GKIDS recently announced that their new feature The Deer King from beloved Japanese animation veterans Masashi Ando and Masayuki Miyaji will have a limited theatrical release in select markets nationwide starting Friday, 15 July. GKIDS has continued their partnership with Fathom Events, putting on fan preview events for the film which will play in cinemas nationwide on 13 July (Japanese language) and 14 July (English language dubbed). In addition to the full feature, audiences will view a special introduction from director Masashi Ando, exclusive to the Fathom Events screenings.
The Deer King is a sweeping fantasy epic that marks the directing debut of Masashi Ando, whose work on such landmark films as Spirited Away, Paprika, and Your Name helped shape the world of modern animation.
As per the official synopsis, In the aftermath of a brutal war, former soldier Van toils in a mine controlled by the ruling empire. One day, his solitary existence is upended when a pack of wild dogs carrying a deadly and incurable disease attack, leaving only Van and a young girl named Yuna as survivors. Finally free, the pair seek out a simple existence in the countryside but are pursued by nefarious forces. Intent on protecting Yuna at all costs, Van must uncover the true cause of the plague ravaging the kingdom—and its possible cure.
Animated by the acclaimed studio Production I.G, the film marks the directorial debut of acclaimed animator Masashi Ando, who previously worked as a character designer, animation director, and key animator with the famed Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke), and with directors Satoshi Kon (Paprika, Paranoia Agent) and Makoto Shinkai (Your Name). Co-director Masayuki Miyaji is best known for directing the 2009 series Xam’s: Lost Memories and work on Studio Ghibli films such as My Neighbors The Yamadas.
The original book series, by author Nahoko Uehashi, won the Booksellers Award and the fourth Japan Medical Novel Award in 2015, and has printed 2.2 million copies in Japan to date. Animation studio Production I.G include the legendary film Ghost in the Shell, and the highly influential series FLCL, Haikyu!!, and Psycho Pass. The studio’s 2011 feature A Letter to Momo and 2015 feature Miss Hokusai are also distributed by GKIDS.
The English voice cast includes Ray Chase (Van), Griffin Puatu (Hohsalle), Erica Schroeder (Sae ), Luciana VanDette (Yuna), Doug Stone (Tohlim), Neil Kaplan (Aquafa King), Frank Todaro (Kenoi ), Luis Bermudez (Makokan), Keith Silverstein (Ohfan), Chris Hackney (Yotalu), Doug Erholtz (Utalu), Xander Mobus (Shikan), Larissa Gallagher (Van’s Wife), Michael Deaner (Van’s Son), Stefan Martello (Tohma), Steve Kramer (Ohma), Edna Larsen (Ohma’s Wife), Larissa Gallagher (Kiya), Marc Thompson (Yoki), Stephanie Sheh (Yoki’s Wife), Michael Deaner (Yoki’s Son), Grant George (Hohsalle’s Assistant) and Stephanie Sheh (Kazan Woman).