Gillian Anderson & Director Goro Miyazaki Talk Studio Ghibli’s ‘Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter’
Studio Ghibli’s highly anticipated first-ever TV series, ‘Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter’, will be available on DVD and Blu-ray on 4th December 2017 from Studiocanal. To help celebrate the launch we have been sent a Q & A with actress Gillian Anderson (‘X-Files’, ‘The Fall’), who narrates the series, and director Goro Miyazaki (‘Tales From Earthsea’).
Based on the beloved novel by acclaimed writer Astrid Lindgren (‘Pippi Longstocking’), Ronja is an epic 26-part story of adventure and friendship tells the tale of a ten-year-old girl born on a stormy night in a mountain fort, surrounded by her parents and a loving band of robbers.
Ronja grows to be a strong and active girl, and discovers that the forest is both a beautiful and frightening place inhabited by strange creatures. She befriends the son of her father’s rival and so begins the drama of her friendship and family loyalties.
Why did you decide to turn the novel by Astrid Lindgren into a TV series?
Goro Miyazaki: I originally hoped to create “Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter” as a film, but that plan didn’t work out. When I was asked to create a new TV series for kids, I thought it an excellent chance to finally create “Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter”, a perfect work for kids that is really appropriate for NHK’s animation TV series programs for children.
How would you describe the animation style for the series?
GM: The animation style of “Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter” is a hybrid of computer-generated 3-D characters and 2-D hand-drawn and hand-painted background art. I used what is called the “Toon Look” to match the characters appropriately to the style of the background art.
We adopted this style because it is ideal for expressing the rich seasonal beauty of nature. Also, Japanese audiences like and are familiar with 2-D animation.
Gillian, tell us about your role.
Gillian Anderson: I play the narrator. I’m the voice of God. No, actually, I’m not. I’m the narrator. That’s who I am.
Do you think Ronja will appeal to adults as well as children?
GM: The original novel “Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter” is a really interesting book even for adults because it describes what happens between parents and children as the children grow. I hope that our TV series “Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter” has the same appeal as the original novel.
What sets Ronja apart from other Studio Ghibli productions?
GM: The big difference is that Studio Ghibli productions are full-length feature films while “Ronja” is a 26-part TV series. Still, my creative philosophy and approach for the show are exactly the same as for my films.
Gillian, what do you like about Ghibli?
GA: I love Ghibli. What do I like about Ghibli? I love everything about Ghibli. The beauty of the animation is some of the most exquisite animation I’ve ever seen. I have, I think, been watching Ghibli movies from the very, very beginning. My daughter, who is now 22, grew up on them and is as obsessed with them as I am.
What did you enjoy most about creating the series?
GM: It was fascinating when the characters’ voices were recorded and the characters’ personalities truly came to life.
GA: And the mites, and all the characters, the white little guys in the trees, and the black little dust mites – and the all the range of mythical characters are really exciting for me.
Do you relate to any of the characters in the show?
GM: (Laughing) Yes, I relate to Noddle-Pete… because he has a foul mouth.
Dave has over 20 years experience in the digital industry, and is founder and editor of Geektown. Obviously a huge geek himself, he can often be found in front of the latest tv show or movie, on various video games, or with his head in a comic book.