The CCA presents Castles in the Sky: Miyazaki, Takahata and the Masters of Studio Ghibli

Editor | - April 18, 2012

"Santa Fe is one of a few cities to host this historic film series featuring 14 Studio Ghibli features in newly restored 35mm prints"

Disney. Warner Brothers. Pixar. And ... Studio Ghibli. Tokyo's animation studio, though less known in America than other animation giants, has for more than 25 years created iconic imaginary worlds and unforgettable stories for fans around the globe. The films by Hayao Miyazaki, Isao Takahata and others feature eye-popping visuals, strong characters (including the female heroes missing for much of Disney's history) and an unparalleled sensitivity to the natural and spiritual worlds.

While recent Studio Ghibli's films, including the Oscar-winning "Spirited Away" and the hit "Ponyo," have reached millions of viewers worldwide, others are rarities available only on video. Santa Fe is one of the few cities to host this historic series, featuring 14 Studio Ghibli features in newly restored 35mm prints. Don't miss this once-in-a-lifetime event, accessible to children, families and all fans of masterful cinema.

Below are descriptions and showtimes for each film in the series, which runs from May 11 to Aug. 10.

Spirited Away - Friday 5:30p May 11 / 10:30a and 12:45p Saturday & Sunday May 12-13
"Epic and marvelous! Phantasmagoric!" ~ The New York Times
The biggest box office hit in Japanese history, this groundbreaking film follows a girl who separates from her parents at a carnival and stumbles into a world where spirits gather to refresh, relax and recharge. Japanese myth, Lewis Carroll-like whimsy and a surprising, gripping plot make this one of Miyazaki's most beloved films. (Japan, 2002, 124m, new 35mm print, in Japanese with English subtitles, recommended for ages 9 and up)

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind - 5:30p Friday May 18 / 10:30a & 12:45p Saturday & Sunday May 19 and 20*
Hayao Miyazaki's debut feature, one of cinema's great classics, is set in a dystopic, toxic world overrun by gigantic insects. With humanity on the verge of mutual destruction, a brave, innocent princess shows her determination to bring all living things into peace. With a transcendently beautiful vision of the toxic forests, which prove their ability to heal themselves, and thrilling action scenes, this remains, more than 25 years after its creation, one of the most moving environmental films yet made. (Japan, 1984, 116m, in Japanese with English subtitles, for ages 8 and up)
*Shown in dubbed version with the voices of Uma Thurman, Shia LeBouf, Patrick Stewart, Edward James Olmos and Mark Hamill

Castle in the Sky - 5:30p Friday May 25 / 10:30a & 12:45p Saturday & Sunday May 26 and 27
Hayao Miyazaki tells the story of a young girl with a mysterious crystal pendant who falls out of the sky and into the arms and life of young Pazu. Together they search for a floating island in the sky, site of a long-dead civilization promising enormous wealth and power to those who can unlock its secrets.
(Japan, 1986, 124m, Japanese with English subtitles, new 35mm print, recommended for age 7 and up)

My Neighbor Totoro - 5:30p Friday June 1 / 11a & 12:45p Saturday & Sunday June 2 and 3 
"One of the five best children's films ever made." ~ Roger Ebert
Upon arriving at a new house, two sisters discover a secret world of fantastical creatures living in the surrounding forest. Drawn from Shinto beliefs about balance, mind-bendingly inventive and filled with humor and majesty, Hayao Miyazaki's film invokes all of the beauty, mystery and preciousness of the world around us. Featuring the voices of Dakota and Elle Fanning and Tim Daly. (Japan, 1988, 86m, new 35mm print, recommended for all ages)

Pom Poko - 5:30p Friday June 8 / 10:30a Saturday & Sunday June 9 and 10
In this brilliant but overlooked masterpiece, the forests are filled with groups of magical tanuki, mischievous raccoon-like animals from Japanese folklore that are capable of shape-shifting from their standard raccoon form to practically any object. Spending their days playing idly in the hillsides and squabbling over food, their way of life is threatened with the construction of a huge new Tokyo suburb ... until they find a magical way to fight back. Featuring the voices of John DiMaggio and J.K. Simmons. (d. Isao Takahata, Japan, 1994, 119m, recommended for ages 8 and up)

Kiki's Delivery Service - 5:30p Friday June 15 / 11a and 12:45p Saturday & Sunday June 16 and 17
One of Hayao Miyazaki's most charming works tells the story of a resourceful young witch who uses her broom to create a delivery service. But, in a moment of self-doubt, she loses her gift. Set in a coastal town, featuring stunning animation that presages PONYO, this is an unforgettable and timeless tale of a young girl finding her way in the world.  Featuring the voices of Kirsten Dunst, Phil Hartman, Janeane Garofalo, Brad Garrett and Debbie Reynolds. (Japan, 1989, 102m, new 35mm print, recommended for all ages)

My Neighbors the Yamadas - 5:30p Friday June 22 / 11a Saturday & Sunday June 23 and 24
A quirky family's hilarious and touching adventures are brilliantly presented in a unique, visually striking comic strip style. A husband and wife (who has no talent for housework) a grandmother, a teenage son longing for "cool" parents and a pesky daughter with a bullhorn voice navigate work, school and family life together—even the dog has issues! Featuring the voices of Jim Belushi and Molly Shannon. (Japan, 104m, new 35mm print, recommended for ages 9 and up)   

Porco Rosso - 5:30p Friday June 29 / 11a Saturday & Sunday June 30 and July 1
A tribute to aviation, Hayao Miyazaki's rarely seen adventure is set during World War II, as a flying ace who has been cursed with the head of a pig rather than a human head struggles to rediscover his humanity after meeting an aspiring airplane designer. Perhaps cinema's greatest master of aerial scenes, Miyazaki goes all out with air pirates and rival aces, eye-bending scenes of the sky in every condition and aircraft that will make any aviation buff dizzy with joy. Featuring the voices of Michael Keaton, Brad Garrett, Cary Elwes and David Ogden Stiers. (Japan, 1992, 93m, new 35mm print, recommended for ages 8 and up)

Princess Mononoke - 5:30 Friday July 6 / 10:30a Saturday & Sunday July 7 and 8
"Exotically beautiful ... breathtakingly rendered ... it's the film's stirring use of nature, myth and history that make it so special." ~ The New York Times
Animation's unsurpassed epic, Hayao Miyazaki's film follows a battle between humans, gods and nature. It includes several iconic characters: a demonic boar-drawn as a furious tangle of pulsating wormlike strands; the hero Ashitaka, cursed after being wounded; the god-like Princess Monokoke, with her blood-smeared face, astride a white wolf; and the Forest Spirit, who brings the earth to life with each step he takes. Featuring the voices of Billy Crudup, Claire Danes, Gillian Anderson, Minnie Driver, Billy Bob Thornton, Jada Pinkett Smith, and John DiMaggio.
(Japan, 1997, 134m, new 35mm print, recommended for ages 11 and up; features intense battle scenes)

Only Yesterday - 5:30p Friday July 13 / 10:30a Saturday & Sunday July 14 and 15
Directed by Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata , this grown-up film offers a leap forward in animation, using the form to explore the emotional life and memories of a 27-year-old woman. Flowing lyrically between time periods, as she thinks about her adult life today and her childhood self, the woman wonders how she lost the dreams she had as a youth, remembering school-age romances and the growing pains she survived. A landmark in Japanese cinema, it has been seen only rarely in the U.S., and never before on the big screen. (Japan, 1991, 118m, new 35mm print, in Japanese with English subtitles, recommended for ages 10 and up)

Whisper of the Heart - 5:30p Friday July 20 / 11a Saturday & Sunday July 21 and 22
The only feature made by Yoshifumi Kondo before his sudden death, this classic of Japanese cinema follows two music-obsessed teens who become fast friends after discovering a surprising connection to each other. As life gradually pulls apart, they find their creativity spilling out in ways that will define them forever. One of the sweetest romances in any form, this rarely seen film is a classic in Japan.
(Japan, 1995, 111m, new 35mm print, recommended for ages 9 and up)

The Cat Returns - 5:30p Friday July 27 / 11a Saturday & Sunday July 28 and 29
After rescuing a cat in traffic, a quiet suburban schoolgirl is paid a visit by the King of Cats, and then pulled into a fantastical feline world. Asked to make a choice—to become someone truly special in a hidden universe, or return home—she must find her inner strength. Featuring the voices of Anne Hathaway, Cary Elwes, Peter Boyle, Elliott Gould, Tim Curry, Andy Richter, Kristen Bell and Avril Lavigne. (d. Hiroyuki Morita, Japan, 2002, 75m, new35mm print, recommended for age 6 and up) 

Howl's Moving Castle - 5:30p Friday August 3 / 10:30a Saturday & Sunday August 4 and 5
Hayao Miyazaki's Oscar-nominated film follows an average girl who, after meeting a handsome young wizard, is transformed into a 90-year-old woman, and must embark upon a dangerous journey to lift the curse. Pulled into a life-and-death struggle between powerful sorcerers, she finds her own inner strength. Featuring the voices of Christian Bale, Emily Mortimer, Billy Crystal and Lauren Bacall. (Japan, 2005, 114m, 35mm archive print, recommended for age 7 and up)

Ponyo - 5:30p Friday August 10 / 11a Saturday & Sunday August 11 and 12
"There aren't enough superlatives to adequately describe Hayao Miyazaki's latest masterpiece, a delightfully sweet, extraordinarily imaginative children's fantasy ...from a master at the peak of his game." ~ Premiere
A five-year-old boy and a magical goldfish—the daughter of a sorcerer father and a sea-goddess mother—meet and find ways to experience each other's worlds. Filled with tenderness and bursts of unbelievable visual magic, this version features the voices of Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Liam Neeson, Tina Fey, Lily Tomlin, Noah Cyrus and Frankie Jonas.  (Japan, 2009, 101m, 35mm archive print, recommended for all ages)


$9.50/General Admission, $8.50/Students and Seniors, $8.00/CCA Member, $7.00/Youth 12 and under.

Series Passes: $95/General, $80/CCA Member, $60/Youth 12 and under.

For more information, call the CCA Box Office at 505-982-1338, or go to Showtimes subject to change, see weekly CCA schedule.