GKIDS Acquires North American Rights to “PANDA! GO PANDA!” Directed by Isao Takahata






Seminal Early Work from Studio Ghibli Co-Founders to be Released Theatrically and on Home Entertainment Platforms in 2022

NEW YORK (March 23, 2022) – GKIDS, the acclaimed producer and distributor of animation for adult and family audiences, announced today it has acquired the North American distribution rights for PANDA! GO PANDA!, the 1972 feature directed by Academy Award®-nominated Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata (The Tale of The Princess Kaguya), and written by fellow Academy Award®-winning Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away). The film, which was produced by TMS Entertainment, was first released at the height of the “panda craze” of 1972, following the loan of a pair of giant pandas from China to the Ueno Zoo in Japan. Included in the upcoming release are both Panda! Go Panda (1972) and Rainy Day Circus (1973), released collectively as PANDA! GO PANDA! by GKIDS. The film, presented in high definition with newly restored colors, will be released in theaters and on home entertainment platforms this year, in celebration of its 50th anniversary.

“Besides acting as a vital landmark in animation history, Panda! Go Panda! is an exuberant, feel-good story that will have you humming the theme song for days,” said GKIDS’ President David Jesteadt. “The film has never looked better, and we are thrilled to be able to share it with audiences more widely for a huge anniversary.


Mimiko is a cheerful young girl who is left on her own while her grandmother is away. When little Panny Panda and his father Papanda stumble into her home, Mimiko welcomes them in as her new family. Adventures ensue as Mimiko discovers the challenges of taking care of her new cuddly friends. Directed by Isao Takahata and based on a concept by Hayao Miyazaki, Panda! Go Panda! is a charming early-career classic from two animation legends before they co-founded the award-winning Studio Ghibli.

Director: Isao Takahata

Writer: Hayao Miyazaki

Country: Japan

Studio: Tokyo Movie Shinsha (Now TMS Entertainment)

Year: 1972

Run time: 75 minutes (including Panda! Go Panda! and Rainy Day Circus)



GKIDS is the producer and distributor of award-winning feature animation for both adult and family audiences. Since 2010, the company has scored an astounding 12 Best Animated Feature Oscar nominations with The Secret of Kells in 2010, A Cat in Paris and Chico & Rita in 2012, Ernest & Celestine in 2014, The Tale of The Princess Kaguya and Song of the Sea in 2015, Boy and the World and When Marnie Was There in 2016, My Life as a Zucchini in 2017, The Breadwinner in 2018, Mirai in 2019, and Wolfwalkers in 2021. GKIDS also handles North American distribution for the famed Studio Ghibli library of films, one of the world’s most coveted animation collections with titles Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke and others; as well as the critically acclaimed television series, NEON GENESIS EVANGELION. GKIDS also hosts ANIMATION IS FILM (AIF), an annual LA-based film festival which embraces the highest aspirations of animation as a cinematic art form, and is a vocal advocate for filmmakers who push the boundaries of the medium to its fullest range of artistic expressions. www.gkids.com

About TMS Entertainment Co., Ltd.

TMS Entertainment USA, Inc. is a subsidiary of TMS Entertainment Co., Ltd. (better known as TMS), one of the largest anime studios in Japan. With strong focus on anime production, licensing, and distribution, TMS boasts a library of over 12,000 episodes across a total of 420 titles that include much-loved anime titles such as LUPIN THE 3rd, Dr. STONE, and MEGALOBOX. For more information, visit tmsanime.com.

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