We’re big Studio Ghibli fans in our house, and we’ve seen nearly all of their films. So when we heard the studio had teamed up with to adapt Swedish children’s author Astrid Lindgren’s classic book RONJA THE ROBBER’S DAUGHTER into a 26-episode series directed by Gorō Miyazaki, we couldn’t wait to see it. Here in the U.S., the series is exclusive to Amazon and premieres today, Jan. 27.
As in the book, Ronja follows the story of a little girl born and raised in a fort belonging to a clan of robbers in medieval Scandinavia. Ronja is the clan chief Mattis and his wife’s only child, and as far as we can tell, she is the only child (and along with her mother the only female) in the clan. Narrated by Gillian Anderson (who has a pitch-perfect English accent), the show follows Ronja from her birth to her escapades at age 10, when she’s finally allowed to leave the fort and wander in the neighboring forest. The voice cast is all British, and they do a phenomenal job of conveying the clan’s alternating emotions — awe, anger, confusion, joy, etc.
There is mild peril in the form of frightening wildlife, harpies, and Matt’s clan rivals, the Borka clan. My 8-year-old son (he’s nearly 9 and also the youngest) and I have only watched 4-5 episodes, but we’re hooked. It’s a bit mature and like many Studio Ghibli-produced films, is aimed at tweens and above, not preschoolers and early elementary. But we think the animation, the voice cast, and the interesting/uncommon setting is so compelling we can’t stop watching.
Watch the trailer: