This week saw the release of the much anticipated BELLE, Mamoru Hosoda’s 7th feature film. The film instantly made headlines at Cannes with a 14-minute standing ovation. The film later made headlines among anime fans during its theatrical release back in January of this year. Both the original Japanese and the newly dubbed English version were shown in theaters nation-wide. In the film’s U.S. opening weekend it made $1.6 million from 1,326 theaters, and a total of $1.8 million over the four-day Martin Luther King Day holiday frame.
The film received five Annie Award nominations making it the most nominations for a Japanese anime film ever at the show, even surpassing previous films Spirited Away, Millennium Actress, and the more recent, Weathering with You. Most notable, the film’s cast, both in English and Japanese, were both praise for their vocal performance. This is both Kaho Nakamura and Kylie McNeil’s first anime, voice over performance.
Kylie McNeil, already an upcoming actor and singer in the theater scene in New York, had zero film credits, aside from an off-Broadway show “Runaways“, BELLE is Kylie’s very first film credit.
Join us in celebration of Mamoru Hosoda’s BELLE release with this special interview with the voice of Suzu / BELLE, Kylie McNeil! Back for a more in-depth and formal interview, Kylie walks through her experiences working behind the mic, voicing Suzu / BELLE.
Watch our interview above and learn how you could win our exclusive BELLE Bundle, which includes:
The BELLE movie (Steelbook ed.), A copy of the BELLE soundtrack (from Japan) & an autograph print from Paul Castro Jr. (the voice of BEAST)
all this and more in our exclusive interview! Don’t forget to subscribe for more anime and voice actor content or subscribe to our site:
Zag Animation recently announced a 52 minute Miraculous Ladybug special, which is set to release this Friday!
Zag Animation studio CEO, Jeremy Zag hinted the project back in 2016, stating a possible cross-over between Ladybug and two other Zag Animation properties, Pixie Girl and Ghostforce, two series that have yet to see the light of day. Will these characters be introduced in this special? highly unlikely, but the special will feature a group of super-powered individuals, never before seen.
The special will also feature the series’ protagonists, Marinette Cheng & Adrien Agreste flying to the United States (hence the title, United Heroez) for the first time. Although this special is nearly an hour long, it is not to be confused with the Ladybug & Cat Noir Awakening movie, slated to be released in 2021.
Watch the trailer below:
Want more Ladybug? check out these awesome interviews we’ve done over the course of Miraculous Ladybug episodes:
Interview with the voice of Marinette Cheng, Cristina Vee
Interview with Ezra Weisz, Miraculous Ladybug Voice Director
Interview with Kagami Tsurugi, Faye Mata
Interview with the voice of Zag Animation Studio producer, Jared Wolfenson
GKIDS, the acclaimed producer and distributor of animation for adult and family audiences, announced that it has acquired the North American distribution rights for legendary animation house Studio Ghibli’s latest feature EARWIG AND THE WITCH.
The film is directed by Goro Miyazaki (From Up on Poppy Hill, Tales from Earthsea) and produced by studio co-founder Toshio Suzuki, with planning on the feature from his father, Academy Awardâ-winner Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro).
Based on the children’s novel “Earwig and the Witch” by Diana Wynne Jones (“Howl’s Moving Castle”), the film marks Studio Ghibli’s first entirely 3DCG animated feature.
The story follows Earwig growing up in an orphanage, who has no idea that her mother had magical powers. Her life will take a new turn when a strange family takes her in, and she is forced to live with a selfish witch. For now, that is all the Gkids has let on about the film.
The film is slated to air on NHK in Japan Winter 2020. GKIDS will release the film theatrically in North America in early 2021. Director Goro Miyazaki has previously commented about the film stating,
“Nowadays, in our country, there are many adults and few children. It must be tough for these children, so few of them having to deal with so many adults. It was while I was thinking about this that I got to know Earwig. And I realized, ‘That’s it!’ How does Earwig deal with the annoying adults? Please watch Earwig and The Witch to find out. She may be cheeky, but I sincerely hope that our adorable Earwig will encourage children and cheer up adults.”
– Goro Miyazaki (2020 GKids Interview)
“A new Studio Ghibli film is always a cause for celebration for fans around the world,” said GKIDS’ President David Jesteadt. “We are excited to see Goro Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli working in a new animation style, and look forward to sharing the film with audiences early next year.”
– David Jesteadt (GKIDS’ President)
For updates regarding Earwig And The Witch visit, Gkids.com.
The Lupin the 3rd franchise created by Monkey Punch began in 1967 and has spanned a variety of manga, TV series, games, a theme park ride, and musical adaptations. It featured acclaimed director Hayao Miyazaki in his first feature film debut with The Castle of Cagliostro in 1979. The Lupin the 3rd: The First is a highly anticipated film that marks the VERY first installment in CGI for the lauded animated franchise. In recent news, the upcoming English language dub film will feature the voices of
Lupin III – Tony Oliver Daisuke Jigen – Richard Epcar Goemon Ishikawa – Lex Lang Fujiko Mine – Michelle Ruff Koichi Zenigata – Doug Erholtz Laetitia – Laurie C. Hymes Lambert – J. David Brimmer Gerard – Paul Guyet
From 2D to CGI 3D
“I’ve been looking forward to seeing Lupin III in 3DCG for a long time now. I saw the characters and story, and it looks like this new Lupin is going to have a whole new feeling to him. It’s exciting just imagining how the movie is going to turn out.”
-MONKEY PUNCH (OCT. ‘18)
An excerpt from Gkids’ Interview with LUPIN III: THE FIRST director Takashi Yamazaki:
As soon as the project began in September 2015, the 3DCG Lupin character designs were also developed. Lupin has different characteristics between the TV series and the specials, and likewise, various options were considered for this movie.
First, several character designers and concept artists were hired to develop about 30 different designs of Lupin in 2D. The Staff cast voted on the three most popular designs. Those were further improved until the final design was completed. Once Lupin was finalized, developing Daisuke Jigen, Goemon Ishikawa, and Inspector Zenigata was relatively easy by applying the same style.
However, Fujiko Mine proved to be difficult. She was portrayed as a provocative lady in the TV specials with eyes slanting upwards, whereas she was cute and playful with eyes slanting down in the series. Her characteristics changed according to the staff. After many discussions about which direction to go and whether she should be slim or voluptuous, the production team decided on the current design.
Building 3D models based on 2D concepts turned out to be challenging since small details make or break Lupin’s likeness. Two dedicated 3D modelers were building digital maquettes in ZBrush for the main characters. What resulted were completely different models, and it was hard to believe that they came from the same concept art. In the end, the one chosen was the model that was most expressive in CG animation. Attention to small details such as the sideburns and jawline were considered to finalize the 3D models.
The new characters Laetitia, Lambert, and Gerard were developed based on Director Yamazaki’s rough sketches. Lambert’s 3D model was almost entirely developed from Director Yamazaki’s sketch. Gerard’s design was less straightforward. Ultimately, the character drawn in the animatics turned out to be well-received, so the model was developed from that design.
What is great about 3DCG is its rich texture. The slick texture of Lupin’s leather jacket was made possible because of the medium. There were more than 10 different outfits designed for Fujiko and Director Yamazaki mentioned that it was like an upscale costume fitting. However, because of the budget, only a couple of outfits were developed. Fans can enjoy the carefully selected outfits in the film.
Special thanks to GKids for interviewing the film Director Takashi Yamazaki, and providing us with the said interview. For those interested in reading the entire interview please do so here (Lupin III: The First Press Kit PDF).
Follow the iconic “gentleman thief” as Lupin III returns in an action-packed, continent-spanning adventure, as Lupin III and his colorful underworld companions race to uncover the secrets of the mysterious Bresson Diary before it falls into the hands of a dark cabal that will stop at nothing to resurrect the Third Reich. The gang undertakes trap-filled tombs, aerial escapades, and daring prison escapes with the trademark wit and visual finesse that has made LUPIN THE 3RD one of the most storied animation franchises in the world, in a thrilling new caper that is sure to delight fans old and new. Watch the trailer below!
Follow Lupin at these official social media links:
Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045, the latest installment in the highly-acclaimed Ghost in the Shell series, is currently available worldwide on Netflix.
The Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 original soundtrack was released today. The Soundtrack was composed by Nobuko Toda and Kazuma Jinnouchi.
Using a combination of elements from orchestral, acoustic, and electronic genres, they have created scores for numerous films, video games, and anime including, the Metal Gear Solid series, Uzumasa Limelight, Halo 5: Guardians, and Ultraman. The musical duo had the following comments about the release of the Ghost in the Shell SAC:_2045 soundtrack:
“We are sincerely grateful to be part of the creative team for Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045.
It was such an inspiring process to work with the wonderful director duo, Mr. Kamiyama, and Mr. Aramaki, and our focus was to deliver music that maximizes their vision. We hope the soundtrack album lets you relive the still-evolving world of SAC_2045.”
-Nobuko Toda x Kazuma Jinnouchi
Over the last two decades, the duo have received numerous awards and honors including the BAFTA Games Award, NAVGTR Awards, Global Music Award, and MPSE Golden Reel Award.
The Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 soundtrack also features renowned musicians such as legendary drummer Simon Phillips (pictured below), a former member of the band Toto, and Ernest Tibbs, the bassist from the Protocol Series.
SAC_2045 directors Shinji Aramaki and Kenji Kamiyama the had the following to say about working with Nobuko Toda and Kazuma Jinnouchi,
“We first met Nobuko Toda and Kazuma Jinnouchi during the production of Ultraman (2019), and they fulfilled our requests so perfectly that it only felt natural to invite them to do the music for Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045. As the first members of staff to objectively read our work, they thoroughly studied the scenario and storyboard and then began proposing ideas for the music, so we always looked forward to music meetings and dubbing sessions. Once again, they exceeded our expectations, and we were surprised by the depth of their knowledge. We look forward to seeing what they are going to come up with for season 2!”
Those who watched Saturday morning cartoons (aka SatAM) in the ’90s may remember Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic Underground. Garry Chalk was one of many voice actors from these shows, voicing Grounder in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog and Dr.Robotnik in Sonic Underground, a dystopian version of the Sonic the Hedgehog TV universe.
Garry can be seen among the government officials sitting down during a meeting discussing the ‘anomaly‘ detected. It is unclear if Garry Chalk’s character in the film is more than just a minor cameo, or if there’s more than meets the eye.
Hill Top Zone
A road sign with ‘Hill Top Zone‘ can be seen seconds into the trailer. Hill Top Zone is the fifth Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. The level is most notable for its geographical location, amidst the high peaks of West Side Island, which makes one wonder of its location within the film.
Green Hill Zone
This one’s pretty in your face. Right at the beginning of the trailer, Green Hill Zone can be seen right before Sonic travels into our world. It is unclear if the film will explore more of this zone (or any other) as a setting.
Sonic The Hedgehog Title Screen Emblem
The title screen emblem from Sonic The Hedgehog can be seen on Sonic’s headband. The game was originally released in 1991 for the Sega Mega Drive (Japan) and quickly became one of the most recognizable logos among hardcore Sonic fans.
Many who played Sonic The Hedgehog may remember the giant ring that would appear at the end of a level and teleport the player to special stages. The film drew inspiration from this, having sonic apparently teleport from one part of the world to another. Variations of this ability have been shown throughout the games and TV series.
Misa Amane (Death Note) and Fabiola Iglesias (Black Lagoon)
Among voice actor cameos is Shannon Chan-Kent, a Canadian based voice actress, who has voiced numerous notable characters such as Misa Amane from the hit anime series, Death Note and Fabiola Iglesias from Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail.
She is also the singing voice of Pinkie pie, Sonata Dusk and speaking voice of Silver Spoon in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.
Jeff Fowler’s Gopher Broke cameo
This film will feature the theatrical, directorial debut of Jeff Fowler, who previously worked on Gopher Broke, a 2004 short, animated film written and directed by Jeff Fowler.
The short film follows a hungry gopher who hatches a clever plan to get a quick snack but discovers that even the best-laid plans can go udderly awry. The opening title can be seen during Sonic’s exploration of the motel room.
A more modern and more ‘realistic‘ version of the Egg-O-Matic can be seen through half of the trailer. Although it has not been confirmed that this is, in fact, a representation of the Egg-O-Matic, it does share some similarities.
Blur Studio, although its name is not a direct reference to Sonic’s nickname “The Blue Blur“, the studio has had ties to the Sonic The Hedgehog games before the film. Blur Studios produced several CGI animated cutscenes for Shadow the Hedgehog and Sonic The Hedgehog 2006.
According to an interview, by Di-O-Matic, Inc, with then Animation supervisor Leo Santos, “One particular challenge we had on the Sonic opening cinematic (and the Shadow the Hedgehog cinematics) is the fact that Sonic’s mouth is sometimes on the side, sometimes on the middle.” With Blur Studio’s experience with animating Sonic in the past, why was there a need to redesign?
Doctor Ovi Kintobor or Dr. Ivo Kintobor
This one is probably a long stretch but, Jim Carrey’s portrayal of a ‘thin‘ Robotnik is similar in appearance (somewhat) to that of Doctor Ovi Kintobor, a character that appears in the Sonic the Comic series published by Fleetway Editions in the UK. The character served as a background origin story to the present day Eggman. In other comic series published by Archie Comics, Carrey’s portrayal is similar to that of, alternate universe Robotnik, Dr. Ivo Kintobor, who is kind, generous and friendly.
Needless to say, there will probably be more hidden gems within the movie. Be on the lookout and mark your calendars for February 14th, 2020! Watch the newly released trailer here:
She is an award-winning film director, producer and web series creator. She is known for her work as a voice actress and her work in Portal. She’s none other than, Alésia Glidewell.
Pictured above during an interview we had in 2013, Alésia was born in Hawaii, to a Brazilian-American father and Japanese mother. She speaks English, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, in addition, she spends her free time traveling the world.
Alésia began her work in video games, after graduating from Emory Univerity. Wanting a breakthrough in the voice over and film industry, she moved to Seattle and spent most of her time sending out demos and attending classes. After much hard work and sacrifice, she got signed on by an agent and her career took off.
After a very successful commercial career, she booked her very first game role in 2004 as Carmalita fox and Nayla in the game, Sly 2: Band of Thieves. She later went on to voice Krystal the Fox in Star Fox Assult, released in 2005. Fast-forward to 2007, Alésia obtained recognition for her work in Portal as the facial and body model for the game’s protagonist, Chell, making her forever immortalized in a video game.
Sly 2: Camelita Fox
Sly 2: Nayla
Star Fox: Assault
SSB: Zero Suit Samus
SSB: Kunckle Joe
In addition, she voiced Zero Suit Samus, Knuckle Joe and reprised her role as Krystal the Fox in Super Smash Bros. Brawl in 2008. A decade later, she reprised all three roles for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, it is unclear if she had to re-record her lines or if her recordings were taken from archived recordings.
In 2013 we had the honor of interviewing Alésia Glidewell, at the time, she had just wrapped up a film she had directed and produced, Small fish. According to IMDB, its a story about two underachieving brothers who compete in a rematch against their rivals, the big shot Prussian Brothers, in the small town of Rancho Cucamonga, California. The film won best short at Hollywood Reel International Film Festival in 2014.
In 2015 Alésia and former Microsoft employee, Keri Andrews both appeared on Shark Tank, pitching the creation of You Kick-Ass. Using 3D printing technology, You kick Ass is meant to create customized superhero figures for the masses, making great personal gifts or even promotional items. The idea came to Alésia and Kari after the release of Valve’s Chell action figure which featured, Alésia’s likeness. The duo became Shark Tank success stories after walking away with an offer of $100K investment with 10% of the company from investor, Mark Cuban.
Since then, Alésia has a had huge variety of work under her belt. She became an executive producer for Wear it, To Win it, We Got issues, and The Tube’s Hautest. She also helped to create and develop a series on beauty products for Bobbi Brown cosmetics and Estée Lauder. In more recent news, Alésia has produced and directed various content for YouTubers such as, Netflix’s A Trip to Unicorn Island featuring Lily Singh and Ateyo’s Women of games: Thank u, games music video, which featured Ovilee May, Sue “Smix” Lee, Tori Pareno, and The women of Gaming & Esports. Earlier this year, she was also elected into the Producer’s Guild of America, New Media Council Board.
Alésia has proven she’s as determined as the characters she voices. With so much accomplished in the film industry, it leaves one to wonder, will she come back into video game or the voice-over industry? With a new Metroid game in the works, the timing would be perfect! However, It goes without saying, through hard work and sacrifice, Alésia Glidewell has managed to become a self-made woman, with a future that looks brighter with every project she takes on.
On March 15, 2019, Sentai Filmworks hosted the Los Angeles red carpet premiere of the dark fantasy and adventure anime film MADE IN ABYSS: Journey’s Dawn at the Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE 14. Journey’s Dawn is the first film in the two-part MADE IN ABYSS compendium.
In attendance was the talented and famed anime director Masayuki Kojima, composer Kevin Penkin, music producer Hiromitsu Iijima and producer Shimpei Yamashita.
Made In Abyss television series took audiences by surprise and garnered ecstatic reviews with its disarming facade that shrouded a dark masterpiece and although the film is a compilation of the series’s episodes, however, it features brand new scenes by Kojima & Yamashita.
We spoke with Made In Abyss film director Masayuki Kojima & the film’s music composer, Kevin Penkin during the red carpet premiere:
The enigmatic Abyss is an unforgiving and deadly place. Despite the dangers, it still captures the imagination of explorers such as Riko who wishes to follow in her mother’s footsteps and trains hard to become a Cave Raider. One day, she receives news that her mother died in the Abyss, yet a mysterious note tells Riko that her mother may still be alive. Vowing to uncover the truth about her mother’s fate, Riko embarks on a journey with a humanoid robot boy name Reg. Together, they will discover if they have what it takes to survive where so many others have perished.
Photo gallery from Sentai Filmworks’ Los Angeles red carpet premiere of MADE IN ABYSS: Journey’s Dawn at the Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE 14
The Kitsune Network would like to thank the wonderful and talented people of Sentai Filmworks & Rogers & Cowan.
AniFest is a yearly anime convention and festival dedicated to celebrating the arts and culture of Japanese animation. Cosplayers, vendors, partners, sponsors, performers, and event producers all come together in one day to bring you the best that an anime convention has to offer, but without the high price!
There’ll plenty of activities to part take during this 8-hour event such as Anisong Dance Festival Event, AniFest Cosplay Showcase, Itasha Anime Car Showcase, Pine Wind Japanese Garden Experience & more. (See their official schedule here for more information). All this and more at AniFest! Held at the Torrence Cultural Arts Center in Torrence, CA on March 23rd 2019, in just 16 days!
Gallery Nucleus held a special exhibition in honour of Mamoru Hosoda works, featuring artwork from his various filmed such as Wolf Children, The Boy and the Beast, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, and more recently, Mirai.
Check out Hosoda’s inspiration for drawing here. Brought to you by GKIDS Films.