Studio Ghibli movie ‘When Marnie Was There’ secures Oscar nomination

AP, Staff Report

Japanese picture “When Marnie Was There” has been nominated for an Academy Award for best animated film, it was announced in Beverly Hills on Thursday.

The film, by Studio Ghibli, will go up against “Anomalisa,” “Boy and the World,” “Inside Out,” and “Shaun the Sheep Movie” for a coveted Oscar when the awards ceremony takes place on Feb. 28.

It is the fifth time a Japanese animated film has been nominated for the award. Studio Ghibli films have now secured nominations three years in a row.

“When Marnie Was There,” or “Omoide no Marnie” in Japanese, is based on a 1967 children’s book by British writer Joan G. Robinson.

Anna (voiced by Sara Takatsuki), is an unhappy 12-year-old orphan who calls her kindly adoptive mother “aunt,” while Marnie (Kasumi Arimura), is an outgoing, if mysterious, blonde-haired girl who Anna befriends while spending a summer on the Hokkaido coast with her mother’s relatives.

It is the first Ghibli film to bear neither of the names of the studio’s iconic animators, Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, both of whose films were nominated in the past.

The movie was directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, who left the company in 2014. The movie’s English version was released last year.

Survival thriller “The Revenant” topped the Oscars nominations list on Thursday with 12 nods, including for best picture, actor and director.

In second place was dystopian action film “Mad Max: Fury Road” with 10 nominations, followed by “The Martian” with seven.

The Academy Awards will be hosted by Chris Rock for the second time.

  • Undine The Sea

    Too bad it’s up against Inside Out… RIP

  • Jay

    Last year, Ghibli’s The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, which I thought was superb, lost out to that Disney-junk Frozen. I don’t have much hope that anything deep can beat out the latest garbage from Pixar or Disney. However, I’ll reserve judgement until I have seen all this year’s entries.

    • FOXHOUNDER1014

      It actually lost out to Big Hero 6. The Wind Rises lost the year before to Frozen. Highly doubt Marnie will win. Inside Out has it in the bag. ‘Nuff said.

      • Jay

        I stand corrected! It was The Wind Rises that lost to Frozen. I’ll have to watch Inside Out then before I can judge. Even better, I’ll ask my kids what they think. I know that my daughter was very into Frozen, but these days the DVD gathers dust, while they still take The Princess Kaguya out to watch again and again.

      • FOXHOUNDER1014

        I personally think that Frozen is one of the most overrated films in the last decade. It wasn’t a bad film, but I felt that it did very little new and that Disney had created far better works in the past. In comparison, The Wind Rises was a beautifully crafted farewell to Hayao Miyazaki and it’s an absolute crime that it didn’t win the Oscar.

        There’s even less justification for Kaguya not winnning. A 100% on Rotten Tomatoes and considered by many to be one of the best animated films in years, it should absolutely have won. Big Hero 6 is good, great even, but why would they give the award to the film INSPIRED by Japanese animation and not the actual Japanese anime itself?

        I think it’s just more proof that the Oscars are largely ignorant when it comes to animation. Same thing when it comes to foreign films. There’s a lot of great Japanese films that I’m pretty surprised didn’t make the nomination in previous years.

      • Jay

        Couldn’t agree more. Frozen plot was just so predictable, and the characters cookie-cut from the same old Disney molds. Thank God we no longer have to hear that insipid theme song. The Wind Rises, on the other hand, was intelligent and deep, not only for the kids but for us as well. My elderly parents watched Kaguya and were mesmerized from beginning to end, as were my children. We discussed the themes at length, presented so delicately and with wide-reaching implications for the present world. Well, I have borrowed “Hero 6” and “When Marnie Was There” and will watch this weekend–with kids.