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Ronia the Robber’s Daughter – Amazon To Stream Studio Ghibli

October 22
ronia robbers daughter

The U.S. will finally be getting some Studio Ghibli streaming in the U.S. in the form of the television series adaptation of Ronia the Robber’s Daughter.

For those that don’t know Ronia the Robber’s Daughter – Sanzoku no Musume Rōnya in Japan – is the first television series that Studio Ghibli has had a substantial hand in, as the famed animation studio co-produced it and it’s directed by Goro Miyazaki, the son of legendary director/artist/animator Hayao Miyazaki.

Studio Ghibli has made some of my favorite movies of all time, rarely has a misstep, and has been a point of frustration for me in regards to not being conveniently available in the U.S.  I’ve always hoped that Disney would make a stronger bridges for Studio Ghibli, as they have distributed the English dubs of Ghibli films in the U.S. – including one that’s one of my Top 10 Movies of 2016 in Only Yesterday. To illustrate my frustration, Only Yesterday was originally released in Japan in 1991, and the U.S. just got its dubbed version featuring the voice of Daisy Ridley in the lead this year. Here is the Japanese trailer for the show, which debuted in 2014.

For those that don’t know Ronia the Robber’s Daughter – Sanzoku no Musume Rōnya in Japan – is the first television series that Studio Ghibli has had a substantial hand in, as the famed animation studio co-produced it and it’s directed by Goro Miyazaki, the son of legendary director/artist/animator Hayao Miyazaki.

Studio Ghibli has made some of my favorite movies of all time, rarely has a misstep, and has been a point of frustration for me in regards to not being conveniently available in the U.S.  I’ve always hoped that Disney would make a stronger bridges for Studio Ghibli, as they have distributed the English dubs of Ghibli films in the U.S. – including one that’s one of my Top 10 Movies of 2016 in Only Yesterday. To illustrate my frustration, Only Yesterday was originally released in Japan in 1991, and the U.S. just got its dubbed version featuring the voice of Daisy Ridley in the lead this year. Here is the Japanese trailer for the show, which debuted in 2014.

As a fan of Studio Ghibli you can identify familiar Ghibli traits but I think the actual animation is not up to snuff. Both the art design and direction feel reminiscent of Studio Ghibli quality but the animation is, frankly, subpar. Watch a clip or trailer of any Studio Ghibli film and you will see an unmistakable quality that feels, at least to me, not present here.

Goro Miyazaki has directed two Studio Ghibli films, Tales from Earthsea and From Up On Poppy Hill. Both were based on existing material and the latter film was much better received than Earthsea, which while definitely not among Ghibli’s best films by a longshot, I still thought was a decent enough feature even if barely being recognizable to even me, a major fan, of Ursula Le Guin’s original source material, and indeed her entire catalog. I do respect the gravity of the task set on Goro though. It would be congruent to Walt Disney’s son working on his first project in the same building as his legendary father. Decent enough is not really cutting it in Studio Ghibli, kind of like Brave or The Good Dinosaur for Pixar, though at least they still both looked amazing, where Earthsea even felt slightly off visually from the previous Ghibli standard.

We should be getting Ronia the Robber’s Daughter on Amazon Prime sometime next year, the whole 26-episode slate, and it will be narrated by Gillian Anderson of X-Files fame. Here is the bit about Ronja from Amazon’s press release:

The Emmy Award-winning Ronia The Robber’s Daughter is an adaptation of the wildly popular children’s fantasy book of the same name by noted Swedish author Astrid Lindgren (Pippi Longstocking). The series is directed by Gorō Miyazaki and presented by the Academy Award-winning Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle) and Saltkrakan (the Astrid Lindgren Company). Ronja The Robber’s Daughter is narrated by Golden Globe Award-winning actress Gillian Anderson (The X-Files); an epic 26-part animated story of a strong, adventurous young girl who grows up exploring a beautiful and dangerous forest filled with mythical creatures. The daughter of a professional robber, Ronja realizes the complicated nature of her father’s profession when she befriends Birk, the child of a rival tribe. Ronja struggles to balance the relationship with her family and the bond with her self-proclaimed brother Birk as she comes to understand the intricate issues of family and friendship and how differences can be overcome with the help of love and understanding.

Hopefully we will get more of Studio Ghibli’s almost unparalleled library of films available for streaming soon. Been hoping to see a Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon announce such news forever.

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