On Thursday it was announced that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has nominated Studio Ghibli’s last feature to date, When Marnie Was There, as a contender in the Animated Feature Film category at the Oscar awards. It’s competing with Anomalisa, Boy and the World, Shaun the Sheep Movie and Inside Out for the Academy Award.

Adapting English author Joan G. Robinson’s 1967 young adult novel, and directed by The Secret World of Arrietty’s Hiromasa Yonebayashi, the first Ghibli movie created without the touch of Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata switches the novel’s Great British setting to a village on Hokkaido’s shores. There, Anna finds herself alone and isolated, at least for a time, as the film’s North American distributor GKids describes:

Sent from her foster home in the city one summer to a Sleepy Town by the sea in Hokkaido, Anna dreams her days away among the marshes. She believes she’s outside the invisible magic circle to which most people belong – and shuts herself off from everyone around her, wearing her “ordinary face.” Anna never expected to meet a friend like Marnie, who does not judge Anna for being just what she is. But no sooner has Anna learned the loveliness of friendship than she begins to wonder about her newfound friend…

The theme song for the movie, ‘Fine on the Outside’, was also eligible for the Original Song category, but in the end it didn’t receive the nomination to be included in the awards. The 88th Oscars ceremony will be held on February 28th at the Hollywood & Highland Center’s Dolby Theater, and though the outcome of this contest already seems set in stone with Inside Out in the running, it’s lovely to see Ghibli honoured for what might be their final film. But the studio hasn’t been left to gather dust just yet; it’s now involved in the production of Dutch-British animator Michaël Dudok de Wit’s The Red Turtle.

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