With the English language release of Ponyo imminent, and his recent promotional and speaking visit to the US causing a stir, there’s no denying that there’s a buzz around Hayao Miyazaki at the moment. And it’s a buzz that’s not just getting the attention of anime fans, but also grabbing the interest of the wider mainstream media and audiences – something that is, arguably, long overdue. As such it’s either luck or great timing that Manga Entertainment have just released Panda! Go Panda! on DVD here in the UK, and while it’s been out in the US for several years, this was the first time I’d had a chance to sit down and watch this early chapter in Miyazaki-san’s career.

Viva La Revolución

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Well, I’m back. I survived Havana – a bat-shit crazy but fantastic and beautiful city, both run-down and elgant at the same time, and where everyone that walks the street is a hustler. Sure, communism and food rationing has made it hard to find a decent meal, but who cares when the rum and cigars are so cheap. Plus the Museo de la Revolución and the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes make it worth the cost of the flight alone. Just don’t try bringing back a load of that cheap rum through Madrid airport security. Long, painful story. Of course, as always, I took a bunch of photos, which you can check out on the Flickr sideshow below – and are certainly worth a look if you have any passing interest in Che Guevara, crumbling but awe inspiring architecture, mojitos and lots (I mean LOTS) of gorgeous 1950s American muscle cars.

Miyazaki speaks

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Just in case some of you aren’t already reading Daniel Thomas MacInnes’ sublime Ghibli Blog and had missed this I thought I’d post it here – UK paper The Independent has an interview with the world’s greatest animated film-maker Hayao Miyazaki. Its a great piece – as well as a brief overview of his work, he talks about working on the forthcoming Ponyo, and why he made the decision to avoid digital techniques in it’s production: