While Disney will always hold a special place in my heart, they will forever play second fiddle to the magic, wonderment, and sheer awe induced by the works of Studio Ghibli. The famed Japanese animation house, founded by Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, is responsible for creating everlasting works like Princess Mononoke, My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind and too many more to count. (If you want to do a deep dive into all of them, check out Kyle Anderson’s excellent Miyazaki Masterclass series.) While their works are beloved all over the world, the studio itself has maintained an air of mystery, developing a reputation for being a cloistered, sequestered bunch of creatives that quietly churn out great work. Now, for the first time ever, Studio Ghibli has opened its doors to a camera crew and provided unfettered access to filmmakers in the new documentary The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness.
Available today on DVD and VOD from GKIDS and Cinedigm, and directed by Mami Sunada, The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness offers a compelling profile of the internationally acclaimed animation house. The film follows the three most important members of Studio Ghibli — director Hayao Miyazaki, producer Toshio Suzuki, and the so-called “other director” Isao Takahata — over the course of a year as the studio scrambles to complete two films, Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises and Takahata’s The Tale of Princess Kaguya. To celebrate the release, we have an exclusive clip for your viewing pleasure:
The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness is available now on DVD, VOD, and digital download.