The New York International Children’s Film Festival (NYICFF) will screen the world premiere of the English dub of the Okko’s Inn (Waka Okami wa Shōgakusei!) anime film on February 23 and March 10. The festival will also screen Hiroyasu Ishida and Studio Colorido’s penguin highway anime film with English subtitles on February 24, March 2, and March 10.
Okko’s Inn opened in Japan on September 21. The film had previously screened in competition at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival in June under the title Okko’s Inn, and also screened at Los Angeles’ Animation is Film Festival in October.
The film is based on writer Hiroko Reijō and artist Asami’s juvenile literature series. The books also inspired a 24-episode television anime that premiered last April on TV Tokyo and five other affiliates. The film tells a story not told in either the original book series or the television series — specifically, a story about “Okko” and her parents. GKIDS describes the film:
OKKO’S INN follows Okko, who goes to live with her grandmother in the countryside after losing her parents. While she prepares to become the inn’s next caretaker, Okko discovers there are playful ghosts who live there. However, only she can see them.
GKIDS and Fathom Events will hold United States screenings of the anime film on April 22-23. Screenings on Monday, April 22 at 7:00 p.m. local time will be English dubbed, while screenings on Tuesday, April 23 at 7:00 p.m. will be in Japanese with English subtitles.
The penguin highway film opened in Japan on August 17 and ranked #10 in its opening weekend. The film won the “Axis: The Satoshi Kon Award for Excellence in Animation” award for Best Animated Feature at Montreal’s Fantasia International Film Festival in July. The film has also been nominated for the Animated Theatrical Film Category of the VFX-Japan Awards.
The story of the original novel by Tomihiko Morimi centers on fourth grader Aoyama (Kana Kita) and a mysterious older woman (Yuu Aoi), who is a dental assistant and also Aoyama’s first crush. When a group of penguins appears in his quiet suburban neighborhood, Aoyama works to uncover the reason for their appearance.
Eleven Arts held the film’s United States premiere at Crunchyroll Expo in September. Eleven Arts’ United States screenings of the film will begin on April 12. Screenings will begin in Canada on April 19.