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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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:iconoperaphantom21:
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
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:iconkingmancheng:
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:
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:iconcausefordementia:
CauseForDementia Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Great article!
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:iconkingmancheng:
kingmancheng Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Thank you! : )
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:iconaegis-of-justice:
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.
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:iconbansini:
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
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:iconkingmancheng:
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
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:iconjuliekrizan:
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.
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:iconkingmancheng:
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! :)
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:icontwilightlinkjh:
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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:iconkingmancheng:
kingmancheng Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013  Professional Filmographer
I didn't like Earthsea because I fell that Goro Miyazaki just generally didn't do a good job with the storytelling, it didn't really capture my imagination as well as past movies. In his defence he had some big shoes to fill, but don't get me wrong I don't hate Earthsea, just somewhat disappointed?
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:icontwilightlinkjh:
twilightlinkjh Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Fair enough^^
I liked the presentation of the film, the visuals were pretty impressive- as of all Ghibli movies:)
Your right that Goro Miyazaki had huge shoes to fill, but he didn't do all that bad- shame though that Miyazaki himself didn't help out a little, but the film was still good for what it was^^
Still From up on Poppy hill looks cool- wonder when that gets a PAL release:)
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:iconseattleurbanphotos:
SeattleUrbanPhotos Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013
Studio Ghibli is the shit. Ive seen almost all of their movies and not just the ones directed by Hayao Miyazaki. The animators who work on these movies are the best in the world.
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:iconkingmancheng:
kingmancheng Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Wow amazing! Despite growing up and watching these before they really took off in the west, I have to admit I still have to catch up with a good number of their films. :)

I remember watching Grave of Fireflies in Cantonese Chinese when I was a kid, and I was just in tears!
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:iconvanthekeyoflain:
vanthekeyoflain Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013
I am sad to hear Miyazaki-sama was not pleased with his son's work with Tales of Earthsea. I saw that a number of years ago and thought it was absolutely fantastic. I could tell it had a different feeling to it, but I still very much enjoyed it.

I have yet to see From Up on a Poppy Hill; was very excited when I saw the trailer for it.

I've seen almost all of the major titles, and plan to own them all eventually (as I only have five right now).

I could write over a thousands words more, but I'll just simply say, that Hayao Miyazaki has been an art/animation idle and inspiration to me for as long as I can remember, as well as the whole of Studio Ghibli itself.
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:iconkingmancheng:
kingmancheng Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013  Professional Filmographer
I think it had mixed opinions, some really thought it wasn't bad and some really just thought it was quite weak.

I personally don't think it's as bad as some people say, however I have to say I was quite disappointed in it because I felt it was generally a weaker movie compared to the ones I grew up with.

Yes I have to admit I still haven't seen From Up on a Poppy Hill but I'll get myself the DVD soon. =P
I also still haven't watched Ponyo because when I was first given a copy it was in Mandarin Chinese (I'm a Cantonese Chinese speaker haha).

But either way, no matter how you rate Earthsea, Goro Miyazaki is still quite young and I'm sure his work will improve over time. :)
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:iconvanthekeyoflain:
vanthekeyoflain Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013
Yes, Goro can only get better. Of this I have no doubt, and I am very happy to know the name (and legacy of) Miyazaki will carry forward for a long time to come. ^_^
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:iconrebeccamm660:
rebeccamm660 Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I've saw all 3 movies :) xxx
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:iconkingmancheng:
kingmancheng Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Ah you meant the ones I linked pictures to? :)
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:iconrebeccamm660:
rebeccamm660 Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yea and I've saw there others movies too like x

Spirited away
Howls moving castle
Ponyo
Cat returns
Castle in the sky
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:iconkingmancheng:
kingmancheng Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Amongst those Laputa (Castle in the Sky) had to be my favourite. :love:
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:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
This is awesome! :la:
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:iconkingmancheng:
kingmancheng Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Thank you! :hug:
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:icontrudos:
Trudos Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Student General Artist
Studio Ghibli could even be called legendary at this point. Which makes their working together with a game studio on Ni no Kuni a very compelling reason to get a ps3...
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:iconkingmancheng:
kingmancheng Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Some people call them the 'Japanese Disney' and really I think they have a point. Their movies have often done better in Japan then Disney releases.

Ah yes I really want to get that game!! :eager:
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:iconreyjjj:
ReyJJJ Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Speaking of Ghibli and Disney...
think people would gripe about Ghibli in Kingdom Hearts more or less than Marvel?
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:iconkingmancheng:
kingmancheng Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013  Professional Filmographer
I'm not sure, because owning distribution rights isn't the same as owning character rights?
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:iconhyamei:
hyamei Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013
I've been meaning to watch some of the other movies too! kiki's delivery service was one of the first and only movies I watched when I was a little kid.
and watching it back then was completely magical.

I particularly love Spirited Away out of all that I've seen, I can't even explain exactly why I do like it. everything about it was just beautiful. :heart:
what I do love about most ghibli's films is they don't really explain every detail as to why or how is it happening, I guess it really adds more sense of wonder for me.
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:iconkingmancheng:
kingmancheng Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013  Professional Filmographer
I can't remember which was my earliest Ghibli title...but I do remember watchig Kiki, Laputa, and of course Totoro as a kid.

Grave of Fireflies as well, cried my eyes out as a kid. >_>

I think I see what you mean, I find that Ghibli films don't cushion kids as much as Disney movies these days.
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:iconuchuubranko:
uchuubranko Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Student General Artist
Ghibli has given us so many, many, many dreams. :happycry:
Thanks so much for this article! Loved it :clap:
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:iconkingmancheng:
kingmancheng Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013  Professional Filmographer
I'm glad you liked this article! You're welcome! :D
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:iconmisayuu:
misayuu Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Student General Artist
Studio Ghibli is super awesome! The first time I saw a Studio Ghibli movie was when i was 5-6 and it was "Spirited Away". It was in spanish though but they were giving a Studio Ghibli marathon for the whole week. Sadly, I only watched that one. I thought it was amazing. I was like: Woah, that is such an awesome movie! It was also around the time I discovered internet (it was around 2004-2005 but it annoyed me so I never used it till 5-6 grade, about 2-3 years ago) so then i searched it. In spanish it was kinda awkward to search though since I think the title was different and i never found it till about 5-6 grade. I was like : OMG FGJSDKNJKS I FOUND IT ;A; IM SO PROUD I CAN DIE IN PEACE!
Heh, studio G is pretty awesome XD
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:iconkingmancheng:
kingmancheng Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Ah yes spirited away was a good movie. :)

I remember that really getting popular here haha.

I do think they're a very good studio as well! ;)
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:iconinkbutt:
inkbutt Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Student General Artist
It's fine not to like them. It proves you have your own individual tastes, that's always a good thing. Also, I own a lot of the movies and I have to say The Cat Returns is not their best, I can see why it would annoy you if you had to watch it a lot.
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:iconkingmancheng:
kingmancheng Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Sure, it's not everyone's cup of tea. :)
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:icondianagrigore:
DianaGrigore Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013
I am a huge fan of Studio Ghibli. I've tried to see all the animations that come from this studio, but I'm sore there are a lot more to see.
Usually, when I recommend a Studio Ghibli animation to someone, that someone raises an eyebrow and thinks 'no, I don't watch japanese stuff, they're stupid'. NO. People need to be educated about these, Studio Ghibli has made animations that are clearly different from what we're used to, but they're so pleasing to watch (by children and by adults). They have a really good story and interesting characters.
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:iconkingmancheng:
kingmancheng Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Yeah absolutely I haven't watched them all either, despite growing up with them and watching them in Cantonese Chinese.

And that's really quite silly to just think that about Japanese animation. You can say that about any other sort of work in any part of the world.
You're going to get good and bad work wherever you go.

And absolutely, I grew up with Disney as well as Studio Ghibli, and as much as I love them both I actually think Ghibli handle narrative better.
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:icondianagrigore:
DianaGrigore Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2013
I completely agree with all that you've said.
Also, have you heard about Miyazaki's new film? Kaze Tachinu (The wind is rising)
I'm looking forward to that :eager:
And there's another Studio Ghibli film that's releasing this year, The tale of Princess Kaguya (Kaguya-hime no Monogatari)
So yay:D
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:iconkingmancheng:
kingmancheng Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2013  Professional Filmographer
No I haven't! So thanks for the heads up! :#1:
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:icondianagrigore:
DianaGrigore Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2013
:giggle:
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:iconthehappyspaceman01:
TheHappySpaceman01 Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm actually not a huge anime fan at all, but I had a friend who is. ("Had" because I'm no longer in contact with him.) And Hayao Miyazaki is his favorite Japanese animator. I've only seen one of his films, "Spirited Away," but I was six when I saw it and it scared the crap out of me, so I'm not really the best one to ask about this type of stuff. ^^;
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:iconkingmancheng:
kingmancheng Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013  Professional Filmographer
I watched most of their movies when I was little in Cantonese Chinese, so when it really started taking off in the West it was weird to see it all in English but I'm glad that you've at least managed to watch one of them. ;)
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:iconthehappyspaceman01:
TheHappySpaceman01 Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
My friend Will kept recommending it to me, but I'd usually take his opinion with a grain of salt-- after all, he also recommended that I become an entomologist. :XD: But now that other people are recommending their work to me, who knows? I might give it another chance.
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:iconkingmancheng:
kingmancheng Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013  Professional Filmographer
:lol:

I had this same problem with the BBC Sherlock series. I got pressured into finally watching it and I'm glad I did!

I didn't watch it initially because I thought 'Oh God they've modernised Sherlock, what a cheap rip'.

Moral of the story is don't knock it until you've tried it I guess? ;P
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:iconthehappyspaceman01:
TheHappySpaceman01 Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Correct. :)
That's my attitude towards life. If somebody recommends something to me, I give it a try before I decide whether I like it or not.
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:iconkingmancheng:
kingmancheng Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013  Professional Filmographer
:nod:

As the old saying goes, ignorance is no excuse.
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:iconthehappyspaceman01:
TheHappySpaceman01 Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:XD:
Though, actually I wasn't really ignorant, as I had seen one of his films before.
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:iconkingmancheng:
kingmancheng Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Professional Filmographer
:lol: That was the closest saying I could think of, didn't mean to actually imply you were ignorant haha.
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