Isao Takahata's 'Grave of the Fireflies' Getting Live-Action Treatment

If you’re an anime fan, and further familiar with the films of Studio Ghibli, you’ll know Grave of the Fireflies is one of the best (but also the most depressing) animated films of all time. The story follows two siblings, 14 year old Seita and his 4 year old sister Setsuko, struggling to survive in the aftermath of the 1945 bombing of Kobe. It’s an affecting film to say the least and even for a so-called cartoon, it really gets the waterworks going as it shows the real cost of war. Well news has surfaced about live-action remake of the film only this new film, like the Japanese reinterpretation of Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven, will change the story just a tad.

U.K. production company Dresden Pictures plans to bring the film to theaters sometime in 2014. As of right now, the idea is that the story of Seita and Setsuko will be transplanted and set in London; most likely during or following Germany’s blitzkrieg bombardment of the city. The die-hard Ghibli fan in me is none too fond of this and somehow thinks the impact of the story will be lost in this or any live-action translation. The key to the the original is the chemistry/relationship between the siblings and the weight of this remake absolutely falls on Dresden getting that element right.

Fingers crossed for them. No other information (especially whether Takahata will have anything to do with this) is available at this time but we’ll keep you posted on updates…if you’re interested that is. This sound like a good move? Anyone interested in this live-action retelling?


  • Dan Heaton

    The original Grave of the Fireflies is a stunning movie, but I have no interest in this remake. I’m not opposed to them doing it, but I’m not ready to relive that experience again. I also don’t think they’ll be able to recreate the feeling of the animated film in live action.

    • RidgeRacer4

      Right there with you Dan. Such a well done but devastating and deflating movie. It, like Requiem for a Dream, is one of the handful of amazing films that I have only seen once…and only once for a reason.

  • Andrew Crump

    I’ll be honest, I don’t see much of a point to this. Grave of the Fireflies is a perfect film and one which, I think, benefits immensely from its animated aesthetic; I’m not really into seeing projects like that get remade at all, forget about the fact that this is a shift in format.

    Maybe the story can translate well from animation to live action. I just see very little need for it.

    • RidgeRacer4

      But that’s probably the reason why they’re changing the setting. Wouldn’t think anyone would dare mess with doing a live action version of Grave, let alone a carbon copy but that probably explains the alteration of the source material.

      So between Grave, The Boy In the Stripped Pajamas and this I don’t know how many emotionally devastating WWII films I can take:P