Home Film & TVAnime GKIDS Acquires North American Distribution Rights to Film Catalog of Director Mamoru Hosoda

GKIDS Acquires North American Distribution Rights to Film Catalog of Director Mamoru Hosoda

by Neil Bui

Distributor GKIDS has acquired the North American distribution rights to films by internationally renowned director Mamoru Hosoda and the animation studio he co-founded, Studio Chizu, which includes The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Summer Wars.

Unfortunately, the deal does not include Digimon: The Movie or the two Japanese films that were used for its English adaptation – Digimon Adventure and Digimon Adventure: Our War Game. But fortunately, Summer Wars is known for having been inspired by the earlier War Game film, so my Digimon-loving Dorkaholics can rejoice. 

“One of GKIDS’ earliest distribution projects was the theatrical release of Summer Wars, when Mamoru Hosoda had already cemented his position as one of the most exciting animation directors,” said GKIDS’ President David Jesteadt. “We were honored to deepen our relationship with the release of his two latest films, Mirai and Belle, and are excited to now be able to showcase the full breadth of Hosoda’s ambitious storytelling across his film catalog, featuring some of the most acclaimed and successful Japanese animated films of all time.”

The first two releases from Studio Chizu include Wolf Children and The Boy and the Beast. The two most recent films, not only had their world premieres at the Cannes Film Festival, but also had critical acclaim including Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for Mirai as well Belle being Hosoda’s highest grossing film to date in North America.

Summer Wars and Wolf Children will enter GKIDS’ catalog immediately, while The Boy and the Beast and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time will enter the catalog next year.

The newly acquired films will receive new theatrical and home entertainment releases highlighting the unique qualities of Mamoru Hosoda’s work, with the intention of expanding the reach and furthering the brand of the director and Studio Chizu to North American audiences.

Further accolades include all six features being acquired have all been nominated for, and five have been awarded, the Japan Academy Prize for “Animation of the Year.” Hosoda remains the only Japanese animation director outside of Studio Ghibli to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Feature.

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