When Marnie Was There

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When Marnie Was There
Omiode no Marnie poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Japanese 思い出のマーニー
Hepburn Omoide no Mānī
Literally Memories of Marnie
Directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Produced by Yoshiaki Nishimura
Toshio Suzuki
Written by Keiko Niwa
Masashi Andō
Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Based on When Marnie Was There 
by Joan G. Robinson
Starring Sara Takatsuki
Kasumi Arimura
Music by Takatsugu Muramatsu
Cinematography Atsushi Okuo
Edited by Rie Matsubara
Distributed by Toho
Release dates
  • 19 July 2014 (2014-07-19)
Running time
103 minutes
Country Japan
Language Japanese
Budget ¥1.15 billion
(US$10.5 million)
Box office ¥3.63 billion
(US$30.6 million)

When Marnie Was There (Japanese: 思い出のマーニー Hepburn: Omoide no Mānī?, lit. Memories of Marnie) is a 2014 Japanese anime film written and directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, produced by Studio Ghibli, and based on the novel When Marnie Was There by Joan G. Robinson.[1] It was released on 19 July 2014.[2] It was the final film for Studio Ghibli before they announced that the film division is taking a short hiatus after The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, and the retirement of Hayao Miyazaki a year before the film was released.[3] This is potentially the last feature film to be released by Studio Ghibli as a result of the hiatus.[4] The film was released on Blu-ray and DVD in Japan on 18 March 2015.[5]


Anna Sasaki is a 12-year-old girl who lives in Sapporo with foster parents, Yoriko and her husband. One day at school she collapses from an asthma attack, so her parents send her to spend the summer with Setsu and Kiyomasa Oiwa, relatives of Yoriko, in a rural, seaside town where the air is clear, located between Kushiro and Nemuro.

Anna sees an abandoned mansion, dilapidated and overgrown, across a salt marsh and wades across the marsh to investigate it. She looks around, wondering why it seems so familiar to her, but gets trapped there by the rising tide. Toichi, a taciturn old fisherman, rescues her with his rowboat. On the way back across the water, Anna sees the house for a moment in good repair and well-lit. When she returns to the Oiwa's, Setsu tells her that the mansion used to be a vacation home for some foreigners, but that it has been empty for a long time. Starting that night, Anna has dreams of seeing a blonde girl in the mansion, having her hair brushed by an old woman.

On the night of the Tanabata festival, Anna discovers a rowboat by the shore and rows it across the marsh to the mansion, where she meets Marnie, the blonde girl. Anna tells Marnie about her dreams, but Marnie assures Anna that she is not dreaming now. The two agree to keep their meeting secret, and they meet again on the next evening.

Marnie invites Anna to a party at the mansion. The house is filled with guests. Marnie disguises Anna as a local flower girl to get her into the party. While there, Anna sees Marnie dancing with a boy named Kazuhiko. Later some townspeople find Anna asleep by the post office. The next day, Anna returns to the mansion, but it appears abandoned and dilapidated again.

One week later, while sitting on the shore sketching in a sketchbook, Anna meets Hisako, an older woman who paints pictures of the marsh and the mansion. Hisako comments that Anna's sketches look like a girl whom she knew when she was young, that her name was Marnie and she used to live in the mansion. Hisako also tells Anna that the mansion is being renovated because someone is moving in. Anna runs to the mansion, where she meets a girl named Sayaka. Sayaka has discovered Marnie's diary hidden in the mansion. The diary includes an account of the party with the flower girl. Several pages are missing at the end of the diary.

The next day, Marnie reappears. Marnie tells Anna about how her parents are always traveling abroad, how they leave her in the mansion with her nanny and two maids, and how the nanny and maids abuse her physically and psychologically. Meanwhile, Sayaka has found the missing pages from Marnie's diary, which include passages about Kazuhiko and a nearby abandoned feed silo. Sayaka and her brother head for the silo, thinking Anna may be there, and find her unconscious and feverish along the path.

When Anna recovers from her fever, Sayaka shows her the missing pages and a painting Hisako gave to Marnie. They seek out Hisako, who tells them Marnie's story: Marnie eventually married Kazuhiko and had a daughter named Emily. Kazuhiko died while Emily was young; Marnie was committed to a psychiatric hospital; and Emily was sent to boarding school. After Marnie was released, Emily blamed Marnie for abandoning her. Emily eventually ran away and had a daughter herself, but she and her husband were killed in a car accident when their daughter was one year old. Marnie tried to raise her granddaughter, but she died a year later. The granddaughter was placed in foster care.

At the end of the summer, Yoriko goes to the town to take Anna home. She gives Anna a photograph of the mansion and says it belonged to Anna's grandmother. When Anna sees Marnie's name written on the back, she realizes that she is Emily's daughter, and Marnie's granddaughter. During the end credits, Anna says goodbye to the "friends" she met in the town before she sees Marnie in the mansion waving goodbye to her, as Yoriko drives Anna back home.

Voice cast[edit]

Character Cast
Japanese English dub[6]
Anna Sasaki Sara Takatsuki[7] Hailee Steinfeld
Marnie Kasumi Arimura[7] Kiernan Shipka
Taylor Autumn Bertham (young)
Sayaka Hana Sugisaki[8] Ava Acres
Hisako Hitomi Kuroki[7] Vanessa L. Williams
Mila Brener (young)
Elderly Lady Ryoko Moriyama[7] Catherine O'Hara
Yoriko Sasaki Nanako Matsushima[7] Geena Davis
Kiyomasa Oiwa Susumu Terajima[7] John C. Reilly
Setsu Oiwa Toshie Negishi[7] Grey DeLisle
Nanny Kazuko Yoshiyuki[7] Ellen Burstyn
Toichi Ken Yasuda N/A
Mrs. Kadoya N/A Kathy Bates
Nobuko Kadoya N/A Raini Rodriguez
Doctor Yamashita Yo Oizumi N/A
Neighborhood Association Officer Takuma Otoo[ja] N/A
Art Teacher Hiroyuki Morisaki[ja] N/A


English dub[edit]


When Marnie Was There Soundtrack Music Collection
Soundtrack album by Takatsugu Muramatsu
Released 16 July 2014 (2014-07-16)
Genre Soundtrack
Length 1:11:18
Label Studio Ghibli Records/Tokuma Japan Communications

When Marnie Was There Soundtrack Music Collection, known as Omoide no Marnie Santora Ongaku Shuu (思い出のマーニーサントラ音楽集?) in Japan, is a two-disc soundtrack and image song album that was released on CD in Japan and in 113 countries worldwide (including Japan) as a digital download on the iTunes Store on 16 July 2014.[9] The first "Image Song" disc features music composed to express the personality of the characters and feel of places in the film. The second disc features all the background music for the film. Priscilla Ahn, the writer and performer of the movie's theme song, "Fine on the Outside", also released an accompanying album to the film called Just Know That I Love You on July 16, 2014.

Track listing[edit]


Marnie was released in Japan on 19 July 2014. On 14 January 2015, GKIDS announced that they would be distributing the film for a North American release.[10] The film premièred at the New York International Children's Film Festival on 27 February 2015.[11] The film gets its UK Premiere at the BFI London Film Festival on 10 October 2015.

Box office[edit]

Marnie opened at third place, grossing ¥379 million during its opening weekend in Japan.[12] By its fourth weekend, it had earned ¥2.08 billion,[13] made an additional ¥930 million in its next two weekends,[14] and had a total of ¥3.63 billion by its eighth weekend.[15] In North America, the film had grossed US$186,844 by its third weekend.[16]

Critical response[edit]

Marnie received generally positive reviews from critics. On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes the film has a rating of 89%, based on 55 reviews, with an average of 7.2/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "When Marnie Was There is still blessed with enough visual and narrative beauty to recommend, even if it isn't quite as magical as Studio Ghibli's greatest works."[17] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 71 out of 100, based on 21 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[18]

Home media[edit]

The film was released on Blu-ray and DVD in Japan on 18 March 2015,[19] and released on Blu-ray and DVD in America on 6 October 2015.[20]


  1. ^ "Ghibli Adapts Joan G. Robinson's When Marnie Was There Novel Into Anime". Anime News Network. 12 December 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-13. 
  2. ^ Kevin Ma (12 December 2013). "Studio Ghibli adapts Marnie for Summer 2014". Film Business Asia. Retrieved 2013-12-13. 
  3. ^ O'Brien, Lucy (3 August 2014). "Studio Ghibli May No Longer Be Making Feature Films". IGN. Retrieved 2014-08-05. 
  4. ^ "Hayao Miyazaki isn't making features but is at work on a manga". LA Times. 7 November 2014. Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  5. ^ "映画『思い出のマーニー』2015年3月18日(水)ブルーレイディスク&DVD発売決定!". Retrieved 2014-12-17. 
  6. ^ Fischer, Russ (March 5, 2015). "Hailee Steinfeld Leads When Marnie Was There English-Language Cast". /Film. Retrieved March 5, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h 思い出のマーニー (in Japanese). Retrieved July 19, 2015. 
  8. ^ "The "Twice-Cooked Pork Girl" plays the role of Sayaka, the glasses-wearing third heroine in Ghibli's latest work, "When Marnie was There"" (in Japanese). 2 August 2014. Retrieved 2014-08-20. 
  9. ^ "iTunes - Music - When Marnie Was There (Soundtrack Music Album) by Takatsugu Muramatsu". iTunes. 16 July 2014. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  10. ^ "GKIDS to Release Studio Ghibli's 'When Marnie Was There' in North America". Rotoscopers. 23 January 2015. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  11. ^ "Ghibli's When Marnie Was There Gets N. American Premiere in NYC". Anime News Network. 28 January 2015. Retrieved 27 February 2015. 
  12. ^ Ma, Kevin (23 July 2014). "Pokemon defeats Ghibli at Japan box office". Film Business Asia. Retrieved 25 July 2014. 
  13. ^ Ma, Kevin (12 August 2014). "Doraemon defeats Transformers in Japan". Film Business Asia. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  14. ^ Ma, Kevin (26 August 2014). "Doraemon wins round three in Japan". Film Business Asia. Retrieved 27 August 2014. 
  15. ^ "Japanese Box Office, September 6–7". Anime News Network. 14 September 2014. Retrieved 21 September 2014. 
  16. ^ "Ghibli's When Marnie Was There Earns US$77,452 in 3rd U.S. Weekend". Anime News Network. June 13, 2015. Retrieved June 16, 2015. 
  17. ^ "When Marnie Was There(2015)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster, Inc. Retrieved 28 May 2015. 
  18. ^ "When Marnie Was There". Metacritic. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved 28 May 2015. 
  19. ^ Beveridge, Chris (18 December 2014). "Disney Japan Sets ‘When Marnie Was There’ English Subtitled Anime DVD/BD Release". The Fandom Post (The Fandom Post). Retrieved 22 May 2015. 
  20. ^ [1]

External links[edit]