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GKIDS Films Announce 'Tokyo Godfathers' Dub Cast, Studio Ghibli Steelbooks

GKIDS Films are now well established as one of the animation fan's best friends in the US and Canada. The New York based distributor is the custodians of much of the best animation from Japan and around the world.

One of their last acquisitions is the 2003 feature Tokyo Godfathers from the late and much missed auteur Satoshi Kon. GKIDS is teaming up with Fathom Events to bring the film to select theaters nationwide in a brand-new 4K restoration on March 9 and March 11.

When the film was released previously by Sony it was subtitled only, so the new release will see it screen with an English dub for the first time. When the dub was announced it was immediately the subject of some discussion- specifically the casting of the role of Hana.  Hana is one of the three protagonists and a transwoman.

In the original version, the role was voiced by Yoshiaki Umegaki, a CIS male, but in the English version, the role is to be played by trans actor Shakina Nayfack, star of Transparent and Difficult People.  The other two 'Godfathers' are played by Jon Avner (as Gin) and Victoria Grace (as Miyuki).

The cast also features Crispin Freeman, Kate Bornstein, David Manis, Jamieson Price and Kirk Thornton. The dub is produced by GKIDS and NYAV Post.

On landing the role, Nayfack said: "Hana is a transwoman with a heart of gold. I connected instantly to her faith, and her worldview is so clearly rooted in Satoshi Kon's love for humanity. Kon was ahead of his time when he introduced Hana to the anime canon, and I'm so glad this GKIDS restoration and new English dub will give more people the chance to meet and fall in love with his beloved yet undersung heroine!"

The film will screen on March 9 in original language with subtitles and March 11 with the new dub, both at 7:00pm local time. Tickets are on sale at participating venues or online here.

Meanwhile, in the world of home entertainment, GKIDS and Shout Factory have announced new steelbook editions of two of Hayao Miyazaki's most recent films.

Howl's Moving Castle and Ponyo will be released in new Blu-Ray/DVD combo packs in Steelbook packing with new artwork. Both releases contain hours of bonus features (carried over from the previous editions) plus new booklets which feature "stunning art and statements from the filmmakers."

Both films will be available from May 12, 2020 and are available to Preorder now. Full details from the press release are below.

Preorder Ponyo,

Preorder Howl's Moving Castle


Howl’s Moving Castle
From the legendary Studio Ghibli, creators of Spirited Away, and acclaimed director Hayao Miyazaki, comes the Academy Award®-nominated fantasy adventure for the whole family.

Sophie, a quiet girl working in a hat shop, finds her life thrown into turmoil when she is literally swept off her feet by a handsome but mysterious wizard named Howl. The vain and vengeful Witch of the Waste, jealous of their friendship, puts a curse on Sophie and turns her into a 90-year-old woman. On a quest to break the spell, Sophie climbs aboard Howl’s magnificent moving castle and into a new life of wonder and adventure. But as the true power of Howl’s wizardry is revealed, Sophie finds herself fighting to protect them both from a dangerous war of sorcery that threatens their world. Featuring the voices of Jean Simmons, Christian Bale, Lauren Bacall, Blythe Danner, Emily Mortimer, Josh Hutcherson and Billy Crystal.

Bonus Features:
·        Feature-Length Storyboards
·        Original Theatrical Trailers
·        TV Spots
·        Interview with Diana Wynne Jones
·        Miyazaki’s Visit to Pixar
·        Explanation of CG
·        The Birth Story of the Film Soundtrack
·        Behind the Microphone
·        8-page Booklet with Producer’s Statement and more

From the legendary Studio Ghibli, creators of Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro, and Academy Award®-winning director Hayao Miyazaki, comes a heartwarming family adventure.
When Sosuke, a young boy who lives on a clifftop overlooking the sea, rescues a stranded goldfish named Ponyo, he discovers more than he bargained for. Ponyo is a curious, energetic young creature who yearns to be human, but even as she causes chaos around the house, her father, a powerful sorcerer, schemes to return Ponyo to the sea. Featuring the voices of Cate Blanchett, Noah Cyrus, Matt Damon, Tina Fey, Frankie Jonas, Cloris Leachman, Liam Neeson, Lily Tomlin, and Betty White.

Bonus Features:
·        Feature-Length Storyboards
·        Original Theatrical Trailers
·        TV Spots
·        The Five Geniuses Who Created Ponyo
·        Press Conference: Theme Song Announcement
·        Behind the Microphone
·        Opening Event at Hibiya Scala-Za Theatre
·        Interview with Hayao Miyazaki
·        Interview with Toshio Suzuki
·        Theme Song Music Video
·        Hayao Miyazaki Press Conference at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan
·        Creating Ponyo
·        Ponyo & Fujimoto
·        The Nursery
·        Scoring Miyazaki
·        Producer’s Perspective: Telling the Story
·        The Locations of Ponyo

·        8-page Booklet with Producer’s and Director’s Statements and Lyrics