Studio Ghibli Fest 2023 continues this month with a new, live stage adaptation of the Oscar-winning Miyazaki film Spirited Away. Catch this special presentation in Japanese with English subtitles on April 23 (4 p.m.) and 27 (7 p.m.). (Look for the original movie it’s based on to return to cinemas in October — more on that below.)
Hayao Miyazaki’s Academy Award®-winning animated feature film comes to life in this first-ever stage adaptation, full of dazzling sets, captivating musical numbers, and wondrous puppets of beloved characters. Adapted and directed by Tony Award-winner John Caird (Les Misérables), two unique casts and performances were filmed during the show’s acclaimed 2022 run at Tokyo’s historic Imperial Theatre. April 23rd performance features Kanna Hashimoto as Chihiro; April 27th performance features Mone Kamishiraishi as Chihiro.
The special spectacle comes on the heels of March’s Studio Ghibli Fest 2023 kickoff, a return to cinemas for 1988’s My Neighbor Totoro.
Here’s the rest of this year’s schedule for Studio Ghibli Fest 2023 — check your local theater listings before buying snacks, of course:
- May 2023: Ponyo — Miyazaki’s 2008 indirect adaptation of Hans Christen Andersen’s classical Little Mermaid fairy tale, starring the voices of Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Lily Tomlin and Liam Neeson in the English version, celebrates its 15th anniversary. English dub on May 7 (4 and 7 p.m.) and Japanese version with English subtitles on May 8 and 10 (7 p.m.).
- June 2023: Kiki’s Delivery Service — a delightful 1989 story of a young provincial witch learning to make her own way in a larger world with her fussy feline companion. In the English version, Kiki the entrepreneurial witch is portrayed by Kirsten Dunst and her black cat, Jiji, is voiced by the late Phil Hartman. English dub on June 11 (4 and 7 p.m.), Japanese version with English subtitles on June 12 and 14 (7 p.m.).
- July 2023:
- Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind — Miyazaki’s sprawling, post-apocalyptic epic about a young princess caught up in the never-ending war between nature and civilization. English dub featuring Alison Lohman, Uma Thurman, Patrick Stewart, Edward James Olmos and Shia LaBeouf on July 9 (4 p.m.), Japanese version with English subtitles July 11. (7 p.m.)
- Castle in the Sky — the story of a young girl who falls out of the sky and into the arms of a boy who helps her search for a floating island where a long-dead civilization promises fantastic secrets. English voices include James Van Der Beek, Anna Paquin, Cloris Leachman, Mark Hamill, Mandy Patinkin and Andy Dick. English dub on July 10 (7 p.m.), Japanese version with English subtitles on July 12 (7 p.m.).
- August 2023:
- Princess Mononoke — Miyazaki’s epic 1997 tale of wild gods and nature spirits clashing with the iron fist of human ingenuity in feudal Japan. Japanese version with English subtitles on Aug. 5 (3 p.m.) and Aug. 8 (7 p.m.), English dub starring Claire Danes, Billy Crudup, Minnie Driver, Gillian Anderson, Billy Bob Thornton and Keith David on Aug. 6. (4 p.m.), 7 (7 p.m.) and 9 (7 p.m.)
- Porco Rosso — about an ace pilot and bounty hunter who has been cursed with the features of a pig (a recurring theme in Studio Ghibli anime — see Spirited Away, below). English voices include Michael Keaton, Cary Elwes and David Ogden Stiers. English dub on Aug. 20 (4 p.m.), Japanese with English subtitles on Aug. 22 (7 p.m.).
- The Wind Rises — a fictionalized biopic of the Mitsubishi fighter plane designer adapted from Miyazaki’s own manga. English version starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Martin Short, Werner Herzog, William H. Macy, Mandy Patinkin, Jennifer Grey, Stanley Tucci and more on Aug. 21 (7 p.m.), Japanese with English subtitles on Aug. 23 (7 p.m.).
- September 2023: Howl’s Moving Castle — Miyazaki’s 2004 fantasy adventure based loosely on a Diana Wynne Jones novel, merging magic and technology to express the filmmaker’s fierce opposition to the Iraq War. Japanese version with English subtitles on Sept. 23 (3 p.m.), 24 (4 and 7 p.m.) and 26 (7 p.m.) and English dub starring Emily Mortimer, Jean Simmons, Christian Bale, Lauren Bacall, Billy Crystal, Josh Hutcherson, Blythe Danner and more on Sept. 25 and 27 (7 p.m.).
- October 2023: Academy Award winner Spirited Away — Miyazaki’s 2001 masterpiece that featured the English voice talents of Suzanne Pleshette, Daveigh Chase, David Ogden Stiers and Michael Chiklis. Japanese version with English subtitles on Oct. 28 (3 p.m.) and 31 (7 p.m.) and English dub on Oct. 29 (4 and 7 p.m.), 30 (7 p.m.) and Nov. 1 (7 p.m.).
What part of Studio Ghibli Fest 2023 are you looking forward to the most?