After Studio Ghibli announced in 2014 that it would shutting down film production in the wake of co-founder Hayao Miyazaki’s retirement, anime fans were left in mourning.
However, Studio Ghibli fans in the West finally had reason to celebrate today after Amazon announced that it was picking up three new children’s series for its Prime streaming service, one of which is Studio Ghibli’s first ever TV show, Ronja the Robber’s Daughter – directed by Goro Miyazaki, the son of Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki (best known for his work on Tales from Earthsea and From Up on Poppy Hill), and animated by CGI animation studio Polygon.
The series is based on a fantasy novel by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren (yes, that Astrid Lindgren), following the adventures of the adolescent daughter of a professional robber (Ronja) whose friendship with a member of a rival gang (Birk) makes her life very complicated indeed… and that’s before you take account of the slew of strange creatures she encounters in the enchanted forest!
Although the series aired in Japan between October 2014 and March 2015 and has already gained critical acclaim (winning Best 2D Animation at the Asian Television Awards and an International Emmy in the Kids/Animation category), this is the first time the 26-episode series will be dubbed and aired abroad. The series is due to premiere on Amazon in the US, UK, Germany and Austria later this year (exact date TBC).
The main changes will, of course, be the language – this new English dub will see The X-Files‘ Gillian Anderson take up the mic again (having voiced Moro in the English dub of Ghibli’s Princess Mononoke) as narrator; no doubt she will soon be joined by an all-star cast.
If you’d like a sneak peek, take a look at the Japanese trailer here.
(Images: Studio Ghibli, Wikipedia)