This pre-Studio Ghibli film of Hayao Miyazaki is making a brief return in Tokyo


Hayao Miyazaki’s classic anime “Panda! Go Panda! Rainy Day Circus” is set to return for a one-night special screening at a theater in Tokyo next week.

Key points:

  • “Panda! Go Panda! Rainy Day Circus,” first released in 1973 — more than a decade before the founding of Studio Ghibliwill screen on May 25 at Akihabara UDX Theater in Tokyo’s Chiyoda ward.

  • Directed by Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata and written by Miyazaki, “Rainy Day Circus” is a sequel to 1972's “Panda! Go Panda!”

  • Tickets are available until 6:00 p.m. on May 23 (Tokyo Standard Time) through DreamPass, a website where fans can send in requests for classic film screenings.

The details:

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  • The special screening will include a talk show with Studio Ghibli animator Yu Honda and film researcher Seiji Kano, followed by a giveaway event.

  • The first movie follows Mimiko, a cheerful girl who welcomes a father panda and his cub into her home, leading to various adventures. In the sequel, the three meet a new friend, the tiger Tora-chan, and help save a circus and their friends from a flood.

  • Miyazaki and Takahata released their first Studio Ghibili movie, “Laputa: Castle in the Sky,” in 1986. The studio was founded the previous year.

  • Fans still notice Miyazaki's reuse of elements from his earlier work, such as the resemblance between the father panda's grin and Totoro's in "My Neighbor Totoro."

  • North American distributor GKIDS acquired the licensing rights for “Panda! Go Panda!” in 2022 and held a special theatrical release for both films in celebration of the first movie's 50th anniversary.


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