Studio Ghibli: The Beauty of Miyazaki’s World

Studio Ghibli is a Japanese animation film studio based in Koganei, Tokyo, Japan. The studio is best known for its anime feature films, and has also produced several short films, television commercials, and one television film. It was founded in June 1985 after the success of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984), with funding by Tokuma Shoten. (Wiki)

Studio Ghibli films are beyond words, phenomenal can’t even compare to how amazing these films are. First off, these films are gorgeous to look at. Their animation style is one of my favorites and the use of colors and lightening is amazing; they create such magical and wonderful looking places. Secondly, the music is so beautiful. The music alone can move you to tears. Then there’s all the fantastical looking creatures, ships, buildings, and what not. They’re all so marvelous looking and leave you in awe. And lastly, the characters and the story. The characters in these films touch you and the stories break your heart. Miyazaki doesn’t pull punches. He lets you have it and isn’t afraid to crush your feels.But because these films have such a rich variety of characters, stories, and meanings it’s hard not to get sucked into them.

While there are others that work in Studio Ghibli, Miyazaki is, in this groups opinion, the best. He’s brilliant and we adore his films the most. We do love some of the non-Miyazaki films though, such as The Cat Returns. Also, we’re not completely through the list of Studio Ghibli films. The only Studio Ghibli films we’ve seen so far are Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Whisper of the Heart, The Cat Returns, Princess Mononoke, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Howl’s Moving Castle, and Castle in the Sky. We plan on seeing them all, but this all the further we are.

The main characters of these films aren’t perfect, their flawed, and even some of their “villains” are redeemable. Now, Studio Ghibli’s villains are not as black and white as most children’s film villains. Actually, Miyazaki stated in the documentary The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness that not neccessarily all of the films were intended for children. Miyazaki tells whatever story he wants to tell though he is pushed towards the children’s genre. I can tell you as a 20 year old that Spirited Away (the first Studio Ghibli film I ever saw) means something totally different to me now then when I first saw it at the age of 9.

If you need numbers or facts before believing that Studio Ghibli is a place of genius then here’s some facts that you can take to the bank. Eight of Studio Ghibli’s films are among the 15 highest-grossing anime films made in Japan, with Spirited Away (2001) being the highest, grossing over $274 million worldwide. Many of their works have won the Animage Anime Grand Prix award, and four have won the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year. Four of Studio Ghibli’s films received Academy Award nominations in the United States. Spirited Away won a Golden Bear in 2002 and an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film in 2003. (Wiki) There’s also a Studio Ghibli museum located in Inokashira Park in Mitaka, a western city of Tokyo, Japan. (But I’ll save that for another post.)

Sadly on August 3, 2014, Studio Ghibli announced it was temporarily halting production following the retirement of director Hayao Miyazaki. (Wiki) However, this type of thing has happen three times before. Miyazaki loves to create these films but he hates working with all the politics of film. Apparently, he’ll go on retirement for a while and then he’ll miss it so much that he goes back to it. Hopefully he’ll make more because the world needs more films like Miyazaki’s.

Below you can find a list of all of Studio Ghibli’s films. If you really just want to jump head first into the world of Ghibli I highly suggest starting with Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle. I started with Spirited Away as I previously mentioned, but for those of you who have watched Studio Ghibli films: What was your first Studio Ghibli film?

  • Castle in the Sky
  • Grave of the Fireflies
  • My Neighbor Totoro
  • Kiki’s Delivery Service
  • Only Yesterday
  • Porco Rosso
  • Pom Poko
  • Whispers of the Heart
  • Princess Mononoke
  • My Neighbors the Yamadas
  • Spirited Away
  • The Cat Returns
  • Howl’s Moving Castle
  • Tales from Earthsea
  • Ponyo
  • The Secret World of Arrietty
  • From Up on Poppy Hill
  • The Wind Rises
  • The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
  • When Marine was There
  • Ocean Waves (Television Film)

2 thoughts on “Studio Ghibli: The Beauty of Miyazaki’s World”

  1. Oops…I thought The Secret World of Arietty was missing, but I found it (:
    Ponyo was my unexpected first love, shortly followed by Spirited Away. Can’t wait to see Howl’s Moving Castle…and maybe the rest! These treasures should all be considered before death…the inspiration overloads doubly the amount of trash reality TV that clogs modern brains. Where is the child’s heart anymore–the innocent explorer?

    Also loving the wraparound text effect!


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