Thanks to Madman we had the chance to see Studio Ghibli‘s ‘Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter’ on Blu-Ray.
Directed by Goro Miyazaki and based on Astrid Lindgren’s book, this series follows Ronja, the young daughter of a leader of a clan of bandits in Scandinavia.
On the cusp of adulthood, Ronja decides to spend most of her time exploring the forest, where she meets and befriends Birk, a kid of the same age. Everything gets rather complicated when her father finds out he is the son of the leader of a rival clan.
Ronja is an anime series full of heart that convincingly depicts a developing friendship and the challenges of parenting through the eyes of Ronja’s dad.
The series does its hardest to innovate with its animation, using digital techniques that made every frame extremely sharp and colourful. However, the overall result is a bit odd as it feels more like a video game than an animated series.
Perhaps the biggest issue of this particular Blu-ray version is the lack of audio options. Call us purist, but we generally cannot stand to watch anime in any language except the original Japanese. This version only comes in English, something that (for us) takes away at least 50% of the emotion of the show.
Overall, Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter is a solid release featuring a sweet heroine. If it had been done with traditional animation techniques it would have potentially become another Ghibli classic, thanks to its simplicity, heartfelt moments and likeable characters.
The Blu-Ray also includes the press conference to announce the series, an interview with Goro Miyazaki and a must see making of Ronja.