Japanese animation powerhouse Studio Ghibli, co-founded in part by the legendary Hayao Miyazaki, is known for creating lush landscapes, enchanting storylines and beautifully quirky characters. The studio gave birth to classics like Oscar-winning Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke and, most recently, Ponyo. Ghibli recently partnered with video game developers Level-5 (behind a couple of the Dragon Quest games and Professor Layton) to produce a role-playing game for the Nintendo DS.
The game, called Ni No Kuni, follows child protagonist Oliver through a colorful world detailed in a 350-page companion book that players will use to help them navigate the library of spells, creatures and situations.
Ni No Kuni has been in development since Ponyo, but it was recently revealed that a Playstation 3 version would also be released. In a trailer aired at a recent conference, animation samples are played alongside gameplay renderings—and it’s difficult to tell the difference between the two. The DS incarnation is due out in Japan in December, with the PS3 version following in 2011; though no plans have been announced for releasing the game outside of Japan, gamers are hopeful that the recent founding of Level-5 International means that the game will eventually find its way across the pond.
Watch the trailer below: