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The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness


Mami Sunada

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About the Movie

While there have been numerous documentaries about Studio Ghibli made for television or for DVD features, no one had ever conceived of making a theatrical documentary feature about the famed animation studio. Yet that is precisely what filmmaker Mami Sunada set out to do in her first film since her acclaimed directorial debut, Death of a Japanese Salesman. With near-unfettered access inside the studio, Sunada follows the key personnel of Ghibli – director Hayao Miyazaki, producer Toshio Suzuki and the elusive “other” director, Isao Takahata – over the course of one year as the studio rushes to complete their two highly anticipated new films, Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises and Takahata’s The Tale of The Princess Kaguya. The result is a rare glimpse into the inner workings of one of the most celebrated animation studios in the world, and a portrait of their dreams, passion and dedication that borders on madness.


Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 24
  • Fresh: 22
  • Rotten: 2
  • Average Rating: 7.2/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: This affectionate documentary is more of a bonbon for longtime fans than an entryway for a broader audience. – Ben Kenigsberg, New York Times, Nov 28, 2014

Fresh: For animation lovers, peering inside the walls of Studio Ghibli is like being granted a guided tour of Santa's workshop. – Peter Debruge, Variety, Nov 24, 2014

Fresh: A riveting, revealing and reinvigorating piece about cinema as an ego-driven art and a collective endeavor. – Clarence Tsui, Hollywood Reporter, Nov 24, 2014

Fresh: Riveting behind-the-scenes documentary The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness offers some comfort for viewers facing a world without new feature films directed by anime legend Hayao Miyazaki. – Simon Abrams, Village Voice, Nov 25, 2014

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews


It's just really awesome

mandatory for ghibli fans

Hard to write a review on this film, it’s just mandatory for any ghibli fan. I had a hard time getting into “the wind rises”, this film goes into detail on the struggle to make that film.

A Look Behind the Curtain

A good look into the 72 year old master Miyazaki at work while making “The Wind Rises”. The film doesn’t go into the actual process of getting ink to screen, but concentrates more on the story board process and all the other decisions Miyazaki must make to complete the film.