‘Panda! Go, Panda!’ is an early movie by director Isao Takahata and writer Hayao Miyazaki, both of whom would go on to found Studio Ghibli, though this animated kids film would be released by Tokyo Movie Shinsha and A Production. Premiering on December 17, 1972, it would charm the hearts of audiences alike, especially when it was released on DVD in North America in 2000.
GKids announced that they would be re-releasing the film in the United States in both its original Japanese with English subtitles and with its dubbed version in celebration of the feature’s 50th anniversary. The release will have a short theatrical run before heading to streaming and home video sometime in 2022.
GKIDS’ President David Jesteadt shared his excitement in a statement, saying, “Besides acting as a vital landmark in animation history, Panda! Go Panda! is an exuberant, feel-good story that will have you humming the theme song for days.” He added, “The film has never looked better, and we are thrilled to be able to share it with audiences more widely for a huge anniversary milestone.”
English voice casting includes Julie Maddalena, Kevin Seymour, Melissa Fahn, Kirk Thornton, Simon Prescott, Sherry Lynn, Doug Lee, Mona Marshall, Brianne Siddall, Barbara Goodson, Doug Stone, and Melanie MacQueen.
You can watch the trailer below:
Wikipedia describes the plot synopsis as follows,
“The plot follows Mimiko, a bright little girl left alone when her grandmother leaves on a trip to her grandfather’s memorial service in Nagasaki. Making a few stops at some local stores, Mimiko comes home to her house in a bamboo grove and finds a baby panda named Panny (Pan-Chan) sleeping on the back doorstep. She quickly makes friends with the little panda, and invites him in for a drink. His father, PapaPanda, soon comes to visit, and they decide to become a family after PapaPanda offers to be Mimiko’s father (Mimiko never had any parents). The three adjust to life together during their first night together, while Mimiko writes the first of many letters to her grandma.”
Kevin Seymour served as the English voice director for the dubbing production company Animaze. The movie was originally released in North America by Pioneer Entertainment in 2000.
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