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Industry Film Distribution
Founded 2008
Headquarters New York City, United States
Products Motion pictures
Website GKIDSfilms.com

GKIDS (Guerrilla Kids International Distribution Syndicate) is an American distributor based in New York City of animated and youth-aimed cinema and, originally, the organizers of the New York International Children's Film Festival, which has run annually in the city since 1997[1] and is an Academy Award–qualifying event.[2]

From that origin their role has since expanded to running a Web site with videos of short films shown at the festival and a guide to children's and family films on home video, running events in the city outside of the festival and, beginning in 2008, distributing individual feature films and packages of features and shorts to movie theaters across the United States.[3]


Their first general release was Azur & Asmar, starting in New York in October 2008 and expanding to other cities in November,[4] in the British-dubbed version created for its release in both Ireland and the United Kingdom. But, after licensing a number of other features, their next and biggest yet was the March 19, 2010 release (timed to follow Saint Patrick's Day) of The Secret of Kells, recognition of the title bolstered by its nomination for Best Animated Feature at the 82nd Academy Awards, which GKIDS made the film eligible for with a qualifying week's run in Burbank, California.[5]

GKIDS followed up the surprise nomination of Kells by garnering two simultaneous Oscar nominations at the 84th Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature with the films Chico and Rita and A Cat in Paris, beating out such notables as The Adventures of Tintin and Pixar's Cars 2. This marked the first time that an independent distributor had two films in the Best Animated Feature category in the same year.[6]

Another landmark event for the company's distribution arm was the acquisition, announced in September 2011, of the North American theatrical rights that were previously held by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures to 13 features in the back catalog of Studio Ghibli.[7] GKIDS had new 35 mm film prints made in both the original language subtitled and with Disney's dubs of each where possible.[8] Of these, the subtitled Castle in the Sky and Spirited Away were first publicly screened at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on November 26[9] and the full season first ran at the IFC Center from December 16 to January 12, 2012, including the North American theatrical premiere of Ocean Waves, US theatrical premiere of Only Yesterday and archive prints of Howl's Moving Castle and Ponyo.[8] Some or all of the prints have since or will go on to screen as part of the KidFilm Festival in Dallas on the 21 and 22 January,[10] at the Egyptian and Aero Theatres in Los Angeles from January 26 to February 29,[11] at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston from 1 to 19 February[12] and later in Toronto, Austin, Texas, Washington, D.C., Seattle, San Francisco and other cities.[13]

The relationship that developed between Studio Ghibli and GKIDS eventually led to GKIDS acquiring first North American distribution rights for From Up on Poppy Hill. The collaboration between the two companies will be the first time Studio Ghibli has not worked with Disney for a North American release of one of its films.[14]

In January 2014, Ernest & Celestine was nominated for Best Animated Feature at the 86th Academy Awards, marking the fourth such nomination among the GKIDS' first-run catalog.[15] The film was subsequently released on February 28 in Los Angeles and March 14 in New York.[16]

On March 12, 2014, it was announced that GKIDS and Studio Ghibli would work together once again on the US release of The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, directed by the studio's co-founder Isao Takahata, with an English dub produced by Studio Ghibli and Frank Marshall.[17] That film was released on October 17, 2014 in New York, Los Angeles and Toronto, with other markets to follow.[18]

On January 15, 2015 Song of the Sea and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya were co-nominated for Best Animated Feature Film for the 87th Academy Awards, making them the fifth and sixth films distributed by GKIDS' nominated for the award.

Films distributed by GKIDS[edit]

US title Original title US release US home video licensee
Tahaan[3] Tahaan September 5, 2008
Azur & Asmar Azur et Asmar October 17, 2008 (New York)
November 27, 2008
Weinstein Company, TheThe Weinstein Company[4]
Sita Sings the Blues Sita Sings the Blues December 25, 2009 (New York)[19][20] Released under a Creative Commons license (multiple distributors)
Secret of Kells, TheThe Secret of Kells Secret of Kells, TheThe Secret of Kells March 5, 2010 (New York)
March 19, 2010[21]
New Video Group[22]
West of Pluto À l'ouest de Pluton March 26, 2010[23]
Summer Wars Samā Wōzu December 3, 2010[24] Funimation[25]
Eleanor's Secret Kérity : La Maison des contes January 21, 2011[19] Cinedigm Entertainment
Mia and the Migoo Mia et le Migou March 25, 2011 (New York)
April 22, 2011[26]
Entertainment One[27]
Studio Ghibli Collection, TheThe Studio Ghibli Collection
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
Castle in the Sky
My Neighbor Totoro
Kiki's Delivery Service
Only Yesterday
Porco Rosso
Ocean Waves
Pom Poko
Whisper of the Heart
Princess Mononoke
My Neighbors the Yamadas
Spirited Away
The Cat Returns
Studio Ghibli Collection, TheThe Studio Ghibli Collection
Kaze no tani no Naushika
Tenkū no shiro Rapyuta
Tonari no Totoro
Majo no takkyūbin
Omohide poroporo
Kurenai no buta
Umi ga kikoeru
Heisei tanuki gassen Pon poko
Mimi o sumaseba
Hōhokekyo: Tonari no Yamada-kun
Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi
Neko no ongaeshi
December 16, 2011[8] Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment (excepting Only Yesterday and Ocean Waves)[7]
Chico & Rita Chico & Rita February 10, 2012 (New York)
February 17, 2012[28]
New Video Group[29]
Cat in Paris, AA Cat in Paris Une vie de chat June 1, 2012[30] New Video Group[31]
Tales of the Night Contes de la nuit, LesLes Contes de la nuit September 26, 2012[32] New Video Group[33]
The Rabbi's Cat Le Chat du rabbin December 7, 2012 (New York)[34]
January 4, 2013[35]
New Video Group[36]
Approved for Adoption Couleur de peau: miel February 8, 2013 (New York) New Video Group
Wrinkles Arrugas February 8, 2013[37] New Video Group
Letter to Momo, AA Letter to Momo Momo e no Tegami February 10, 2013[38] Cinedigm Entertainment
Ernest & Celestine[39] Ernest et Célestine February 27, 2013 Cinedigm Entertainment
From Up on Poppy Hill Kokuriko-zaka kara March 15, 2013[40] Cinedigm Entertainment[41]
Painting, TheThe Painting Tableau, LeLe Tableau May 10, 2013[42] Cinedigm Entertainment
Grave of the Fireflies Hotaru no Haka November 9, 2013[43] Sentai Filmworks[44]
Patema Inverted Sakasama no Patema August 29, 2014 Cinedigm Entertainment
Nocturna Nocturna, la nuit magique September 4, 2014 Cinedigm Entertainment
Welcome to the Space Show Uchū Show e Yōkoso October 14, 2014 Cinedigm Entertainment
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya Kaguya-hime no Monogatari October 17, 2014 Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
Song of the Sea[45] Song of the Sea December 19, 2014 Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
When Marnie Was There Omoide no Marnie February 27, 2015 TBC
Zarafa Zarafa July 3, 2015 TBC[46]
Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet August 7, 2015 TBC
The Boy and the World[47] O Menino e o Mundo TBC TBC

The company also tours selections of short and feature films screened at NYICFF across the country. In mid-2009 the live-action features Tahaan and West of Pluto (À l'ouest de Pluton) were licensed for potential general releases but plans for both were dropped by late 2011 in favour of a focus on animation.[48]


  1. ^ "About us". GKIDS.tv. GKIDS. February 2008. Retrieved February 8, 2012. GKIDS is the producer of the fabulous New York International Children's Film Festival (NYICFF), […] Since its inception in 1997, […] This year's festival runs from February 29 to March 16 in multiple theaters around New York City. 
  2. ^ Graser, Marc (January 25, 2012). "GKids makes splash with two in toon pool". Variety (Reed Elsevier). Retrieved February 8, 2012. GKids also produces the New York Intl Children's Film Festival, an Oscar-qualifying event. […] GKids released Cat for Folimage and released Chico through its adult-skewing LumaFilms banner, due to nudity and other mature content. 
  3. ^ a b "Tour". Retrieved February 10, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Jesteadt, Dave (December 15, 2008). "Re: Azur and Asmar – finally for real". CriterionForum.org. Retrieved February 14, 2012. October 17 – Nov 4: New York, NY - IFC Center/November 27 – Dec 3: Brooklyn, NY - Brooklyn Heights Cinema 
  5. ^ Ryzik, Melena (March 2, 2010). "An indie takes on animation's big boys". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved February 8, 2012. 
  6. ^ Kilday, Gregg. "Independent Distributor GKIDS Makes Its Mark With Two Oscar Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 12, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b Beck, Jerry (September 8, 2011). "GKids acquires 13 Ghibli films; Miyazaki in Lego". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved February 9, 2012. […] Daily Variety is reporting that U.S. distributor GKids (The Secret of Kells) has acquired the U.S. theatrical and non-theatrical rights to thirteen Ghibli films – including Hayao Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke, My Neighbor Totoro, Castle in the Sky and Spirited Away. Disney will retain the home video rights. Gkids is planning to distribute a series of Miyazaki film festivals to theatres nationwide. […] It'll [be] interesting to see how GKids will fare with these films – that company is certainly emerging as a leader in distributing worthy international animated features. 
  8. ^ a b c "Castles in the Sky: Miyazaki, Takahata & the Masters of Studio Ghibli". IFC Center. AMC Networks. 2011. Retrieved February 9, 2012. Friday, December 16 – Thursday, January 12, 2012 […] Don’t miss your chance to see some of the greatest films of all time on new 35mm prints, including such favorites as My Neighbor Totoro, Castle in the Sky, and Spirited Away, as well as rare films like Only Yesterday and Ocean Waves. Most films will be presented in both subtitled and English dubbed versions. 
  9. ^ "Spotlight on Studio Ghibli". Film Independent at LACMA. Film Independent. 2011. Retrieved February 9, 2012. November 26 […] Castle in the Sky 25th anniversary, new 35mm print […] Screening in Japanese, with English subtitles. Spirited Away 10th anniversary, new 35mm print […] Screening in Japanese, with English subtitles. 
  10. ^ Dallas Gets ARRIETTY & Ghibli Retrospective This Month Courtesy Of KidFilm & USA Film Festival
  11. ^ Castles In The Sky: Miyazaki, Takahata And The Masters Of Studio Ghibli | American Cinematheque
  12. ^ Castles in the Sky: Miyazaki, Takahata, and the Masters of Studio Ghibli | Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
  13. ^ https://twitter.com/#!/GKIDSfilms/status/152408852401369088
  14. ^ Langshaw, Mark (June 7, 2012). "Studio Ghibli's From Up On Poppy Hill gets Western release date". Retrieved June 12, 2012. 
  15. ^ Giardina, Carolyn (January 21, 2014). "Oscars: The Tale Behind Animated Feature Nominee 'Ernest and Celestine'". Retrieved October 16, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Ernest and Celestine Opens 28 Feb in LA , Wider Release in March 2014". November 9, 2013. Retrieved October 16, 2014. 
  17. ^ Amidi, Amid (2014-03-12). "GKIDS Acquires Takahata’s ‘The Tale of the Princess Kaguya’ for U.S. Distribution". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved 2014-10-16. 
  18. ^ Amidi, Amid (2014-07-15). "‘Tale Of The Princess Kaguya’ Sets English-Language Voice Cast, October Release Date". Retrieved 2014-10-16. 
  19. ^ a b No general release but made available for individual bookings.
  20. ^ Animated Features 5
  21. ^ Shinnick, Kevin G. (February 13, 2010). "The Secret of Kells". Animated Discussions Forum. Yuku. Retrieved November 23, 2012. The Secret of Kells […] will open theatrically at New York’s IFC Center on March 5, […] followed by a previously-announced opening in Boston on March 19 […] 
  22. ^ "The Secret of Kells – Flatiron Film Company". New Video. New Video Group. 2010. Retrieved November 23, 2012. 
  23. ^ [1]
  24. ^ "Summer Wars in Tempe, Minneapolis, Portland, Greensboro (updated) – News". Anime News Network. Anime News Network. December 2, 2010. Retrieved November 23, 2012. Dec 3–8 
  25. ^ "Watch Summer Wars – Watch anime & live action streaming episodes & video online". FUNimation. FUNimation Productions. Retrieved November 23, 2012. 
  26. ^ Hey everyone! We... | Facebook
  27. ^ [2]
  28. ^ "Buy tickets!". Chico & Rita – Official USA. Facebook. 2012. Retrieved February 14, 2012. 
  29. ^ "Chico & Rita – GKIDS". New Video. New Video Group. 2012. Licensor: New Video Group 
  30. ^ "About". A Cat in Paris. Facebook. 2012. Retrieved April 30, 2012. 
  31. ^ "A Cat in Paris – GKIDS". New Video. New Video Group. 2012. Licensor: New Video Group 
  32. ^ "Find a theater". Tales of the Night. Facebook. 2012. Retrieved November 23, 2012. 
  33. ^ "Tales of the Night – GKIDS". New Video. New Video Group. 2012. Retrieved November 23, 2012. Licensor: New Video Group 
  34. ^ "The Rabbi's Cat". IFC Center. AMC Networks. Retrieved January 15, 2013. Friday, December 7 – Thursday, December 13, 2012 
  35. ^ "Theaters & Openings". The Rabbi's Cat. Facebook. Retrieved January 15, 2013. Opens January 4th 2013 
  36. ^ "The Rabbi's Cat". The Rabbi's Cat. Blu-ray.com. 2013. Retrieved 9 May 2013. Lincensor: New Video Group 
  37. ^ "Has there been a US…". Wrinkles the film (official US page). Facebook. August 15, 2012. Retrieved November 23, 2012. 
  38. ^ "GKIDS Films". Twitter. November 12, 2012. Retrieved May 31, 2012. It will be released properly in summer 2013 
  39. ^ GKIDS to distribute Ernest & Celestine | Cartoon Brew
  40. ^ "GKIDS Films". Twitter. November 18, 2012. Retrieved November 23, 2012. […] it will open again 3/15 in NY/LA, expand to more cities right after. 
  41. ^ The Deadline Team (May 30, 2013). "GKIDS expands Cinedigm deal to create new label for animated pics". Deadline.com. PMC. Retrieved May 31, 2013. 
  42. ^ "Cover photos". GKIDS. Facebook. May 3, 2013. Retrieved November 23, 2012. In select theaters May 10 
  43. ^ Savage, Sophia (November 20, 2012). "GKIDS to release Studio Ghibli's Takahata masterpiece Grave of the Fireflies". Thompson on Hollywood. SnagFilms. Retrieved November 23, 2012. GKIDS plans to release the film in 2013 to celebrate its 25th anniversary. 
  44. ^ "GKIDS Films". Twitter. November 20, 2012. Retrieved November 23, 2012. […] we are only the theatrical distrib. Sentai Filmworks released the Bluray today 
  45. ^ Beck, Jerry (August 25, 2014). "GKIDS sets Dec. 19th for "Song Of The Sea" Engagements in New York and Toronto". Animation Scoop. Retrieved August 25, 2014. 
  46. ^ Keslassy, Elsa (June 3, 2012). "GKIDS plays with Gallic toons". Variety (Reed Business Information). Retrieved June 6, 2012. 
  47. ^ Beck, Jerry. "GKIDS Acquires North American Rights For Brazil's "Boy and His World"". Animation Scoop. Retrieved June 9, 2014. 
  48. ^ "GKIDS Films". GKIDS. Archived from the original on October 11, 2009. 

External links[edit]