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Studio Ghibli’s Wembley Arena live shows moved to August 2021

Studio Ghibli‘s planned Wembley Arena shows, which were due to take place this September, have been postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Joe Hisaishi Symphonic Concert is due to celebrate 35 years of the acclaimed Japanese animation studio and the composer’s work with filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki.

Hisaishi’s music includes the soundtracks to My Neighbour Totoro, Spirited Away and Ponyo, and as part of the concert the BBC Concert Orchestra and Crouch End Festival Chorus will play to montages of some of the most popular Ghibli films.

The newly rescheduled shows will now take place on Friday, August 6 and Saturday, August 7, 2021.

Film still from Studio Ghibli’s ‘Spirited Away’ (2001)
Film still from Studio Ghibli’s ‘Spirited Away’ (2001)

Hisaishi has worked with Miyazaki for nearly all of the director’s feature films, starting with Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind in 1984, and will once again work with him on his next project, How Do You Live?.
Alongside the aforementioned upcoming film, Ghibli is also due to release its first CGI film Aya and the Witch, which will be directed by Miyazaki’s son, Gorō.

The film was recently given a first look in a series of stills, which marked a departure from the studio’s distinctive hand-drawn style.

A still from ‘Aya and the Witch’
A still from ‘Aya and the Witch’

Speaking about Aya and the Witch, Ghibli co-founder and producer Toshio Suzuki recently said: “After corona[virus], how [does] the world change? That’s the biggest concern for many types of people now. Even the movie and television industry can’t avoid that.
“Can Aya and the Witch do well after corona? I thought about that many times when I was watching the early footage. Then I realised the big characteristic of the movie is Aya’s wisdom. If only we have wisdom, we can overcome anything in any era. When I thought about that, I was relieved.”

He continued: “If Pippi Longstocking is the story of the world’s strongest girl, then Aya is the story of the world’s smartest girl. Aya is cheeky but somehow cute. I hope she is loved by many types of people.

“By the way, I thought Aya reminded me of someone, then it turned out it was Gorō himself, who was the director of the movie. When I told that to him he looked bashful.”

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