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GKids to release new 4K restoration of Satoshi Kon’s Tokyo Godfathers

It’s a Christmas movie miracle

Three homeless people, Gin, Hana, and Miyuki, gasp at something off screen Madhouse/Sony Pictures Entertainment Japan
Matt Patches is an executive editor at Polygon. He has over 15 years of experience reporting on movies and TV, and reviewing pop culture.

Just in time for the holidays, GKids, purveyor of animation from around the world, has delivered the perfect gift to fans of the medium.

On Thursday, the company announced it had acquired North American theatrical and home entertainment distribution rights for Satoshi Kon’s Christmas Eve-timed neo-noir, Tokyo Godfathers. Following the 2018 remastered re-release of Perfect Blue, another of Kon’s masterpieces, GKids will release a new 4K restoration of Tokyo Godfathers in early 2020. Both an original Japanese language version and a new English language dub are expected as part of the release.

“Satoshi Kon remains one of the animated medium’s most celebrated and visionary storytellers,” said GKids’ president David Jesteadt. “With the re-release of Tokyo Godfathers, a timely work of deep humanism and beauty, we are proud to play a part in sharing his legacy with audiences old and new.”

Like so many of Kon’s films, Tokyo Godfathers paints a simple premise with dimensional psychology and hand-drawn artistry. On Christmas Eve, three homeless people discover a baby girl near a garbage dump. Without much of a clue of how to deliver the baby back to her mother, Gin, a man crippled by a multitude of additions, Hana, a former drag queen who was also abandoned as a child, and Miyuki, a high-school-age runaway, band together to solve the mystery. As they navigate Tokyo’s frigid streets, their ticking-clock journey becomes one of self-reflection.

GKids’ re-release announcement comes on the heels of The International Animated Film Society’s Annie Award nominations, which named Kon the posthumous recipient of the Winsor McCay Award, the organization’s award for lifetime achievement in animation.

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