Mainland Chinese cinema audience eager for big screen debut of Hayao
Mainland Chinese cinema audience eager for big screen debut of Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away
Eighteen years after its official release, Hayao Miyazaki's award-winning animated movie Spirited Away will finally be shown in mainland Chinese cinemas.
An official account on China's Twitter-like Weibo brought a message from Sina Movie on Friday that "Spirited Away will arrive soon!"
"Life is a one-way train. Very pleased to meet you at this stop. It's a long wait of 18 years. Please treat me well," the film announcement on Weibo said. "This will be our first official meeting after 18 years of climbing mountains and crossing seas," it said, accompanied by a photo of heroine Chihiro riding a train with No Face.
The official opening date for the film has yet to be announced.This will be the second Miyazaki movie officially released on the mainland. My Neighbour Totoro appeared last December, 30 years after its official release, and pulled in box office returns of 173 million yuan (US$24.5 million).
Winner of the 75th Academy Award for the best animated feature, the film had never been officially released on the mainland in spite of its huge popularity. It is the highest rated Miyazaki's movie, with a rating of 9.3 out of 10 on mainland rating site Douban.com, while more than 70 per cent of 1 million viewers gave it a five-star review.
Mainland fans were thrilled to find their favourite cartoon movie could finally make it to the big screen and nearly 90,000 people commented, liked and shared the announcement.
"Finally! This is the film I have seen most times and I can finally see it on the big screen! Please set an open date soon!" wrote on Weibo user.
"Just like I went to watch My Neighbour Totoro at the earliest possible moment, I will not miss Spirited Away. Am I paying back all the movie tickets I owe Miyazaki？Please, when will Howl's Moving Castle arrive?" wrote another.
China imported a great many Japanese films and cartoons between 1978 and 1990, when they occupied prime-time evening television channels across China, but the exchange stalled after relations between the nations soured.
The exchange picked up again in recent years. Japanese film week has been held every year at the Shanghai film festival since 2006. Last year, video streaming site Youku.com imported more than 500 Japanese films and television series.
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