GKIDS is bringing Panda! Go Panda!, an early feature from legendary director Isao Takahata and written by Hayao Miyazaki, to the States.
There are few animals as cute or as adorable as a panda, despite it still being a deadly bear. It’s so lazy and fluffy and carefree that it’s hard not to go “awwww” every time you see one. So it makes absolute sense to make a feature film about a panda for the whole family to enjoy and that is exactly what Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki did with Panda! Go Panda!. Back in 1972 these now-legendary icons of cinema wrote (Miyazaki) and directed (Takahata) this 1972 animated feature. Watch the newly restored English trailer to get a glimpse of the panda-monium.
Panda! Go Panda! Official English Trailer
50 years ago, Panda! Go Panda! was released at the height of the “panda craze” of 1972. Around that time China loaned a pair of giant pandas to the Ueno Zoo in Japan. Now 50 years later, GKIDS has restored the footage and is bringing the seminal early work of the Studio Ghibli co-founders to the states in celebration of its 50th anniversary. The golden anniversary celebration screening will feature both Panda! Go Panda (1972) and Rainy Day Circus (1973) under the unified title of Panda! Go Panda!.
Panda! Go Panda! will open at the IFC Center in New York, New York on May 6, 2022, and the Laemmle Theaters in Los Angeles on May 13, 2022, with additional theaters to come. Fans will get to see Studio Ghibli before they were Studio Ghibli and get to see where the magic started, as well as the adorable Panny Panda and Papanda who are too cute to not have Funko Pops! of. It is hard to imagine, but outside of Disney, there were and are incredible animation studios that also did great work.
Panda! Go Panda! will begin its U.S. theatrical release in New York at the IFC Center on May 6, 2022, and will continue in Los Angeles at the Laemelle Theaters on May 13, 2022. Stayed tuned to The Illuminerdi and we’ll share the other theaters when they become known. For more about the film and GKIDS, continue reading below.
About Panda! Go Panda!
Director: Isao Takahata
Writer: Hayao Miyazaki
Studio: Tokyo Movie Shinsha (Now TMS Entertainment)
Run time: 75 minutes (including Panda! Go Panda! and Rainy Day Circus)
Mimiko is a cheerful young girl who is left on her own while her grandmother is away. 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.
GKIDS is the producer and distributor of award-winning feature animation for both adult and family audiences. Since 2010, the company has scored an astounding 12 Best Animated Feature Oscar nominations with The Secret of Kells in 2010, A Cat in Paris and Chico & Rita in 2012, Ernest & Celestine in 2014, The Tale of The Princess Kaguya and Song of the Sea in 2015, Boy and the World and When Marnie Was There in 2016, My Life as a Zucchini in 2017, The Breadwinner in 2018, Mirai in 2019, and Wolfwalkers in 2021.
GKIDS also handles North American distribution for the famed Studio Ghibli library of films, one of the world’s most coveted animation collections with titles Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke and others; as well as the critically acclaimed television series, NEON GENESIS EVANGELION. GKIDS also hosts ANIMATION IS FILM (AIF), an annual LA-based film festival which embraces the highest aspirations of animation as a cinematic art form, and is a vocal advocate for filmmakers who push the boundaries of the medium to its fullest range of artistic expressions. www.gkids.com
Are you a Studio Ghibli Fan? Have you already seen Panda! Go Panda!? Will you celebrate the film’s Golden Anniversary by watching the restored release in theaters? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to share your Ghibli thoughts with us on Twitter!