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Awesome / Studio Ghibli

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  • After the Macekre that was Warriors of the Wind, Hayao Miyazaki spent the next few years refusing to allow his films to be licensed by anyone overseas, only doing two of them with no edits whatsoever. Eventually, he took another chance with overseas licensing, most prominently with Disney, but with a simple stipulation: no cuts. Harvey Weinstein, who was notorious among animation fans for how he ruined Richard Williams' The Thief and the Cobbler, thought he could oppress and/or sweet-talk Miyazaki into letting him cut down Princess Mononoke so that the MPAA would give the movie a PG rating (instead of the PG-13 it has). In response, Miyazaki's producer sent Weinstein an authentic katana, attached to which was a note saying "No Cuts!". A probably furious/humiliated Weinstein backed down. To this day, if you see a Ghibli movie – whether in a theater or on video – you can rest assured that not a single frame of animation has been cut or altered in any way from its Japanese version (except for translating the credits, but Ghibli doesn't count that). Now that takes guts.
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  • Despite Miyazaki's well-known tendency towards being a technological Luddite – he only allowed computers to be installed in the studio and used during production of Princess Mononoke because the film would have blown its scheduled release date if he hadn't – many of the Ghibli staff were fascinated by the advances in computer animation being made in the United States, and the studio reached out to Pixar, resulting in a cultural exchange that would have a significant effect on the American studio's work, as well as a short documentary film, Welcome, Mister Lasseter. Ghibli also built a scale model of the Catbus from My Neighbor Totoro that now sits in Pixar's studio.


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