Studio Ghibli’s 2014 animated feature film When Marnie Was There has been nominated in this year’s Academy Awards, which was announced on Thursday, for “Best Animated Feature Film” category.
This will be the renowned anime studio’s fifth nomination to the award-giving body since 2002, where the anime film Spirited Away bagged the award for the said category.
The anime film will be joined by other “Oscar” nominees such as Anomalisa (Charlie Kaufman, Duke Johnson and Rosa Tran, Starburns Industries/Snoot Films), Boy & the World (Alê Abreu, Filme de Papel), Inside Out (Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera, Walt Disney Pictures/Pixar Animation Studios) and Shawn the Sheep Movie (Mark Burton and Richard Starzak, Aardman Animations).
When shy, artistic Anna moves to the seaside to live with her aunt and uncle, she stumbles upon an old mansion surrounded by marshes, and the mysterious young girl, Marnie, who lives there. The two girls instantly form a unique connection and friendship that blurs the lines between fantasy and reality. As the days go by, a nearly magnetic pull draws Anna back to the Marsh House again and again, and she begins to piece together the truth surrounding her strange new friend. (Synopsis from marniefilm.com)
When Marnie Was There, also known by its Japanese title “Omoide no Mani”, is an animated feature film based on the novel “When Marnie Was There” by Joan G. Robinson.
The 2014 anime film was directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, who also directed the The Secret World of Arrietty in 2010, which was produced by Yoshiaki Nishimura. Character designs were made by Masashi Ando, which was produced in Studio Ghibli. The movie was released in Japan on July 19, 2014.
This is the final film made by the renowned studio before they announced that the film production will be on hiatus, and the “retirement” of Hayao Miyazaki.
The Japanese voice cast are lead by Kasumi Arimura as “Marnie” and Sara Takatsuki as “Anna”, while the English voice cast are lead by Kiernan Shipka as “Marnie” and Hailee Steinfeld as “Anna”.
This will be the fifth nomination by the Oscars to the renowned anime studio, the previous anime films The Wind Rises and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya was nominated in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
Guerrilla Kids International Distribution Syndicate (GKIDS), who distributes Studio Ghibli films in North America, has distributed both nominees When Marnie Was There and Boy & the World.