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Submitted on
February 23, 2013
Submitted with Writer


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Studio Ghibli

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 6:13 AM
A Tokyo based animation studio that needs no introduction! Studio Ghibli is best known for their traditionally animated anime films. It was originally founded by the legendary pair,  Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, back in 1985. Ghibli is named  after an Italian war plane that was used for scouting, this reflected Miyazaki's love for not only airplanes but also Italy. The name itself means  "hot wind blowing through the Sahara Desert".

Takahata and Miyazaki 

It was formed after the great success of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, which both Takahata and Miyazaki worked on. Their first feature film hit was Laputa, or some of you may know it as Castle in the Sky. Most of the films that Studio Ghibli produces is by Miyazaki, followed by Takahata, although they have worked with other film producers and directors as well.

Family favourite, My Neighbour Totoro

Walt Disney later acquired the rights to distribute it internationally in 1996 as part of the Disney-Tokuma deal. Their popularity really took off and in 2001 a Studio Ghibli Museum was opened in Tokyo. Naturally it contains exhibitions based on their work, but they also show some short Studio Ghibli films that are not available elsewhere, so if you're a huge fan of  Studio Ghibli it would be well worth a visit!

Kiki's Delivery Service

Hayao Miyazaki's son Gorō Miyazaki, has had a hand in some newer projects but unfortunately this caused some friction between father and son, as Hayao felt that his sons work was not good enough at the time when producing Tales from Earthsea. The new feature film was not received as well as many other past film titles but he then went on to direct From Up On a Poppy Hill, which was quite well received. 

To this very day their timeless classics serve as an inspiration to the world of animation. They are still very inclined to animating traditionally (or at least by hand) and they have a certain style that many try to imitate.  With the next generation of animators being trained over there, including the son of a legend, it doesn't look like Studio Ghibli is going anywhere soon. 

Princess Mononoke
“Do everything by hand, even when using the computer.”  - Hayao Miyazaki

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operaphantom21 Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2013
Ahhh, good old Studio Ghibli. I remember the first day I was introduced to their films. It was quite by chance, before they became really popular. I was in the library one day when I was seven or eight, and had gotten all my books but was waiting for my grandparents to finish looking at movies and music. So I looked at the movies too, and saw Spirited Away. It looked interesting, so I got that too. After the first ten minutes, I was hooked. I repeatedly checked it out from the library, and later on I found out about the other films. I saw Castle in the Sky, Nausicaä, Kiki's Delivery Service, Howl's Moving Castle, Ponyo, and My Neighbor Totoro. I can't wait to watch the other films, but as an English-speaking-only U.S. person, I'm limited to what dubs my library and Netflix has.
The animation and story-telling was what captured my heart. As someone who grew up on the 2D Disney films and 2D cartoons like Looney Tunes, I love the hand-drawn animation. I also like how the stories in Ghibli's films are a simple, yet so full of meaning. They seem like deeper Disney films, to me anyway.
These films will always have a special place in my heart. :3
kingmancheng Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Laputa, or Castle in the Sky as some people now know it as has always been one of my firm favourites. :)

I still remember watching it as a kid in Cantonese. I have to agree the storytelling was one of the things that I really loved about their movies too.

The first animé I ever watched in English was Dragonball, and I had to say it was odd watching it in a non-Asian language at first haha.

But yeah these movies are rooted into my childhood too, I also have a special place for them in my heart. :happycry:
CauseForDementia Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Great article!
kingmancheng Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Thank you! : )
aegis-of-justice Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
For the people who are scared of Spirited Away, don't be scared of Miyazaki films! I loved Spirited Away, and part of it's charm is how creepy it can get. If Spirited Away scared you, here are some Ghibli films that might be more your speed:
Kiki's Delivery Service
Laputa: Castle in the Sky (I recommend the subbed over the dub. They cut way too much stuff out/changed the script. :C)
Cat Returns
The Secret World of Arietty

Personally I found the catbus to be kinda creepy, but My Neighbor Totoro is wonderful too. Mid tier is:
My Neighbor Totoro
Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea

Scary/creepy (but still brilliant):
Princess Mononoke
Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind
Spirited Away
Howl's Moving Castle

There are also a whole bunch of non-fantastical, serious movies, but I don't know the names of them in English. Grave of the Fireflies is one of them. Bunch of animated depressing war movies, but to put it in context, Japan got nuked in WWII while the US sat around pretty much safe and oblivious for most of the war.
Bansini Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
“Do everything by hand, even when using the computer.” - Hayao Miyazaki
I like that quote. seems like something every artist can relate to....

Studio Ghibli is very iconic. Thanks for the journal, it kinda helped me with my artist research. <3
kingmancheng Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013  Professional Filmographer
That's pretty much always been my design philosophy with my animations, although I animate digitally these days I still hand draw everything on the computer. :)

And you're welcome, I'm glad it has helped you! :D
JulieKrizan Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I enjoy Studio Ghibli's work, but I personally think that they're a bit over-rated. Sure, the animation's good, but their storylines in general frequently fall quite flat.

I'm willing to give them some leniency because it may not have translated from Japanese to English very well, but some films, like Totoro, just made me go 'what'.

Take this with a grain of salt- I don't particularly enjoy 2D animated films, and even a good part of the 3D ones.
kingmancheng Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013  Professional Filmographer
I think you may think that their storytelling isn't as good because basically their way of storytelling in the past has been very different to what we see here in the west. I actually prefer their storytelling over Disney because I feel that their movies are less patronising towards children?

Not so much just translations but animation is born out of many elements. For example their theatre (such as kabuki), literature, culture as a whole, language etc. and to be honest they also owe a lot to 'western stories' as well.

And of course everyone is entitled to their opinion! :)
twilightlinkjh Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Studio Ghibli inspires me and makes me happy and the fact that a ton of effort goes into making the movies, just makes them all the better and I for one really appreciate that^^
But as for Tales from Earthsea- it is one of my favourite Ghibli films- if it wasn't for that movie -which was my first- then I wouldn't have experienced like one of the best novels ever recreated into a movie^^
I would like to know why it wasn't so popular, no one seems to want to answer that¬_¬
Why was it in your opinion so bad- as a fan you should know and you can't compare it to a different Ghibli movie as each has their own uniqueness^^
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