With the retirement of Hayao Miyazaki, the future of Japan’s beloved animation studio, Studio Ghibli, became very much in doubt while fans have turned back to its previous output time and again. However, here in North America, one of the films written and directed by one of Ghibli’s founders has yet to see a release, until now. The 1991 film Only Yesterday will finally see a U.S. theatrical release this January, thanks to animation distributor GKIDS.
Only Yesterday was written and directed by co-founder Isao Takahata whose most recent (and likely final) film, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, was nominated for Best Animated Feature at the 2015 Academy Awards. Only Yesterday concerns a 27-year-old woman in 1982 Japan who reminisces about her youth in the countryside in the 1960s. The wistful drama was produced in between Takahata’s masterpiece Grave of the Fireflies and the super-weird raccoon-dog comedy Pom Poko.
We already told you a few months ago about GKIDS acquiring the rights to Only Yesterday and remastering it along with recording a brand new English-dub track featuring the likes of Star Wars‘ Daisy Ridley and Slumdog Millionaire‘s Dev Patel. The film is only the latest in the relationship between Studio Ghibli and GKIDS which has also successfully distributed Kaguya, last year’s When Marnie Was There, Goro Miyazaki’s From Up on Poppy Hill, and the documentary The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness about the making of Hayao Miyazaki’s final film, The Wind Rises.
Only Yesterday will begin its U.S. run on January 1, 2016 at New York City’s IFC Center and a nationwide expansion is expected in February.
Are you excited to see this “lost” Ghibli classic? What’s your favorite Isao Takahata film? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Image: Studio Ghibli
Kyle Anderson is the Weekend Editor and a film and TV critic for Nerdist.com. Follow him on Twitter!