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GKIDS, Shout Studios Announce Masaaki Yuasa Collection, and more

Masaaki Yuasa
is one of the most celebrated auteurs in anime- and in all of animation for that matter. He's one of the most prolific too, having put out an impressive number of features and TV series over the past few years. GKIDS Films and Shout Studios have announced the release of a five-film Masaaki Yuasa collection this December.

The stunning six-disc box-set will contain Yusas's five features. all housed in striking new packaging designed by Yuasa himself. The collection also features a host of never-seen-before special features and contains a 13”x 21” poster of the new artwork, plus an exclusive 60-page book celebrating the art of Yuasa's films.

Yuasa is one of the most respected and most influential people working in animation today. He's more typically compared to animators such as Tex Avery and Max Fleischer. His work is eclectic too- spanning from the charm and whimsy of Lu Over The Wall to the dark gothic horror of Devilman Crybaby.

The collection includes 2004’s Mind Game (Fantasia International Film Festival winner for Best Film, Best Director and Best Script), 2017’s The Night is Short, Walk On Girl (winner of the 41st Annual Japanese Academy Award’s Animation of the Year), 2017’s Lu Over the Wall (2017 Annecy winner for Best Feature), 2019’s Ride Your Wave (Fantasia International Film Festival winner for Best Animated Feature), and 2021’s Inu-Oh (2022 Golden Globe nominee for Best Animation). The set contains the English dub of The Night Is Short, Walk On Girl for the first time on disc.

Masaaki Yuasa: Five Films is released on December 19.

GKIDS Films and Shout Studios are also teaming up on Spirited Away: Live On Stage. Based on the beloved Hayao Miyazaki feature film, the performances were filmed during the successful run at The Imperial  Theater in Tokyo.

Adapted by Tony Award Winner John Caird, the production was brought to life with masterful puppetry,  brilliant costuming, intricately recreated sets and musical numbers. The release contains two separate performances, as the lead role of Chihiro was double cast.' She is played by renowned Japanese actresses Kanna Hashimoto and Mone Kamishiraishi. Also appearing, character actor Mari Natsuki who voices the role of Yubaba and Zeniba in the original language version of the movie, reprises her role. She is double cast in the role with the acclaimed voice actor Romi Park.

They will be accompanied by a star-studded cast of Japan's finest actors. Both performances will be available via Digital Platforms. The Blu-Ray release will feature two discs so that it can contain both performances. Spirited Away Live On Stage will be released on November 14. Preorder from Amazon here.

Shout Studios have also announced the release of The Complete Shaun The Sheep. Following Shout Studio's deal with Aardman Animation, and the release of the Wallace and Gromit Collection.

Shaun The Sheep made his first appearance in the Wallace and Gromit short A Close Shave but has gone on to have quite the career of his own. He's starred in two separate TV series, two feature films and two TV Specials.

Shout Studio's release The Complete Shaun The Sheep sees the 170-episode original TV series on Blu-Ray for the first time. The series will also be released on DVD. Separate seasons are available on digital platforms.

The collection spans seven discs and contains all six seasons. This marks the first time seasons five and six are available to own. It also includes the two specials- The Farmer's Llamas and Shaun The Sheep: The Flight Before Christmas. Also included are Mossy Bottom Shorts and Championsheeps

Shaun The Sheep follows the mischievous sheep as he and his flock get up to all sorts of mischief. Out of sight of the oblivious farmer, Shaun runs rings round the farmer's hapless Sheep-Dog Blitzer.  The series has been a hit around the world and won awards- Annecy Cristal, BAFTA, and International Emmy Awards. The series is recognised for its classic slapstick humour, cute characters and beautifully made stop-motion animation.

Shaun The Sheep: The Complete Collection is released on Blu-Ray and DVD on December 12.