GKIDS announced that it has acquired the North American rights to Hayao Miyazaki’s early feature film Panda! Go Panda!
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The 1972 feature was directed by Academy Award-nominated Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata (The Tale of The Princess Kaguya) and was written by the legendary, Academy Award-winning Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki. The film was first released in 1972, during the “panda craze” of 1972 that followed China loaning two giant pandas to the Ueno Zoo in Japan.
In celebration of its acquisition, Panda! Go Panda! will be rereleased theatrically and on home entertainment platforms in honor of its upcoming 50th anniversary. Another film, Rainy Day Circus, will also be included in the collection.
“Besides acting as a vital landmark in animation history, Panda! Go Panda! is an exuberant, feel-good story that will have you humming the theme song for days,” said GKIDS President David Jesteadt. “The film has never looked better, and we are thrilled to be able to share it with audiences more widely for a huge anniversary.”
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“Mimiko is a cheerful young girl who is left on her own while her grandmother is away,” reads the official synopsis of the film. “When little Panny Panda and his father Papanda stumble into her home, Mimiko welcomes them in as her new family. Adventures ensue as Mimiko discovers the challenges of taking care of her new cuddly friends. Directed by Isao Takahata and based on a concept by Hayao Miyazaki, Panda! Go Panda! is a charming early-career classic from two animation legends before they co-founded the award-winning Studio Ghibli.”