It’s been a long time since Studio Ghibli, the storied Japanese animation studio behind My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke (and so many other classics), developed something for television. Studio founders Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata began their careers on the small screen, bestowing upon us shows such as Horus: Prince of the Sun, Lupin III, Panda! Go Panda!, Anne of Green Gables, and Sherlock Hound.
Once they founded Studio Ghibli, they focused on feature films, but the studio still found time to develop the underappreciated Ocean Waves, which premiered on Japanese television in 1993.
So it’s with more than a bit of excitement that Goro Miyazaki’s Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter will premiere on Amazon Prime Video on January 27 in the United States and United Kingdom. Goro Miyazaki, director of Tales from Earthsea and From Up on Poppy Hill, has become one of the most prominent faces of the studio since his father stepped back from directing.
Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter will be narrated by Gillian Anderson and is a 26-part story of 10-year-old Ronja, born on a stormy night in a mountain fort, surrounded by her father, mother, and a loving band of robbers. She grows to be a strong girl and discovers that the forest is both a beautiful and frightening place inhabited by strange creatures. She befriends Birk, the son of her father’s rival, and so begins the drama of her friendship and family loyalties.
The series is already a full-fledged hit in Japan and has won the International Emmy Award for Best Kids Animation. The series is based on the wildly popular children’s fantasy book of the same name by noted Swedish author Astrid Lindgren (Pippi Longstocking), which has sold approximately 10 million copies worldwide since its release in 1981 and been translated into 41 languages.
“With Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter, Astrid Lindgren seems to be telling children to believe in their own power to grow, whilst telling adults to learn more from children,” said Goro Miyazaki. “Mutual respect will attain freedom in the true sense of the word.”