Ready to get “Spirited Away” again?
GKIDS, the producer and distributor for some of the most exciting animation from around the world, announced that it has acquired the North American audiovisual distribution rights for “Spirited Away: Live on Stage.” The new movie was filmed during the production’s run at the historic Imperial Theatre in Tokyo, Japan in 2002. Based on Hayao Miyazaki’s Oscar-winning animated feature (one of the greatest films, live-action or animated, ever), the stage adaptation was directed by Tony Award-winner John Caird, known for his groundbreaking adaptation of “Les Misérables.”
GKIDS will release two separate filmed performances of the production, starring Kanna Hashimoto and Mone Kamishiraishi, double-cast as the lead heroine Chihiro. Character actor Mari Natsuki, who voiced the sorceress Yubaba and her twin sister Zeniba in the original movie, returns to her original role, accompanied by voice actor Romi Park. How cool is that?
“We are thrilled to offer this unique opportunity for Studio Ghibli fans in America to experience the stage production that wowed Japanese press and audiences last year,” said GKIDS’ President David Jesteadt, in an official statement. “This imaginative stage adaptation by the legendary John Caird, featuring two wonderful performances by lead actors Kanna Hashimoto and Mone Kamishiraishi, helps bring to life one of the greatest films of all time in a dazzling new way.”
The stage adaptation of “Spirited Away” looks incredibly clever, with the sets, stages, costumes and characters (some brought to life through truly dazzling puppetry) perfectly encapsulating the feeling and magic of Miyazaki’s original film. In Japan, a recorded version of the play has been available on various streaming platforms since December of last year. Glad we’re finally getting it stateside.
“Spirited Away: Live on Stage” was created in association with Studio Ghibli, and presented by Toho Co., Ltd. The deal was negotiated between GKIDS and Toho.
GKIDS will release the stage production theatrically in spring 2023.