Animation explosion on the big screen
*Editor’s note: The following correction has been made to the online version of this article. On Thursday, Jan. 10, the debut of Modest Heroes: Ponoc Short Films Theatre, Volume 1, will be in Japanese with English subtitles and on Saturday, Jan. 12 it will be dubbed in English.
For eye-popping big-screen thrills in the new year, GKIDS and Fathom Events have teamed up to present the U.S. debut of Modest Heroes: Ponoc Short Films Theatre, Volume 1, which will be screened at more than 400 theaters nationwide Thursday, Jan. 10 (Japanese with English subtitles) and Saturday, Jan. 12 (in English), including the Regal Greensboro Grande Stadium 16, located in the Friendly Center in Greensboro.
The three-film showcase marks the debut of Studio Ponoc, a new Japanese animation studio founded by noted producer Yoshiaki Nishimura, who earned back-to-back Oscar nominations (Best Animated Feature) for The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (Kaguyahime no monogatari) in 2015 and When Marnie Was There (Omoide no Mani) in 2016. Studio Ponoc scored an immediate international smash with Mary and the Witch’s Flower (Meari to majo no hana), which enjoyed a successful theatrical run from Fathom Events and GKIDS last year.
Of this presentation, “Studio Ponoc is delighted to partner again with GKIDS and Fathom Events to bring our Modest Heroes to fans and new audiences in the United States,” Nishimura stated.
The trio of animated shorts being presented in this program are Kanini & Kanino, directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi (who earlier directed When Marnie Was There and Mary and the Witch’s Flower); Life Ain’t Gonna Lose (Samurai eggu), directed by Yoshiyuki Momose and featuring the voice of Maggie Q (star of T.V.’s “Nikita” and the Divergent trilogy); and Invisible (Tomei ningen), which marks the debut of director Akihiko Yamashita.
As a bonus for anime aficionados, audiences will also enjoy an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at the making of Modest Heroes and the state-of-the-art animation work being done by Studio Ponoc and its talented team artists.
“Along with our friends at GKIDS, we brought some of the finest and best-loved Japanese animation to American shores in 2018,” said Ray Nutt, CEO of Fathom Events, in an official statement. “We are proud to once again partner with GKIDS to kick off 2019 with this wonderful anthology.”
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Modest Heroes will be screened 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10 (in Japanese with English subtitles) and 12:55 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12 (in English) at Regal Greensboro Grande Stadium 16, 3205 Northline Ave., Greensboro. Tickets are $13.34 (general admission). For advance tickets or more information, visit the official Fathom Events website (www.FathomEvents.com) or the official GKIDS website (www.gkidstickets.com/us/modestheroes/). The official Studio Ponoc website is www.ponoc.jp/works/category/feature/#id-259 (Japanese).